Warning, this post might be a bit biased because I had a bitchin' migraine yesterday.
Gaming with a migraine is probably not the smartest idea but I was really bored after spending most of the day in the dark, with a pillow over my head waiting for Athena fully grown and armoured to pop out. When I was seriously starting to consider ramming my head into a wall to knock myself unconscious I decided instead to google "migraine home remedies" and found some suggestions, so, I did what any sane person with an insane headache would do, I tried them all.
So after a bag of Salt & Vinegar chips, a Dr. Pepper, a bag of ice on my head, 2 ginger capsules a big glass of water, some painkillers and a nap my headache receded from "vise slowly squeezing my brain out of my nostrils" to "why is my brain punching my skull?"
Since my head was untouchable I couldn't stand to wear my glasses, which means I couldn't read the Bioshock book I had ordered last week and JUST got in yesterday..except I read enough to find out Andrew Ryan was Russian...What? I don't know why that actually surprised me as much as it did, maybe it was the headache.
So instead of reading my book I decided to play a game. Of all the games I have for some strange reason I chose L.A. Noire.
(Probably because I've got Miracle of Sound's "Sweet L.A." stuck on repeat in my head)
I bought the game when it came out of course, and the Rockstar Pass for all the DLC and the game guide for when I can't read facial ticks so well. What? I suck at reading people, my kids get away with murder. First time I played I discovered how cool Black & White mode was and I was also taken in by the whole "Hey, I know that guy he was on that show that one time, you know, that show!" Thanks to the cool facial rendering tech. I played the first few cases, drove a few cars badly and then went back to playing whatever the hell it was I was playing back then. Haven't touched L.A. Noire since.
But yesterday, I just felt like playing. Wow...this is NOT the game I played the first time. I went from thinking the game was absolutely amazingly awesome golly gee great! To "meh, its a'ight".
First of all I discovered that Black and White SUCKS if you're trying to find clues. Seriously, blood on the pavement is kind of a bitch to see when its all shades of grey. I was looking for grey on black, it was not helping my headache at all. So I switched to color, Hey look, there's the blood I was looking for....like all over the place. So while cool looking, playing in B&W is dumb.
I continue with my case and I start questioning some guy and he looks...weird...not guilty, or shifty or honest....weird. Something just doesn't look right and I can't place it. I ask my questions, and tell my partner to drive to the next destination. There I'm talking to some chick and she's very obviously lying, she's looking away, her eyes shifting from place to place, very obvious and very realistic. That's when i realize what is so weird. Her hair looks like its sculpted cement on her head, her body is stiff and awkward and her dress looks painted on her body. While her face looks great, the rest is terrible. Then I start to notice that EVERYONE looks that way, Phelps (your character) looks slightly better but that's probably just bias cause I like the big dork and his snazzy blue suit. He won my heart when after his hat got shot off in a shoot out, he actually stopped to pick it up on the way to chase some guy who had a hostage. You go with your Indiana Jones hat fetish. Cannot...function...without...Fedora....
Actually now that I think about it, the faces don't look that great. While they look like the actors that voice them, and they show expressions and such, they still look slightly like melting wax masks, and all the chicks seem to look the same, bad scuplted hair and big lips. What's up with that?
So I decide to move on from creepy Uncanny interviews and go for a little street crime. That was great, til I had to drive. Now, I suck at vehicle sections. I can't tell you how many horses I have killed in Red Dead Redemption, or how many tries it took me to jump the Pisswash Hurdle in Borderlands (btw, I am now the designated driver in all Borderlands games at my house, yeah, I'm that good :P ) But the cars in this game are a new level of suck even for me.
Seriously, took me about 30 tries to chase a car like 4 blocks and into a parking garage. Hell I had trouble getting out of the damn parking lot. To hell with achievements, or completion, if my partner can't drive, I'm not doing it. Its like driving a car with no tires or power steering. Why must games force me to play vehicle sections? If I wanted to drive a car I would have bought a racing game for God's sake.
So, now that the shiny newness has worn off, I'm not really loving La Noire. Its just...Its not bad or anything, its just, average. Also that whole deep "read their faces thing" total crap shoot, come on, EVERYONE looks shifty and like they're lying and what the hell is the difference between "doubt" and "lie"? No matter what I pick Cole flips the hell out and gets in people's faces. Not to mention that "doubt" and "lie" kinda fall along the same lines meaning its pointless to have 2 options for lying. Maybe they could have named them differently like "hard ass" and "utter dick"?