Sorry Cats and Kittens, it’s been far too long since I put something up. Chalk it up to a holiday weekend and Minecraft. Back to the business at hand, I promised that I would be reviewing each of the “desks” that Cole Phelps is assigned to in the video game noir: L.A. Noire. Here is my second installment/fulfillment of that promise.
The second desk in L.A. Noire started with a bang. Suddenly we were thrust into a whirlwind of dead naked bodies (all of them women, mind you (MISOGYNY)) and a hint of a serial killer called “the werewolf.” The women were found with obscenities painted on their bruised and strangled forms with lipstick, and each had a man in her life with motive enough for the harsh treatment. I will say that the nudity as done in a very classy way, and I never felt uncomfortable as I investigated the bodies. As each case unfolded with similar scenarios and culprits for the crime, I began to be really discouraged. I believe this stemmed from the fact that I didn’t believe we were catching the actual killers in each case, we were simply locking up the most reasonable suspect. Understandably, this was all a noir plot build-up to the final case where the player faces off against the Black Dahlia Killer, but these slowly unfolding semi-fulfilling cases were still fuel for frustration.
I felt the sting of video game limitation, my back fully against the wall of what I would do vs. what the character was able to do. It felt ridiculous to continually put away individuals who were obviously being set up by the real killer, but Phelps’ script would not allow for anything else. So basically, the first few murders are genuinely fun to solve, but once you hit the fourth repeat you’ll be ready to ditch the whole thing. I will say that once you get to the end of the line, and Cole is actually trying to find the true murderer, the game begins to shine once more. The developers allow you to solve the riddles given to Officer Phelps based upon how closely you have been paying attention to the historical landmarks in the city. Really fun stuff.
At the end of the day, the Homicide Desk in the video game noir L.A. Noire was excellent in part, but was bogged down by the limitations of the script. We’ll see what the Vice Desk has in store for Detective Phelps.