Let me start with how right after I wrote my last post, I went and bought five games from Humble Bundle. If we were to track my progress on this endeavor, it would mean I have completed negative four games.
This kind of set back made me start thinking: what is the most efficient way to tackle my Steam library? Right now I am running with the idea that I need to finish all thirty-seven games I have started and not gone back to. I can’t promise I’ll stick with that. My other thought was to play some of what I know to be short games, so I might go back and forth.
So to start this off, I went back to a game that I have never consistently played since getting it : L.A. Noire. After playing so much of the Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright crossover, I felt like playing a game where I could constantly call people out on their lies.
While I do enjoy solving mysteries in video games more than just about anything else, I was always a little put off by how much it looked like any other Rockstar game. Grand Theft Auto has never been my thing between my incapability of driving real cars in a video game and my conscience for hurting fictional characters. But after watching someone on Twitch play it, I became intrigued and picked it up during the Steam Summer Sale.
While I enjoy more than I ever expected to when the game first came out, I still can’t play it for long. There is not a lot of variety in the game play. I get a kick out of finding clues and interrogating people but that is really the only thing that makes it a detective game. The rest involves driving around, responding to street crimes with a gun as your only solution, and wandering the city. I just want to answer a call that isn’t an armed crime. With the variety of crimes in the main cases so far, I don’t know why they couldn’t at least pick three types of street crimes. It all gets boring.
The perfectionist in me gets frustrated as well. The game has no manual save, so if don’t call a suspect out on their lie and want to restart, you have to replay from wherever the last autosave was. There is a workaround where the game saves if you change your display between color and black-and-white, but sometimes a piece of interrogation catches me off-guard and I have to decide if replaying the mission is worth it. Call it a case of entitlement, but I need to have manual saves in an open world game where the checkpoints are not clear. When playing a JRPG, I have an idea when I’ll reach a save point and can accept waiting because it adds to the challenge and strategy of the genre. Here it is unnecessary.
I do love playing a detective game without many modern-day conveniences. I have played some of the Sherlock Holmes games, but with all of the science involved and the ability to fast-travel, you never feel taxed from dealing with the time period. In L.A. Noire, you are confronted with all of the problems of 1947 technology. If you need to get information from someone at the police department, you either have to physically drive there–something I can never do without killing a pedestrian–or find a police phone. I have never felt the difficulty of no cell phones (or even car phones!) so earnestly before.
Though if I am to believe this game, 1940s police cars are indestructible. Trust me, I have proof.
Now I promise that is all of the general griping and complimenting I will do about the game. This game is sure to be played sporadically, but who knows? I’m hoping to beat Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney tonight, so I might want to yell, “Objection!” just a little bit more. Stay tuned.