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L.A. Noire - A Review of Storytelling

Please be warned that:
A: This does contain some spoilers (though, I tried to be relatively non-specific.
B: I am cross-posting this from another place I write: http://thenerderyblog.com/, as I thought it was apt.

Hello folks, Tim here. This is a long one, so get ready.

This is a guy who has been popping up from time to time in the newspaper/flashback stories, and he is a total bad ass. You actually like this guy from the get-go, he is that awesome. So, you play as this guy for the last three mission, and the guy you get to know for the entire game just goes away and is unimportant. And you get to play as this great character, who is much more fully developed just from all the side-stories, and it is the end of the damn game!

And, since they do these newspaper and flashback stories throughout the entire game, there really isnít a surprise. You know who all the villains are, you know who is doing what and why. The crimes are just simply walking through the motions. You have to do them, in order to arrest someone, but you know who you want to hunt down, you just have to wait to get to that point.

Then there is the very end. There is a bit of a twist to it, but I just felt really disappointed. It is a very naturalistic ending, but since there is so little reason to care about the main character, it just feels weak and empty. You actually end up caring for every other character in the game much more, so to me, it was not a big loss. It just made the first 3/4th of the game feel like a waste.

Granted, it would be stupid if ALL the cases connected from the start, and they all culminated in some sort of weird final crime, but it could have been handled in a better way. Phelps could have been better developed as a person, rather than just a cop. We could have watched him and his life away from his badge and gun as a way of having a better story in the game, but instead we get a character who you donít really bother getting attached to until the very end, and by that point nothing matters. Nico of GTAIV is such a deep and complicated character, he has a past which we never see it directly, but it had an effect on his life and actions. He is a developed person and we see him struggle with the world around that. Phelps never does this. We do not get the opportunity to know the character in this way. And it is more than just caring about a character on screen, it is about telling a complete story. L.A. Noire does not do this particularly well, even though it pretends to.
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About Timfasticone of us since 12:14 AM on 05.10.2011