L.A. Noire solves it's weirdest problem with...a weird solution?

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#1 Posted by Nodima (2638 posts) -

This trailer is for Switch, but it's been confirmed this change applies to all three versions of the re-release. For those who didn't play the game the first time around, the original release didn't offer the "Good Cop / Bad Cop / Accuse" options, but rather "Truth / Doubt / Lie". The idea behind the system was, if you knew the person was telling the truth or lying due to evidence you'd collected, you would select the relevant option and tie it to the relevant evidence. If you didn't know or felt unclear whether what the interviewee had just said had anything to do with your specific case, you'd hedge your bet and select Doubt.

For anyone who has played this game, the motivation behind the change is obvious. Too often, Phelps would fly off the handle when you selected the "Doubt" option, giving conversations this insane ebb and flow and often leading players (ie. me) into situations where you were suddenly doublting yourself, and as a result you'd come out of interrogations with no new information and zero successful probes, which would make it all the more confusing at times when the accused was either charged or released.

In my opinion, at first glance this change is smart, but it actually doesn't communicate how that system was designed as well as the old language did. It's been a while since I've played the game, so maybe in practice it will make a lot more sense, but the more I think about it this just solves one problem by creating a new problem. I don't recall the doubt option always being a "bad cop/renegade" response, particularly in the early and late game, but maybe my memory is mistaken. I'm sure Rockstar knows this game better than I do, so I bring it to the good people of Giant Bomb: does this change make sense to you? Do you like it, or worry the system was fundamentally flawed and changing this bit of system dressing won't help address the underlying confusion of the system?

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#2 Posted by disco_drew22 (67 posts) -

You know, there was just something special about having mild doubts about a suspect’s story and then sheepishly watching Cole lose his shit,

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#3 Posted by Panfoot (334 posts) -

There was definitely parts where "Doubt" ended up being "Yell at or threaten subject" seemingly randomly....but I feel like this change just changes which situations don't fit the prompt now IE now "Bad Cop" will occasionally turn into "Mildly annoyed cop" or something like that, instead of fixing the problem.

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#4 Edited by citizencoffeecake (1551 posts) -

I remember hearing that at some point in development the Doubt option was either Press or Force (can't remember specifics). The good cop/bad cop thing at least gives you an idea of the tone Phelps will take but Press or Force still seem like better options.

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#5 Posted by WheresDerrick (326 posts) -

The most irritating part about the interviews and the game in general was when you got a Truth/Doubt/Lie wrong, it would immediately play a musical cue to let you know if you were right or wrong. The issue is when I was wrong, I'd be extremely pissed and not pay attention to whatever was going on after or just quit and reload the save right before to get it right. Would love to have an option to toggle it off and not know until the end that I got X/20 right or whatever

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#6 Posted by OMGFather (1061 posts) -

You know, there was just something special about having mild doubts about a suspect’s story and then sheepishly watching Cole lose his shit,

I will miss that. Didn't he accuse someone of molesting children with a doubt?

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#7 Posted by Nodima (2638 posts) -

The most irritating part about the interviews and the game in general was when you got a Truth/Doubt/Lie wrong, it would immediately play a musical cue to let you know if you were right or wrong. The issue is when I was wrong, I'd be extremely pissed and not pay attention to whatever was going on after or just quit and reload the save right before to get it right. Would love to have an option to toggle it off and not know until the end that I got X/20 right or whatever

I didn't get angry, but this is similar to what I wrote about earlier. I would get confused, so sure I was right based on the facial animations and comments made but then Phelps would call the woman a whore or whatever and they would completely shut down and I would lose all faith in my evidence and it would just spiral out of control. By the third chapter I was lucky to get more than one or two positive outcomes per interview, let alone successfully interrogate somebody about their missing checkbook or whatever minutae I was addressing on my way to the big crime.

As someone who loved the interrogation sequences from the Blade Runner PC game, it was a real disappointment to me how awkward this game's system wound up being, but I do still have a real soft spot for the game and look forward to buying it whenever the inevitable Rockstar PSN sale hits again.

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#8 Posted by hermes (2630 posts) -

The subtle, sometimes arbitrary way they distinguished Doubt/Lie was the main issue I had with the interrogation. While Truth/Lie were pretty clear, the visual clues for those two were very similar. Sometimes you could see that a witness was lying, but the protagonist was not there yet, so calling a lie early would derail an entire scenario. I ended up using an online guide, because some felt almost random.

Not sure if the change in the names is a solution, though. Doesn't the good cop/bad cop routine require 2 people? Without it, its would be like being interrogated by a bipolar detective...

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#9 Edited by TheRealTurk (578 posts) -

I don't really like it. The old system had flaws, but at least it was logically connected to what you were doing - saying if the person was telling you the truth or not. I don't really see how doubting what a witness/suspect says means you are being a "bad cop."

The real problem underlying the system was that the internal logic of the game was not robust enough. To whit:

1. Calling "Lie" was only effective if you had a single piece of evidence that directly contradicted what the person was saying. If you had multiple pieces of evidence that together showed the exact same thing that wasn't good enough. Similarly you weren't allowed to make a perfectly reasonable inference from available evidence. That drove me nuts on more than one occasion.

2. Often times the "correct" single piece of evidence either wasn't the only single piece of evidence that could be used to demonstrate a lie, it was just the one the game would accept.

3. The Lie often required knowledge of very specific details of a piece of evidence, but you couldn't review the actual piece of evidence, only a sketch and a brief summary, which often left out the vital information the game wanted. This was a bummer because a lot of the items were really cool in terms of detail and I wanted to look at them just to look, but also because you can't necessarily remember every detail about an item 40 minutes after you picked it up.

Overall, I enjoyed the game, but I would love to see a sequel that did a better job of this stuff.

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#10 Edited by Brackstone (943 posts) -

I don't really like it. The old system had flaws, but at least it was logically connected to what you were doing - saying if the person was telling you the truth or not. I don't really see how doubting what a witness/suspect says means you are being a "bad cop."

The real problem underlying the system was that the internal logic of the game was not robust enough. To whit:

1. Calling "Lie" was only effective if you had a single piece of evidence that directly contradicted what the person was saying. If you had multiple pieces of evidence that together showed the exact same thing that wasn't good enough. Similarly you weren't allowed to make a perfectly reasonable inference from available evidence. That drove me nuts on more than one occasion.

2. Often times the "correct" single piece of evidence either wasn't the only single piece of evidence that could be used to demonstrate a lie, it was just the one the game would accept.

3. The Lie often required knowledge of very specific details of a piece of evidence, but you couldn't review the actual piece of evidence, only a sketch and a brief summary, which often left out the vital information the game wanted. This was a bummer because a lot of the items were really cool in terms of detail and I wanted to look at them just to look, but also because you can't necessarily remember every detail about an item 40 minutes after you picked it up.

Overall, I enjoyed the game, but I would love to see a sequel that did a better job of this stuff.

This post nails it. The game's logic was often faulty, almost in that 90s point and click way where you're trying to figure out the designer's absurd logic rather than solve a crime. I remember in one case you find a giant stash of stolen morphine hidden in a guys office, literally 10 feet away from where he's sitting, and he watches you find it, but when you go to accuse him of lying for saying he knows nothing about the "missing" morphine, somehow that giant stash in his office doesn't work as a piece of evidence, and you have to doubt him.

This is an interesting change, but the original monikers fit a lot better, and a name change won't fix anything. The problems lie in the design of the individual investigations, not the overall structure of interaction for all investigations, if that makes sense.

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#11 Posted by OMGFather (1061 posts) -

I don't really like it. The old system had flaws, but at least it was logically connected to what you were doing - saying if the person was telling you the truth or not. I don't really see how doubting what a witness/suspect says means you are being a "bad cop."

Yeah that's a weird one. Hopefully they explain that well in the tutorial, because a lot of new players will just see bad cop and assume it's a bad choice because they want to be an all good cop or something.

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#12 Posted by spamfromthecan (129 posts) -

@disco_drew22 said:

You know, there was just something special about having mild doubts about a suspect’s story and then sheepishly watching Cole lose his shit,

I will miss that. Didn't he accuse someone of molesting children with a doubt?

That has always been my motto. When in doubt, accuse someone of molesting children.

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#13 Posted by deactivated-5b031d0e868a5 (935 posts) -

I know it would be more work but why not change the word depending on Cole's reaction. So where the original game used doubt and Cole would sometimes just start yelling why not just change the "doubt" option in that context to "press forcefully" or "bad cop". Doubt seemed alright most of the time so I was quite confused as to how they thought this would fix that small problem.

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#14 Edited by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -

@citizencoffeecake said:

I remember hearing that at some point in development the Doubt option was either Press or Force (can't remember specifics). The good cop/bad cop thing at least gives you an idea of the tone Phelps will take but Press or Force still seem like better options.

It originally had these as the options. Coax, Force & Accuse. Which in hindsight made more sense but a lot of people around the office didn't get it so they changed it. This new solution when I think about how doubt sometimes came off weird is just as confusing as truth, doubt & lie tbh.

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#15 Posted by burncoat (559 posts) -

The problem is trying to boil down the 3 options into single words or phrases. The options were mostly categorized as "believe the person and you want them to keep talking", "they're lying but you don't have proof", and "they're lying and you have proof to back up your specific statement."

The problem with the Lie option was you had to specificy what evidence directly contradicted their answer to your specific question when you pressed Lie. There was a couple of cases where you had circumstantial evidence that could implicate a suspect, but it wasn't directly tied to your question, so it went wrong.

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#16 Edited by mrlostman13 (25 posts) -

It also seems weird to me because "good cop/bad cop" implies a moral decision, when I'm almost certain there is an objectively correct response for every single thing the interviewee says. There are instances when "doubt" was objectively the right response, i.e. when their facial expressions clearly indicated they were lying but you know you didn't have any evidence to actually accuse them of doing so. If you selected "doubt" when they were either telling the truth, or you had evidence to catch them in a lie that you didn't use, you would get the audio cue for a failed prompt.

There are players who might go through the whole game thinking they're just roleplaying a "good cop" version of Phelps and are actually just playing incorrectly.

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