LA Noire Diaries
November 16 2017
The re-release of LA Noire got us very excited around the RVR offices as we’re all big fans. Originally this game came out on the X-Box 360 and was the reason I got back into gaming. I specifically bought an X-Box with this as the attached game. May 2011. Six and one half years later LA Noire is back. The game that got me back into gaming has been given a shiny update for the X-Box 1 and, presumably PS4 but who gives a fuck about that*.
*With apologies to Sony fans.
To celebrate this re-release I’ll be keeping a diary of the game and my progress through it. Spoilers will occur, obviously.
My blithering idiot of a beat cop arrives at a crime scene. “What do I do with the gun if I find it” he asks. Oh, for fuck’s sake mate. My own personal idiot is called Cole Phelps. My one memory of Cole from the first play through is that I thought he was a twat. This is amplified by this first interaction. Cole, rightly, takes a load of shit from a homicide detective called Floyd Rose. If I was Floyd I’d have slapped him too.
I’m on my way to find the owner of the gun from crime scene one when my wife brings me a sandwich (a BLT no less!) and in my excitement to devour it accidentally run over a pedestrian. Oh, that’ll cost me on my performance review. Who walks in LA anyway? Get a car pal! Oh you can’t, because you’re dead. I will bring your perpetrator to justice!
After playing for roughly an hour I was somewhat dismayed that I had misremembered the quality of the game. The controls, for instance, are a little shaky. There’s no jump button so anytime you need to get over something you have to run at it and hope for the best. Sometimes you can hurdle six feet tall wire mesh fences and sometimes you’re fucked by a two foot high picket fence. The in-game mechanics are also wonky when it comes to driving and climbing stuff. At one point I got stuck on a fire escape because I kept trying to logically change direction as the character does. Instead you just push up and hope for the best.
And my boy Cole is as big a jerk as I remember. During a conversation with his new partner, an amiable Pole, Phelps accuses him of cowardice. Hey, I’m your new partner! “I bet you didn’t fight in the war because you were too chicken”. Phelps earns a hearty “fuck you” from Stefan Bekowsky.
The first session has two wonderful moments of roaring laughter. The first from a used car salesman making quips that positively enrage Bekowsky. “Walk this way boys” he says before doing a stupid walk, arms and legs all over the place. “That’s a joke fellas” he says as I can barely contain myself. He goes on to use the phrase “about as sharp as a bag of wet mice”. Who talks like that? Beautiful.
The second moment of hilarity is one of my own doing. There’s a case where an aging movie star has driven her car off a cliff (under dubious circumstances). After completing the initial investigation I promptly drive my car off the same cliff, chuckling all the way down, only to land on top of a walkway, beaching the cop car on a wall. The pedestrians all glitching as they fail to walk around an obstacle that shouldn’t be there.
The game is a lot glitchier than I remember. I’m so used to background characters reacting to shit like in GTA 5 and the background characters in this are nowhere near as advanced. Sure, the ones in GTA often overreact but at least they react. I spend a good 30 seconds running in circles around a cop to see if he’d do anything. Not a thing. Also the cut scenes jam into the free roaming like a bag of wet mice slapping you round the face.
For all the flaws I am really enjoying the driving though. In particular motoring down the train tracks and completely wrecking my car. Popping into the pause menu, glitching and reappearing on the surface. Bekowsky appearing from a hut in the distance, having climbed some service stairs, moments later. I have thus far only achieved one five star rating due to my recklessness as a motorist. I’ve also only fucked up one interrogation to the point where I had to re-do it, after being yelled at by the sergeant.
For an opening run at a game it’s been most productive.
God, Cole Phelps is a dipshit. I hate him so much. Why can’t I play as Bekowsky? Or as the used car guy; calling passers out on their lack of sharpness? “You’re as sharp as a bowling ball”. Now that’s some gaming.
Session 1 Progress – Partially completed “The Fallen Idol”