Extra Punctuation: L.A. Noire Is a Bad Adventure Game

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L.A. Noire Is a Bad Adventure Game

Yahtzee doesn't think L.A. Noire did anything new.

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Good idea, but wouldn´t correct application of yelling also make their patience wear thin?

But might I add that the killer forces you to solve each case individually and gives you a set amount of time to do so of each case? Like, Case 1: 12 hours. Case 2: 9 hours etc etc instead of a constantly ticking clock? That way, the designer knows KIND OFF how much time you have on you and can design from that.

awesomeClaw:
Good idea, but wouldn´t correct application of yelling also make their patience wear thin?

But might I add that the killer forces you to solve each case individually and gives you a set amount of time to do so of each case? Like, Case 1: 12 hours. Case 2: 9 hours etc etc instead of a constantly ticking clock? That way, the designer knows KIND OFF how much time you have on you and can design from that.

That's actually not a bad idea, because it would prevent you from blowing all your time on the early cases and not having enough overall time left for the later ones, thus completely screwing over your save. Of course, some people like the idea of a brutal system that can fuck over your current game if you don't have an earlier save. That's why they play Rogue-like games, right? But I don't think that would fly in a mainstream game. :)

This kind of system would actually work pretty well in something like Inform 7. It handles relationships between objects like this in a very interesting and powerful way.

awesomeClaw:
Good idea, but wouldn´t correct application of yelling also make their patience wear thin?

But might I add that the killer forces you to solve each case individually and gives you a set amount of time to do so of each case? Like, Case 1: 12 hours. Case 2: 9 hours etc etc instead of a constantly ticking clock? That way, the designer knows KIND OFF how much time you have on you and can design from that.

It's only one case the killer wants the player to solve. Yes, there are multiple murders, but they were all killed by the same person. The player's means of solving the case is, presumably identifying the killer and perhaps ensuring the authorities have enough evidence to convict them. However, as the protagonist's operating outside the law, it could very end with a kill or be killed climax, which could actually be rather awesome. With just the one case, it'll be easier on the designer's part to guess how much time is appropriate.

I'm rather surprised for some reason that Yahtzee has played Phoenix Wright...

I think the thing that's new about this game is the use of mo-cap to get facial movements down to the point where you (maybe) can determine if a character's lying or hiding something. That sort of thing wouldn't be a route I'd mind seeing future games take.

It's a shame this will probably be cream of the crop in the end again so all games after this one will just be cheap rip-offs from this one

Or god forbid : sequels

Tex Murphy was awesome. I have fond memories of Under a Killing Moon and Pandora Directive.

I always wanted to play the others. Maybe a trip to GOG is in order.

+100 points to Yahtzee for the mention of an early gaming icon most have probably never heard of in this age.

The EA Mobile version of Clue does this. Using randomly generated mysteries and a timer. The game still gets a bit repetitive after awhile.

Sounds like a good idea, and I'm sure several people will love it. I probably wouldn't because anything timed stresses me out.

Kahunaburger:
I think the thing that's new about this game is the use of mo-cap to get facial movements down to the point where you (maybe) can determine if a character's lying or hiding something. That sort of thing wouldn't be a route I'd mind seeing future games take.

But all I hear is that the faces look weird on the comparatively unrealistic bodies and it's blatantly obvious when people are lying to you because they over-act "suspicious" body language. Doesn't sound that great.

Honestly, I didn't mind the complaints about innovation as much I just didn't like the fact that this wasn't really a game.

I hate saying this, but it was actually worse than an interactive movie. While playing it, it felt like the only interactive section of the game were the interviews. Everything else was so damn easy; it literally felt like the push of a couple of buttons. The chases / shootouts were way too on-rails too even resemble a bit of challenge. And the investigation scenes did not involve much intuition, you just go around the crime scene enough times to stop your controller vibrating.

Games like ME2 also have a fair bit of dialogue in them, but had quite a good deal of gameplay in there to help it qualify as an actual game. This, on the other hand, just was pressing a couple of buttons here and there until you can get to the next section.

Of course, the best part of LA Noire was undoubtedly the facial animation. It's kinda annoying, because it's much harder to take cutscenes from other games seriously.

Why isn't a company paying you bucket loads of money to write the story and think up the core game mechanics for that game. Seriously, cause I'd play that adventure game.

Nobody's reading this because of all the E3 coverage ;D

No offense Yahtzee but nothing well ever make you happy, so why bother

Rockstar Games? Fine qualities?

LOLOLOLOLOL

To be honest, I hate the idea of there being any sort of time limit in an adventure game. The beauty of adventure games is being able to relax once in a while, not having to constantly shoot something, run from something, perform leaps and jumps, hide from something, dodge something, or perform some other action associated with quick fingers and reactions. That's what I've loved about adventure games - it's a time when you're giving your reflexes a rest, and instead letting your brain and creative mind take over while you get immersed in a unique and interesting world. Unfortunately, a time limit (no matter how drawn-out it may be) can do nothing but damage that relaxing, laid-back experience that comes with playing an adventure game. It would require the player to do everything quickly, and it would make them feel like they have to rush the thing; something which the adventure game genre simply should not make a player do, in my opinion.

Subsequently, a time limit would ruin almost everything that's great about an adventure game. It would discourage exploration and experimentation, for one thing. Whenever I've played adventure games, from a young age until now, I've always enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny of the environment, and have had fun with trying out random, illogical item combinations purely to see what the character response(s) would be. If I were to have a time limit throughout the entirety of my playtime, it would discourage me from experimenting with and exploring the virtual world around me; I'd be more inclined to simply search for the solution straight away. As a result, I'd probably miss out on a lot of content, and would ultimately be deprived of a lot of the depth within the game and the potential enjoyment that it may hold.

In fact, this is precisely what happened to me when I played the first level of 'Space Quest 1' (which I only played recently). See, with the 'King's Quest' games, I'd like to do the aforementioned and 'look at', 'examine', 'pick up', 'talk to' almost every single bit and piece of the environment. Why? Because a lot of the subsequent responses were often quite funny or interesting. I was looking forward to doing the same thing in 'SQ1'. However, the first thing that I was presented with upon playing was a lovely, big countdown clock in the corner of my screen. This prevented me from going about my usual adventure-gaming routine, which I instead had to exchange for a more rushed and fast-paced approach. Ultimately I was given a less enjoyable experience; the time limit detracted from the whole experience that the first level could have held. I actually felt cheated, to be honest - cheated out of an enjoyable section of the game - to the point where I'd gotten rather pissed off and decided to resort to a walkthrough (something I very, very rarely do). So, to have an entire adventure game be based around a time limit would just suck, for me, and would probably turn the game into something unenjoyable.

Luthir Fontaine:
No offense Yahtzee but nothing well ever make you happy, so why bother

Yeah, this is true. I genuinely don't understand him sometimes. There's about 3 games out there that he seems to like, and what's funny is that Silent Hill 2 is one of them. I'm sorry, but SH2 has a shitload of gameplay problems. It's incredibly easy to rip apart that game, but hey, it's a matter of opinions, I guess.

Fronzel:

Kahunaburger:
I think the thing that's new about this game is the use of mo-cap to get facial movements down to the point where you (maybe) can determine if a character's lying or hiding something. That sort of thing wouldn't be a route I'd mind seeing future games take.

But all I hear is that the faces look weird on the comparatively unrealistic bodies and it's blatantly obvious when people are lying to you because they over-act "suspicious" body language. Doesn't sound that great.

Yeah, the technology is in its infancy - I just think it's cool proof-of-concept. And in terms of people lying in a more "suspicious" fashion, that kind of goes with the territory. It makes more sense for this mechanic to have people act in an exaggerated fashion than it does for them to act in a realistic fashion, because players shouldn't have to be actual interrogators to play.

So whatever happened to fun space game, the game?
I mean I was waiting anxiously for it to get released, but now some adventure game took it's place?

Uhh, well,I actually really like L.A. Noire.
*puts up flame shield*

[

sravankb:

Luthir Fontaine:
No offense Yahtzee but nothing well ever make you happy, so why bother

Yeah, this is true. I genuinely don't understand him sometimes. There's about 3 games out there that he seems to like, and what's funny is that Silent Hill 2 is one of them. I'm sorry, but SH2 has a shitload of gameplay problems. It's incredibly easy to rip apart that game, but hey, it's a matter of opinions, I guess.

I agree though funny and makes you think at times he doesnt really stand for anything just against everything with 3 expections

Portal
Sands of time
Silent hill 2

good games in thier own merit (didnt care for silent hill or sands but that was me) but most of the time he just complains about one thing after another...

Eofofo:
Uhh, well,I actually really like L.A. Noire.
*puts up flame shield*

Your in good company i thought it was awsome

sravankb:

Luthir Fontaine:
No offense Yahtzee but nothing well ever make you happy, so why bother

Yeah, this is true. I genuinely don't understand him sometimes. There's about 3 games out there that he seems to like, and what's funny is that Silent Hill 2 is one of them. I'm sorry, but SH2 has a shitload of gameplay problems. It's incredibly easy to rip apart that game, but hey, it's a matter of opinions, I guess.

No there are 3 games out there that he loves, and many others he's obviously found enjoyable in his reviews.

My thoughts on LA Noire whenever I saw a commercial was "where's the game? They're just showing a bunch of dumb cutscenes". But I guess that was the game. I'm pretty sure I won't bother buying it now.

I would like to bring up the game "the experiment" or "experience 112". http://www.giantbomb.com/the-experiment/61-12735/

The game is not exciting, but it does investigation rather well. A lot of the game is about reading peoples correspondence, diaries and other such things. To get to that you need passwords and login names. These are gotten from either characters, code breaking, the aforementioned investigations or from finding it in the game world. Here comes the kicker though. You can't navigate around the world on your own. You are trapped (apparently in a security booth) and the only way for you to get information is through cameras. These are also your only means to communicate which gets a bit odd. Anyway the cool thing is that the game doesn't hold your hand. There are heaps of information to miss and if you miss it you may not get the crucial information or ever figure out what is happening. There are puzzles to solve and things you have to do, but the most enjoyment I got from the game was figuring out the mysteries hidden in the computer. Affairs, betrayals, dark secrets and of course what the hell is going on.

The first time I felt the controller vibrate in LA Noire my mind immediately went to The Experiment and that clue I nearly missed.

Wasn't that old adventure game, D, based somewhere around this idea? Of course, the game itself had an atrocious plot but you had a limited time to complete the game, aside from the death events you could encounter. As far as I can tell, while it did increase the tension it ended up working that each time you failed you had to redo everything, only faster. Progressive, repetition based gaming.

Sounds like a great game idea but I really really want to play "Mankind has yet to recognize my genius."

Luthir Fontaine:
No offense Yahtzee but nothing well ever make you happy, so why bother

There are games he likes. And they aren't always good ones either... like No More Heroes: a game with an even more pointless sandbox than LA Noir.

I kind of feel the same way about LA Noir.
I also didn't like their scheme of making gameplay content pre-order "bonus" dlc. So I had a peeve about this game from the start but now that I'm playing the rental, I'm glad I only rented it. It seems like they either came up with the new creepy face (NCF) system for a poker game or something then said "hey let's make a whole open world game with it" or they came up with it for a whole range of interesting uses in the game but then cut everything but investigation and interrogation out. And for the interrogation, what's the use of all the fancy tech if we're only going to get the same three choices each time. They give a good amount of output but not a lot of room for input.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
It gives me this horrible feeling that gaming is just going to drift around in the same cycle for the rest of eternity, rather than continually evolving. Forgetting about entire genres while everyone rips off the same dreary tripe, then rediscovering them for the novelty points before remembering how much we enjoyed making lots of money off the easy mediocre bollocks and starting the cycle again.

Forgive me if I'm wrong but that seems to be what gaming has been doing for a while. Even when something that feels really original comes around, it's usually based on a very simple and old mechanic.
As much as I love Katamari and as original as it seemed(to begin with), they're really just trippy driving games.
As great as Elder Scrolls games can seem, they're a lot like Zelda aren't they.
And as crazy as Portal is, it's just an fps that's been made into a puzzle game.

sravankb:

Luthir Fontaine:
No offense Yahtzee but nothing well ever make you happy, so why bother

Yeah, this is true. I genuinely don't understand him sometimes. There's about 3 games out there that he seems to like, and what's funny is that Silent Hill 2 is one of them. I'm sorry, but SH2 has a shitload of gameplay problems. It's incredibly easy to rip apart that game, but hey, it's a matter of opinions, I guess.

How come people take him , or to be more precise, his Zero Punctuation-Persona so seriously? Those reviews are mostly for the fun of watching a game being ripped apart, so naturally, his critizism, while, and this is what still impresses me a lot,in most cases, not unjustified, is blown out of proportion in contrast to the more kind aspects of the critique (not review). It helps noticing, that in many of his videos he doesn't state a game is utterly bad, just that it's pretty much mediocre and nothing exceptional and he admits liking (or not hating) parts of a lot of them.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
It gives me this horrible feeling that gaming is just going to drift around in the same cycle for the rest of eternity, rather than continually evolving. Forgetting about entire genres while everyone rips off the same dreary tripe, then rediscovering them for the novelty points before remembering how much we enjoyed making lots of money off the easy mediocre bollocks and starting the cycle again.

Generally speaking, it has been my experience (and I'm as old as the hills) that you don't see paradigm shifting games until there is new technology to be exploited. Until that happens, you really are limited by the medium itself to the 'same cycle', with the hope that someone will come up with a fresh take on the 'same dreary tripe'.

That is not to say that it's impossible to come up with something totally new within the current limits of the medium, just that it seems that new technology not only allows for innovation, but also spurs it.

It's a sad fact perhaps, but there are enough quality gaming products out there to keep me entertained, so I'm not too terribly broken up about it.

Kahunaburger:

Fronzel:

Kahunaburger:
I think the thing that's new about this game is the use of mo-cap to get facial movements down to the point where you (maybe) can determine if a character's lying or hiding something. That sort of thing wouldn't be a route I'd mind seeing future games take.

But all I hear is that the faces look weird on the comparatively unrealistic bodies and it's blatantly obvious when people are lying to you because they over-act "suspicious" body language. Doesn't sound that great.

Yeah, the technology is in its infancy - I just think it's cool proof-of-concept. And in terms of people lying in a more "suspicious" fashion, that kind of goes with the territory. It makes more sense for this mechanic to have people act in an exaggerated fashion than it does for them to act in a realistic fashion, because players shouldn't have to be actual interrogators to play.

But if it's that easy to tell if they're lying, where's the game? Would it really be different if the story included some sort of supernatural ability to detect lies that made the screen flash? Both are obvious "press button to continue" cues. What's the point?

Simonism451:

sravankb:

Luthir Fontaine:
No offense Yahtzee but nothing well ever make you happy, so why bother

Yeah, this is true. I genuinely don't understand him sometimes. There's about 3 games out there that he seems to like, and what's funny is that Silent Hill 2 is one of them. I'm sorry, but SH2 has a shitload of gameplay problems. It's incredibly easy to rip apart that game, but hey, it's a matter of opinions, I guess.

How come people take him , or to be more precise, his Zero Punctuation-Persona so seriously? Those reviews are mostly for the fun of watching a game being ripped apart, so naturally, his critizism, while, and this is what still impresses me a lot,in most cases, not unjustified, is blown out of proportion in contrast to the more kind aspects of the critique (not review). It helps noticing, that in many of his videos he doesn't state a game is utterly bad, just that it's pretty much mediocre and nothing exceptional and he admits liking (or not hating) parts of a lot of them.

ZP is a performance, but I think you're underestimating Yahtzee's approach to them;
image

Fronzel:

Kahunaburger:

Fronzel:

But all I hear is that the faces look weird on the comparatively unrealistic bodies and it's blatantly obvious when people are lying to you because they over-act "suspicious" body language. Doesn't sound that great.

Yeah, the technology is in its infancy - I just think it's cool proof-of-concept. And in terms of people lying in a more "suspicious" fashion, that kind of goes with the territory. It makes more sense for this mechanic to have people act in an exaggerated fashion than it does for them to act in a realistic fashion, because players shouldn't have to be actual interrogators to play.

But if it's that easy to tell if they're lying, where's the game? Would it really be different if the story included some sort of supernatural ability to detect lies that made the screen flash? Both are obvious "press button to continue" cues. What's the point?

The point is that, to my knowledge, this is the first game that made paying attention to facial cues a mechanic. I agree with you that L.A. Noire is not the be-all-end-all epitome of motion capture in games, but it is an excellent proof of concept for that tool. That's innovation, in my book.

Dorkmaster Flek:

awesomeClaw:
Good idea, but wouldn´t correct application of yelling also make their patience wear thin?

But might I add that the killer forces you to solve each case individually and gives you a set amount of time to do so of each case? Like, Case 1: 12 hours. Case 2: 9 hours etc etc instead of a constantly ticking clock? That way, the designer knows KIND OFF how much time you have on you and can design from that.

That's actually not a bad idea, because it would prevent you from blowing all your time on the early cases and not having enough overall time left for the later ones, thus completely screwing over your save. Of course, some people like the idea of a brutal system that can fuck over your current game if you don't have an earlier save. That's why they play Rogue-like games, right? But I don't think that would fly in a mainstream game. :)

This kind of system would actually work pretty well in something like Inform 7. It handles relationships between objects like this in a very interesting and powerful way.

I also like this idea, but I wonder if maybe you could have an option to choose one system over the other. This would mean that "easy mode" would have a clock for case by case basis, but "Hard Mode" would just have one ultimate countdown. That way the hardcore players could gamble one the whole game. It would require some additional writing, but not really too much more. The hardcore version you only receive one message from the kller about a deadline, while with the other one, you would get several.

Kahunaburger:

Fronzel:

Kahunaburger:

Yeah, the technology is in its infancy - I just think it's cool proof-of-concept. And in terms of people lying in a more "suspicious" fashion, that kind of goes with the territory. It makes more sense for this mechanic to have people act in an exaggerated fashion than it does for them to act in a realistic fashion, because players shouldn't have to be actual interrogators to play.

But if it's that easy to tell if they're lying, where's the game? Would it really be different if the story included some sort of supernatural ability to detect lies that made the screen flash? Both are obvious "press button to continue" cues. What's the point?

The point is that, to my knowledge, this is the first game that made paying attention to facial cues a mechanic. I agree with you that L.A. Noire is not the be-all-end-all epitome of motion capture in games, but it is an excellent proof of concept for that tool. That's innovation, in my book.

But where can you go in that direction? You said earlier the over-acting was necessary because you can't expect the player to actually be a competent interrogator. Doesn't that leave this new mechanic forever blunt and overstated?

Fronzel:

Kahunaburger:

Fronzel:

But if it's that easy to tell if they're lying, where's the game? Would it really be different if the story included some sort of supernatural ability to detect lies that made the screen flash? Both are obvious "press button to continue" cues. What's the point?

The point is that, to my knowledge, this is the first game that made paying attention to facial cues a mechanic. I agree with you that L.A. Noire is not the be-all-end-all epitome of motion capture in games, but it is an excellent proof of concept for that tool. That's innovation, in my book.

But where can you go in that direction? You said earlier the over-acting was necessary because you can't expect the player to actually be a competent interrogator. Doesn't that leave this new mechanic forever blunt and overstated?

You really only have to go that route if you make progress in the game dependent on the player being able to tell if a character's lying by picking up on facial cues. There are other ways you could use the technology from a pure storytelling perspective, esp. for games that center on stuff like inter-character interaction or intrigue. Allowing actors to give a better performance can only be a positive thing.

I'd also imagine that you would see future games implement this mechanic more effectively in general (i.e., the level of subtlety players can deal with, etc.) once there's a knowledge base on how to use motion capture in games. The problem with breaking new ground is that you don't really have any idea what works and what doesn't work in practice.

My answer to this is: "Who cares?"

Again, LA Confidential is brought up. How many gamers have seen LA Confidential, and even if they did, could you PLAY LA Confidential?

Then let's get to all these adventure games you've mentioned. I haven't played one of them, and I also have yet to play a Pheonix Wright. part of an opinion has to deal with experience, but I think there are more people who play games and have not come across all the elements Yahtzee brings up. There's nothing new under the sun, and even if you point to a games unoriginality doesn't make it unworthy of attention.

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