Gabriel and I play L.A. Noire anytime there is a spare moment: an interview here, a sidequest there, and there’s times where I could not be happier with it. That’s most of the time, actually. I love getting a call when I’m we’re driving somewhere and flipping a quick case to grab some experience and maybe (maybe!) a new suit. I also like going on cases that burn slow, that unfurl their wickedness, that make me look right at it; I like that the game makes it my responsibility.
If you make a bad call in an action sequence, well, here’s a convenient checkpoint for you to get back underway. Fail it too many times, and here’s your free pass. Screw up one of these interviews, the human side of the equation, and the game doesn’t forgive shit. You just haul your tainted, semi-human carcass to the next case and try not to be such a Goddamn fuckup all the time. Where it matters most, this game is playing for keeps.
The thing that is most funny, at least for us, is that finding out and out lies isn’t especially difficult: it’s figuring out whether a person is telling the truth. The way interrogations work is that for every statement, you can choose to believe it, doubt it, or prove that it’s wrong. We’re getting much better about that middle one. There’s often clean tells for that, communicated by the (generally recognized to be awesome, if not unsettling) face capture. But as we’ve become increasingly aware, you can’t make all your calls based on those faces: you need to know what is actually happening, the whole time. You need to be putting it all together. Because there’s times where they give you calmface because they are calm, not because they’re telling the truth, but because they have absolute faith in their exquisitely manufactured lie.
In many ways, this is an adventure game. It’s got its own take on dialogue puzzles, and it’s even got a modernized approach to the “pixel hunt.” The shooting is whatever, the cars drive like aircraft carriers, and every other suspect thinks that he’s gonna be the one to get away on foot; those things all burn away in the rest of the game’s smoldering heat. I think it’s gonna happen; I might actually finish a Rockstar game.