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Forums > Submission Feedback > Suskie's L.A. Noire review

This thread is in response to a review for L.A. Noire on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 12, 2011 (10:01 AM)
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Yeah, if you ARE going to make a game like Heavy Rain, it can't be an actual game... I thought that was established a while back. I was pretty surprised when Rockstar said that was pretty much what they were doing.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 12, 2011 (11:10 AM)
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I can't tell if you're being serious.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 12, 2011 (07:26 PM)
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I am being serious. While I love Heavy Rain, I would argue that the entire adventure genre barely counts as "games." They are stories told in an interactive format. I enjoy that, but I wouldn't try to mix that genre with a game system. One of Longest Journey 2's biggest failings was in its attempt to do that.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: June 12, 2011 (07:51 PM)
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I think someone needs to play more adventure games!

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: jerec
Posted: June 12, 2011 (07:52 PM)
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http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_wAxDMfEGhoY/TLOVnpZzzoI/AAAAAAAAAVE/JSuh_GX59Ks/s1600/Not+Sure+if+serious.jpg


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 12, 2011 (11:17 PM)
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I've played tons of adventure games. My favorites are in the style of the classic walk around, interact, and listen to/read great dialogue, like Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Longest Journey, Sam and Max, etc.

I was less enamored with, for instance, Psychonauts because the platforming really didn't work as well as it should have and there was a lot of pointless running around that dragged things on ad naseum... when I just wanted to get to the next story bit!


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 13, 2011 (12:07 AM)
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That's the problem with your typical adventure game. Usually, they're quite imaginitive. When you're in the mood for a story, you're in the mood for a story and not so much a game. If a game immerses you in a story--whether because it's mysterious or fantastic or just hilarious--you don't want to be interrupted constantly by gameplay. You're in it for the story and gameplay just gets in the way. If gameplay does pull you out of the experience, it had better be really good so that you don't mind the detour. Menu diving doesn't count as "really good," nor do tedious driving sequences or faulty platforming segments. So really, the graphic adventure (and recent expansions on tha) might be considered fundamentally flawed. That doesn't mean that there aren't good ones, or that they're not worth playing, just that it's an easy genre to get wrong with or without even worrying about innovation and pushing the envelope (concerns that Rockstar and Team Bondi likely had in mind when developing L.A. Noire).


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: June 13, 2011 (12:31 AM)
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Although I can appreciate a good story (Eve Burst Error!), that's not why I play adventure games. The appeal of Space Quest and Maniac Mansion and Full Throttle wasn't in the reading or watching, but in the doing. As with any game, interaction is a good thing. Story is secondary... or maybe even tertiary. Audiovisuals are important too, after all.

When a developer thinks plot is more important than mood, they're almost certainly destined to fail.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 13, 2011 (04:25 AM)
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Uh.. I thought the entire point with any game was to tell a story. The success of it being dependent on how much the studios would manage to integrate the game-mechanics into the narrative, in order to immerse the player.

..I mean, that's what you have even in Zelda and Mario, or FF - even though they're completely and absolutely games only, they try to invest you in the characters. The jump for Mario with the hand pushing up (that seems to be a higher jump the harder you push the button on the NES-controller), the sticky physics with the turning and the braking.

If it just was something that happened on the screen that paid off in virtual coins if you timed the button-presses right -- none of us would spend any time on this, I think. On games, I mean.

Seriously, though.. I think the problem with L.A. Noire is how it doesn't really make the game's mechanics part of the story. It's just something to do while you get to the next cutscene. I.e., there's a chase, there's a shooting, and it doesn't really seem to factor in what you're doing, or why you did it - or give you any choices, etc. So it plays like those terrible interactive films that were made a while back. You don't have any choices, but you get all the game-y features to fiddle around with.

..and obviously I think Heavy Rain was the opposite of that, and a very good game. And that Mass Effect also was a successful game where it let your character interact in the story. But enough about that..


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 13, 2011 (08:17 AM)
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Uh.. I thought the entire point with any game was to tell a story. The success of it being dependent on how much the studios would manage to integrate the game-mechanics into the narrative, in order to immerse the player.

This is backwards.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: June 13, 2011 (08:43 AM)
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I agree with Marc. Early games pushed the story to the side and were all about gameplay. The only narrative you got was a brief backstory in the instruction manual and your imagination. They added more plot over time, from a few short lines of dialogue somewhere in the game to full animated cutscenes. It feels more like they've integrated narrative into gameplay rather than the other way around.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 13, 2011 (09:25 AM)
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Uh.. I thought the entire point with any game was to tell a story.

Any game? Even Tetris?

What I meant -- and I may edit the review to clarify -- was that a game should never treat gameplay as an obligation. That's what I hated about Heavy Rain. If the guys at Quantic Dream want to make a movie, and they should make a movie and stop wasting my time with a bunch of quick-time events that aren't fun and only exist so Heavy Rain could be released as a PS3 game instead of a three-part miniseries. What I respect about L.A. Noire was that it at least made an effort, and even if the action sequences were repetitive and tiresome, they were still a hell of a lot more fun than Simon Says.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 13, 2011 (10:15 AM)
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We essentially agree with each other, but in a different way. I thought Heavy Rain's sequences were comparable to other adventure games, where the interaction has to do with, as Jason says, menu manipulation and choosing what to say to someone. I had no problem with the interactivity in Heavy Rain and thought it was well used, as per my review of the game. But I am not surprised that it won't appeal to everyone. Adventure games have never appealed to as wide an audience as one might expect. Not that they aren't popular, but they've never had that mainstream attention that FPS, platformers, RPGs, and action games got.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 13, 2011 (12:13 PM)
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I agree with Marc. Early games pushed the story to the side and were all about gameplay. The only narrative you got was a brief backstory in the instruction manual and your imagination. They added more plot over time, from a few short lines of dialogue somewhere in the game to full animated cutscenes. It feels more like they've integrated narrative into gameplay rather than the other way around.

Yeah. Back in the Nintendo days, I can't think of how many games I played where the back of the box and instruction book provided more story than anything in the actual game. And before that, it was a rarity (or computer text adventure) when a game integrated story into gameplay. Unless I was missing all the Shakesperian tragedy in those ghosts chasing Pac-Man to stop him from eating all those dots and pieces of fruit. Which is a positive...I'm dense like that.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 13, 2011 (12:20 PM)
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<em>Any game? Even Tetris?</em>

Sure. You build things, there's structure, there's speed and thinking. That's what made Tetris Worlds awesome, while any amount of clones suck. Because it challenged you to think while you were playing, instead of just offering you a bunch of stuff to do (and where the payoff is exclusively a higher score).

But yeah.. I think we essentially agree with each other as well. I like Heavy Rain because it tells a story on your terms. With interjections much more often than any game so far has even attempted and, you know, failed at. There's non-linear writing here that is so well done that you don't actually notice it when the story has a branch. They have branches in the middle of a scene, for example, where you just move on. That is an achievement, even if it doesn't suck in every player.

(It's also at least one technical reason why it's a ps3 exclusive - the animation splines that are reproduced in real time depending on what you do is difficult to make look good and natural when you need to play a spline to pre-determined points all the time. So actually having it be completely dynamic in many cases, instead of being a set of quick-time events, takes processing power.. not wanting to start some huge discussion, or anything, but there's a reason why there's canned animation on the roof-top chases in L.A. Noire - that's the only way to do it, unless you can let the spline play back and forth, have multiple states the animation can end up on depending on the environment or nearby models, etc. That's.. one of the ways it involves you. Instead of pushing a button, then looking at the results in a cutscene, you end up looking at what the characters are doing, and then nudging them in the directions you want as the events happen. Choreographing the scene to some extent the way you want it to.. I'm sure that's part of the appeal some of us see here, at least :p Obviously I also think the story is good as well, and interesting and all kinds of things, and that helps, of course).

And L.A. Noire is more of an open-world game with a large story and good attempts for adventure gaming with the clues and so on, no..? And I mean, it's not like it couldn't have been made so that it felt less segmented. See that in some of the sequences - when you follow the blood-trail, for example. It's like everything is being nested up - you're going to find something here that turns everything upside down, and you do -- but it's not really connected that well to the rest of the game somehow. You expect "filmatic" direction for how the next few events are set up, but then it sort of keeps having the same setup in parts from start to finish, etc.

Seems to me, anyway..


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 14, 2011 (12:30 PM)
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I think you've made a good point, Fleinn. I hadn't considered the technical side of making those branching moments work.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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