1. I really agree with the classic adventure game feel of LA Noire. It’s a fun game, and very different than a lot of the options available.

  2. The one complaint I have about LA Noire’s adventure game model is that I find it basically impossible not to play it as a pixel hunt because the camera control isn’t exactly robust and so literally planting your feet and looking around the room isn’t much of an option. Stumbling around a room or an area until something vibrates is probably the biggest distraction from the mood of the game I’ve encountered, but I don’t dare turn off the vibration because I’m not happy with my facilities for looking around the honest way.

    This is sort of underscored by the experience of my wife watching along, and since she’s not holding the controller she can’t feel the vibration cues and is left being like “hey, is that–wait, over, uh–what about–“. And I have to be like “no, no, no, YES”. In what is otherwise a pretty decent spectator experience that aspect is distracting for the viewer as well as the player.

    It’s an interface gripe, and I’m hopefully that a refined model of this for a sequel or followup will maybe look at providing an additional first person view mode or something to make it easier to feel like I’m surveying the scene instead of just trying to wander into whatever clues might be occluded by my tasteful suit.

  3. This is sort of underscored by the experience of my wife watching along, and since she’s not holding the controller she can’t feel the vibration cues and is left being like “hey, is that–wait, over, uh–what about–”. And I have to be like “no, no, no, YES”. In what is otherwise a pretty decent spectator experience that aspect is distracting for the viewer as well as the player.

    There’s an audio cue as well (not just the one where the “collect evidence” theme stops when you’ve got everything). It’s a kind of tinkly chiming thing.

  4. I’m maybe seven cases in and I’m still on the fence about the game. The production is top notch. Everything looks so impressive. With the right lighting, it’s easy to just forget that these are rendered characters and not the real thing. Also, as another Rockstar produced interactive fiction about the corruption of the American Dream, it’s pretty engaging.

    Gameplay-wise, I have a few issues. First, there are all the usual physics problems I have with driving in the Rockstar engine– which are magnified by the fact that you can’t just plow through traffic, knock down stoplights and mow down pedestrians without incurring penalties. I’m fine with the idea of the driving like you’re following the rules, but the game isn’t very helpful in that area. So instead of driving around and checking out the landmarks, I’m opting to let my partner drive and stare at a load screen.

    Second is what cortex pointed out about clue finding. I was surprised that there is an option to turn off the vibration. I wouldn’t be able to play the game without it. You can’t just pick up and examine every object, and there is no visual indicator at all that an object can be examined. I’ve walked around tables of junk more than a few times to try to pick up items I thought were related to my search because I was clued in by a vibration, only to find that I’m facing the wrong direction and what I really was supposed to pick up was that wooden spoon that was just a wooden spoon was only dropped there by a designer to make you feel like you’re sifting through everything to find clues. The hunt for clues feels artificial.

    Interviews also have a level of artificiality that wouldn’t bug me so much if we weren’t at sea level in the uncanny valley. In many cases, I just can’t get a read on the person I’m talking to and I’m too stubborn to use intuition points or whatever they’re called.

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