By AlexW00d 94 Comments
Yes another blog, partially, about L.A Noire. I know it is hardly the most uncommon of things around these boards, but it's not like any of you read these things so who care, right?
My thoughts on L.A. Noire
So yes, in my last blog I noted how it my copy hadn't arrived, even after 5 days of shipping time. It still didn't arrive for a further two days after this. So I was playing the game a full week/4 days after everybody else.
I don't really like it. It is a bad game. A bad game with some brilliant ideas that I hope will be taken that much further in the next game, or at least in games in the same vein; but a bad game nonetheless. The driving is not as good as a 2011 game should be, we all expect it to be a bit 'boaty' considering the setting but Mafia 2 seemed to do it much better and in the same time setting, and it feels lifted straight out of a game 10 years ago; the textures, not the graphics as a whole, just the textures are lazily drawn, pretty low resolution, and most of the time, anything lacking importance will be part of the texture below e.g. paintings, newspapers, tramlines, manholes, windows, keyholes etc and it make the game look very flat; the mo-cap that isn't facial is pretty poor, the characters kind of flop about when they die, and instead of recording a sprinting animation they just speed Cole up; the gun combat is terrible, the damage done doesn't change depending where you hit them -- except for the head -- so you can't incapacitate targets with a gun, only kill, which as a detective is something you don't want to be doing; and the 'brawling' consists of mashing X and occasionally Square 'til it tells you to press Circle. Now most of these are clearly filler content between clue hunting and interrogating, but still it is really obvious it is filler, which is wrong.
Then there is the interrogation sequences: these consist of you asking a suspect a series of questions, usually 3 or 4, and then gauging by the way they answer whether or not they are telling the truth. This usually boils down to did their animation stop or are they still moving their face. Simple as that. If they stare blankly at you then are telling the truth, and if they are looking around or smirking or avoiding your gaze etc, then they are lying. Now if they are lying you have two options, you press doubt if you don't have evidence and you click lie and choose the evidence if you do. Now it isn't always obvious which piece of evidence you need, as a few times I have clicked lie chose the evidence I would expect to be correct and have it be wrong. I have also had occasions where the perp has just looked at me and blinked like a normal person would so I have chosen truth and it turned out they were lying, which is a load of crap.
Obviously, these sections could be brilliant, but they are massively flawed. A lot of questions have answers that will be repeated in later questions and you'll act like you didn't know. And I know this is so if you miss it once you have another chance, but they could have at least removed them if you already know the answer, or maybe tailor it so they answer differently as they know you already know the answer. E.G. "Yeah that bar I told you about" or something similar.
Lastly we have the clues: they operate in a user friendly manner; when the music chimes and the controller vibrates press X, and when the music stops you have found all of them. It's all kinds of simple, but it isn't boring at all, it is actually kinda cool being able to manipulate loads of different clues and possible clues to check for evidence and such, because the detail put into the important ones is pretty high.
I felt initially it was pointless to talk about the facial animation because it is so damn good and this is kind of an obvious point to talk about, but whatever, y'all be moaning so here it is. I really like the facial animation, even if it is a bit creepy seeing Greg Grunberg telling me he wasn't a killer. The tech used to recreate it is mighty impressive, and Team Bondi should be darned proud of it, I know I am. I really hope they license it out to other, more capable, studios but I really doubt Rockstar would let them, which sucks.
Now this game could have been brilliant, but as it is, it much too shallow. I kinda feel like I am offending both Detectives and Adventure games by calling it a Detective Adventure game like so many others have but hey. If the dialog had been more dynamic and I was given more freedom to choose the way I ask my questions then it would have made the game much, much better. And if the whole thing didn't look like a Playstation 2 game it would have helped me ignore the bad driving and bad gunplay. But alas, too many glaring faults makes this game pretty un-enjoyable, for the most part.
I don't think I'm much more than half way through, so I will try and sit it out 'til the end but I won't be surprised if I don't.
Ok, I am now onto the Vice missions. I really enjoyed the setting and atmosphere of the end of the last homicide case, but it was ruined by being forced to blow some dude's brains out.
If I was to give it a rating it would probably be a 6/10. Great ideas that definitely deserve praise, but they are poorly executed, and the filler content is quite obviously filler content.
Now this is a bloody good game.
I have always enjoyed Rally games, ever since the first Colin McRae game back for the Playstation. This on is no exception, even if it does fail to bear the Colin Mcrae name.
Unfortunately I don't have as much to write about this: the rallying itself feels a lot better than Dirt 2, which I found felt pretty arcade-y, the wide range of cars and the re-inclusion of the WRC license are all things that make me happy.
There are only two things I'd change about the game: firstly I would bring back proper rallies, not just one off events, but multi-staged rally events where you have to take care of your car in between, much like in real rallying; and secondly I would burn that friggin' American commentator at the stake, WHY DOES HE SPEAK TO ME LIKE THIS WAS DUDE WHERE'S MY CAR? Oh a third thing actually, I would include actual rally drivers like Mikko Hirvonen, Sebatien Loeb, and Petter and Henning Solberg; not people like Dave Mirra and Travis Pastrana. Ken Block is ok because he actually does drive in the WRC now.
But I am having buckets and buckets of fun with this game, so much so I attempted to organise a race night for last Thursday, but that failed because you all suck. Yes, that is why.
Anyway I feel myself not wanting to type any more. So scores.
As a Rally game dirt 3 gets a 9/10.
As a regular video game it gets an 8/10, if only for the fact that as a Rally game, there are only two of the main areas you can excel in, graphics and gameplay.
If you read this: thank you, this seems to be becoming a somewhat regular occurrence, so do read next time.