Finished L.A. Noire yesterday and main thought is disappointment. I had forgotten the game some time ago (was on the To Buy list for ages), but found the Complete Edition for sale at 38€ which I thought would probably be a ok price for it. But now thinking about what it offered I think I paid 10€ too much anyways.
I felt really intrigued about the game in the start and was enjoying it through the first disc - Traffic desk. Mechanics felt ok and the face animation stuff whatnot still looked nice in my opinion. The city seemed really nicely done as well. Half way through homicide desk things started to go downhill. Cases got repetative and characters boring/annoying and you start to notice how the story is being stretched - not encouraging as theres more than half to go. Vice was so-so until the end where Cole was turned into a cheating asshole to make the demotion to arson desk plot turn possible. He was not the greatest personality even before and at that point I had about zero interested to see how his story continued (he still wore the ring to the end though..). The shoot-out of the end was just plain idiotic.
I really like film-noir movies and there was some of the spirit in the game but I dont ever remember seen movies where the main character is plainly as dis-likeable as in L.A. Noir (I thought the character should(?) be someone with charm but who is running out of luck due to someone elses work - not because he himself fucks things up by fucking behind his wife). I have to say that Elsas role as femme fatale was well written in my opinion.
I don't want to pick the game into smaller and smaller pieces by simple small things as it deserves better. And talking about good things, the music was excellent all the way through! I would give this 3/5 or something around that. Chopping the lenght into half would have helped heaps.
Got through the game and the add-ons yeaterday and have quite mixed feelings about the game.
The major thing on my mind sadly is the bugs and crashes experienced while playing. When thinking of other games I've gone through I do remember the rare lockup but New Vegas blew everything away. I can't think of a day when it didnt crash. First game that ate save games as well, four times in total I think.
The story rolled along well enough compared to Fallout 3, but I think first two games were more entertaining to play. I have to admit that I might have destroyed my will to play by getting on the bad side of Legion so early that the assasination squads were unbelievably hard and nearly one shotted my character in combat for quite a long time and this killed exploration alltogether (and why the hell do they see you mile away when you are sneaking?!). Then again combat was carbage in my opinion anyways - impossible to hit anything further than 5 metres without V.A.T.S. if the target was moving.
Companions were as interesting as porridge. Cass was the only one who I could be arsed to bring along for other than quest purposes. The best characters in the game were sadly in a DLC, Old World Blues' AIs were well enough written so I didnt tend to skip the conversations. And as for locations Honest Hearts was the most fun place to wander around. These two DLCs were the ones where I enjoyed the game easily the most.
Despite now I think mostly of the game with negatives I do intend to go through it again as I now know the mistakes I made which robbed the fun - and theres no need to play some way or the other to get achievements. And maybe just to see if the game really is as buggy as it seems.
So I found my way to the smith couple days ago and have been wandering around aimlessly since that looking for a way to go. The town is on fire and filled with bandits with hellish hounds as their companions and when I tried to venture even further I barely managed to escape a demon that assaulted me immediately as he saw me. I have not yet had the courage to try to best him and neither have I stayed near the dragon that guards the bridge long enough to see if my steel is strong enough to kill it.
Below the shrine on which the raven brought me I found some catacombs but the undead which slumber in the darkness seem to be unwiling to part from their existence and I need to find a way to keep them down. I suppose I will have to venture further in order to find a answer to this problem. I have not yet felt comfortable enough in either my skill or equipment to descend to the depths of the land by the elevator, but I suppose that is soon the only way I have yet to explore.
The mangled statue by the smith was more intimidating than dangerous thanks to its slow movement. But when venturing to the forests I saw a giant hydra guarding my way, I did not have the courage yet to test whether it truly is as dangerous as it looks. The giants roaming nearby sure fell a lot more easier than I anticipated.
Finished the game today and thought about jotting down some thoughts about the game.
In the end the game was good - as good as the first one. Of course the novelty of the game style is not there, but the game play, esthetics, audio and story is on par with the first game. The audio especially was splendid and managed to send them chills down my spine. Regarding the graphical side there was nothing really eye-popping compared to Dead Space, but the architecture and the look of Titan Station brought System Shock 2 to my mind at some points which is nice as the Shock 2 is in Top 5 of my all time greats. The story was well put together and at some point I actually imagined that my dear wife was really on my side..
The game only fell apart for me in the end with the immortal beast as it forced one to rush forward, and I really do not like to run as I always think that I will miss something when being forced to move faster than I would like to. I would like to think that the end fight was not as stretched as in the first game, but my recollection about the length of dodging tentacles and firing at weak spots is vague. And I am very happily surprised that Ellie actually made through alive, and I guess it was nice to see Isaac make it through as well. Too bad that in the end the door for even more sequels was left open..
Now if only I could be buggered to actually start a New Game+ and for once actually play a game twice through.
So, game over. And in a nice way in my opinion. The only sour thing plotwise was the open ending that was obviously made to keep the door open for DLC content. In the end there was way more positives than negatives in the game and for the bargain bin price it was definately a good buy.
The visual and audio soundscape was absolutely marvellous and wandering in the forest was fun when you got the hang of the combat. Controls were a bit off for me all the way but in the end the lack of accuracy did not hamstring the gameplay that much.
And of course I missed one radio and TV somewhere..
Back to Bright Falls after a small pause and still cannot get over the graphical awesomess of the engine. Sadly the controls still feel plain wrong and died on the dam three times. Cant think of another game that gave as much grief on the same matter.
The story goes nicely around in circles and madness screw is quite nicely tightened, this can get only better.
Looked at the achievement list as well and I might even get some of the "Find x number of y's" achievements, with luck.
The plot thickens! ..or gets more tangled? Could the FBI agent just be something that the dark lady Jagger or something just has added to the story Wake is writing?
Combat still feels wrong. I realised that its due to the fact that the engine prioritises animation over the control inputs in a way I cannot get over. And I do hope Barry drops dead soon, those pants oh noes..
Locations are great though, Anderssons farm - very Valhallan (or something) and neato. The ambient sounds and stuff is very nicely done, thank god for proper surround system.
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The athmosphere is becoming even moodier - I like it.
In addition the locations are fun to explore and the very nice sceneries and lighting have not grown old yet. But the combat is as uncomfortable, I presume that I wont get the hang of it either. Come across some fast shadow thingies and they seem to like to cut me in pieces, should learn to dodge probably.
Died twice while getting one thermos - slided to my death from a whopping 3 metre height. And got sliced up twice by the shadows.
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Poured a glass of scotch and continued through chapter 2, things are picking up.
Getting a bit more confortable with the controls. Although the only death this time came by jumping off the mill into the waters below. Scenery seems to be getting even more beautiful, and since there doesnt seem to be endless spawning enemies the combat is not a too big obstacke in "peaceful" poking around.
So, finally decided that at 12€ Alan Wake couldnt be a bad purchase. And looks promising so far after episode 1. The sceneries are absolutely beautifully made and it took me awhile to even get past as I constantly stopped to look at the surroundings. Yes, other than the athmospehere I am on the lookout for coffee. Really dislike achievements like this but well see how many I manage to find.
The only sort of problem I have is the controls which seem a bit off somehow, looks like in the fights I will die quite many times during the game (bit the dust once already in the first episode which always seems promising).
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