So what is L.A. Noire?
Part crime thriller, part adventure game, L.A. Noire is an interactive detective story set in the classic "noir" period of the late 1940's. You are Cole Phelps, low-ranking beat cop in the corruption-riddled LAPD, out to solve cases and maybe bust a few heads on your way to the top. Your success will actually depend much more on your observation and critical thinking as a player than quick reflexes and gunplay.
Developer Team Bondi (Sydney, Australia) invested heavily in facial and motion capture to blur the lines between cinema and gaming. Animations are incredibly realistic, and many cases will hinge on your ability to "read" suspects and judge whether they're telling the truth. The game also shows clear influence from publisher Rockstar -- you'll feel hints of Grand Theft Auto as you explore a perfectly recreated (pre-freeway) Los Angeles.
Released in May 2011, the game had favorable critical reviews (89 Metascore) and great commercial success (4.5 million copies sold to date), but sadly Team Bondi was shut down later that year amid personal and financial disputes. L.A. Noire isn't like any other game from 2011, and one of our favorites of the year.
What's the deal with this LP?
I'm doing this with my friend Matt, aka Mott514. L.A. Noire is one of his top games of 2011, and he's the one behind the wheel. I've never played or seen this before, so I'm going in completely blind. Videos will consist primarily of him attempting to engage me in intellectually stimulating conversations about game design and/or writing while I make fun of the game and/or him.
To that end:
NO SPOILERS OF ANY KIND. Again, I (the passenger, not the player) am going in blind, and while my natural inclination may be towards mockery I do want to give the game a fair chance to impress me, and Matt tells me that it's got quite a good story. So, no spoilers, even behind tags.
In general, this will be fundamentally a conversational as opposed to informative LP. Our primary goal is to be witty or, failing that, interesting, but we make no guarantee that we'll be talking about the game at all times. It's a long haul from beat cop to
Oh, and our plan is to release approximately two videos per week, though not on any regular schedule. We know that means it will take literally months to finish, but the pacing reflects our average availability for recording time.
I'll believe it when I see it, kid
You want some videos? Here are some fist humps on the pad which may or may not have copped the full Broderick. Hell if I know.
|Chapter 0: Beat Cop|
|Part 0: Introduction and Tutorial Cases||Youtube||Polsy|
|Part 1: Buyer Beware||Youtube||Polsy|
|Chapter 1: Traffic|
|Part 2: The Driver's Seat|
In which Cole joins Traffic, investigates a parking violation and gets sassed by a couple of lowlifes.
|Part 3: The Consul's Car|
In which Cole refuses to get off an old coot's lawn, decides not to investigate a pedophile, and totally burns up the quarter mile.
|Part 3b: missed interrogation||Youtube|
|Part 4: A Marriage Made In Heaven|
In which Cole successfully finds the front door of the police station, shoots a petty criminal in the face, and tries killing a hostage himself just to see what happens.
|Part 5: A Slip of the Tongue|
In which Cole understands what communism is, discovers that "going and looking" is not an acceptable investigative method, and shoots a fuckton of dudes in the face cause, you know, why not.
|Part 5b: No, seriously, fuck this case (1-star run)||Youtube|
|Part 6a: The Fallen Idol (Opening)|
In which Cole refuses to jump off a cliff, pretends to be in Assassin's Creed, and knocks a guy out cold with a fucking headbutt.
|Part 6b: The Fallen Idol (Finale)|
In which Cole learns that poison may be habit forming, plays Good Cop/Fucking Awesome Cop with Bekowski, and gains so much weight that he starts destroying floors with his every step.
|Traffic Free Roam|
In which we completely ignore what Cole's doing on screen, almost have an intelligent conversation about game design and the creation of atmosphere, and then completely derail somewhere around minute 36 and start babbling about couches.
|Chapter 2: Homicide|
|Part 7: The Red Lipstick Murder In which Cole trades in his partner for an older, crappier model, utterly fails at being Columbo, and yells at a grieving widower, just for a change of pace.|
|Part 8: The Golden Butterfly In which Cole turns his driving around 180°, acts even more like a know-it-all prick than usual, and nearly gets run over by a train.|
|Part 9: The Silk Stocking Murder In which Cole goes on the world's worst treasure hunt, proves himself the model of an educated officer, and misses an absolutely crucial point about timetables.|
|Part 10a: The White Shoe Slaying (Opening)|
In which Cole fights with Rusty about whose pet theory is more wrong, investigates the bedroom of a small child just on the off chance, and magically knows the answers to questions he never asked.
|Part 10b: The White Shoe Slaying (Finale)|
In which Cole discovers that Rusty has total physical invulnerability, that his police car is not a monster truck, and that "shotgun diplomacy" is not a metaphor.
|Part 11a: The Studio Secretary Murder (Opening)|
In which Cole continues to be the only person in Los Angeles to know who Percy Shelley is, takes a halfhearted stance against police brutality, and discovers that his cunt is mortgaged (sic).
|Part 11b: The Studio Secretary Murder (Finale)|
In which Cole pointedly avoids revealing his own shoe size, gets in some serious exercise, and finally finds someone who'll shout right back at him.
|Part 12: The Quarter Moon Murders|
In which Cole swings from a chandelier, does some urban exploration and goes punting on the river Tar. Then he catches a serial killer.
|Homicide Free Roam|
In which we speculate on the nature of werewolves, share our final impressions of the Homicide arc, and fail spectacularly at hailing a cab.
|Homicide Free Roam (Full) [No Commentary]||Youtube|
|Chapter 3: Vice|
|Part 13: The Black Caesar|
In which Cole chases a guy, chases another guy, and just for a change of pace chases a third guy.
|Part 14: Reefer Madness|
In which good, young, moral American citizen Cole Phelps finds himself seduced by the lure of The Reefer -- gasp in horror as he degenerates from an upright police officer, defender of Our Fair City, into an oversexed, leering, mass-murdering psycopath, all because he could not resist... Reefer Madness.
|Part 15: The Set Up|
In which Cole learns what a "Tommie" is, demonstrates the worst possible way to act inconspicuous, and follows the world's least plausible lead.
|Part 16a: The Naked City (Opening)|
In which a bizarre, mirror-universe Cole tries to be sneaky and hide information, keeps his cool with an impostor war veteran, and doesn't get into a single high-speed collision.
|Part 16b: The Naked City (Finale)|
In which Cole makes up in spades for the terrible driving he didn't do last time, conducts an interview while concussed, and sets a new world record for Longest Distance Jumped to Conclusion.
|Part 17: Manifest Destiny|
In which Cole tries to frighten a mob boss, reunites with some old enemies, and
|Vice Free Roam|
In which we predict almost every point made in the thread since the last update, drive a genuine Woody, and find our immersion cruelly shattered.
|Chapter 4: Arson|
|Part 18: The Gas Man|
In which Cole tries to roll with the punches, conducts a science fair experiment and destroys some new GI housing.
|Part 19: A Walk In Elysian Fields|
In which Cole tramps through a flooded basement without getting his suit wet, asks a blatantly corrupt businessman whether he's corrupt, and makes it rain.
|Part 20: House of Sticks|
In which our hero knew the dame was trouble from the moment she walked in his office, displays magical powers to create impossibly damning evidence out of thin air, and avoids a gun fight by throwing Rock.
|Part 21: A Polite Invitation|
In which our hero kicks out a child prostitute, actually does some god damn research for his god damn self, and pretends he's in a cover-based tactical shooter.
|Part 22: Nicholson Electroplating|
In which Cole cracks what is literally the world's easiest code, knocks his own hat off, and dramatically weakens security at a major US defense contractor.
|Part 23: A Different Kind of War|
In which matters are brought to their conclusion.
|Arson Free Roam|
In which we ruminate extensively on the successes and failures of L.A. Noire, choose the winners of the contest, and bid the game farewell in the only appropriate manner.