L.A. Noire a story best left untold

I admit I was caught up in the hype another release from Rockstar, the harbingers of cool. I even enjoyed playing  L.A. Noire, then I realized something... I wasn't really playing the game, the game was playing me. How could this be you ask? Well I found myself through the first half of the game excited by the concept of being a detective finding clues and reading facial expressions. My major gripe with all this was that it all became pretty rote. After the umpteenth case in which I study a character's facial expressions, went through my case notes, walking aimlessly and pounding on the A button (I'm playing on Xbox) in search of clues and driving half way across town to stop a burglary not because the gunfights or car chases are exciting, but because i had to build up my ranking so I can gain intuition. I mean why in the hell does no one cover the back door? After the 3rd suspect decides to run isn't clear a tactic needs to change? Maybe my partner should take the back door and I go through the front. Okay sorry I'm starting to rant, but you get my point.
Yes, somewhere down the line this game became boring a virtual snooze fest. Though well acted i just became bored by the story I know longer cared about the character Cole Phelps and his moral high ground. I shuddered at the ideal of sitting through another interrogation and having to breakdown a piece of a conversation into three parts (Truth, Doubt, Lie).  Half the time I was fairly confused by what Cole said after I choose the "right answer" during  these sequences, the routine seemed pretty hollow.   

At this point  I'm not sure my actions had any real effect on the game (almost all the major events are scripted), I commend the effort by Team Bondi, but in practice this game falls short. I'm currently on the Arson Desk and so I know I'm close to ending the game I just can't bring myself to care enough to finish.

My new found love for Far Cry 2

Like many of you I anticipate E3 i comb through all the previews, first looks, and trailers to find out what I'll be blowing my hard earned cash on. One of these trailers caught my eye, it was Far Cry 3, I was impressed by the voice acting and the character Voss, who appears to be one of the story's antagonists. I was so pumped I started reminiscing on my experiences with the franchise;  setting booby traps, using my feral instincts to punch a man 30 feet into air and hang-gliding down a beautiful tropic coast only to machine gun down 5 unsuspecting mercenaries. Then I realized I never played Far Cry 2, this would soon be rectified.

Now I know the game came out in 2008 and so I decided to look at what people thought of the game as I waited for Amazon to deliver my copy, to say the least it was a mixed bag, some people bemoaned the amount a travel between missions, others did not appreciate the realistic tone the game set, i.e. aggressive A.I., guns jamming, and symptoms of the characters malaria creating the need to find medicine periodically. Well I’m here to tell you this is one unbelievable game with a depth that kept me glued to my couch for an entire weekend (so far). I enjoy the game so much because it suits to my style of play, which is methodical and exploratory. Both of which are rewarded in Far Cry 2. I’m only 6 hours in the game, but I’ve enjoyed how I’m given the freedom to approach objectives anyway I want for example I saw on my map there was a guard post up ahead as i sneaked through the brush adjacent to the road I saw headlights approaching, I ran a few yards from the road equipped my RPG and BOOM! The fiery patrol jeep and its two occupants sailed into the evening sky as the charred shell landed on its roof. Taking out the vehicle meant I could now take out the guard post minus firepower from the Jeep’s turret. Continuing through the cover provided by the brush, trees and tall grass, I survey the camp and determine there are 6 guards i need to deal with; two are sitting together smoking and trading stories, while the other four are patrolling the perimeter. I pull out my recently purchased silencer Marakov and shoot one patrolling guard in the head, I quickly lob a grenade by the two guards sitting and pull out my assault rifle and shot a flammable barrel which explodes and engulfs another guard in flames. Controlled chaos ensues, the two remaining guards are terrified they yell at each other to take cover but it’s too late, with my assault rifle drawn I take out the mercs in quick succession and the guard post is mine... for now.  

This is just one example of the addicting gameplay found in Far Cry 2. Yes there are some drawbacks, I’ve had my gun jam in the middle of a fire fight (mind you, stick to your own guns and this will be a none issue) and travel between destinations can be tedious, but for me these are what make Far Cry 2 a different breed of game. I don’t mind the travel because it gives me a chance to take in the lush world Crytek created, with so much painstaking detail it’s easy to get lost in the environment as i make my way to the next objective. I for one have grown to love this game as welcomed break from the mindless run and gun of the current FPS’s out there. Looking forward to playing more and honing my tactics for the release of Far Cry 3. Any of you out there in the closet? Come out and show your love for Far Cry 2 let me know about some of your favorite moments our what kind of tactics you use.