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

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A game like you're talking about would have been easier to sell decades ago, when Zork levels of graphics were still a pitch that could be sold. And yeah, by Zork level of graphics I mean "blue screen of death".

LA Noire and the use of a brilliant new approach to graphics/another-fucking-gimmick-thats-as-exciting-as-prince-of-persia's-rotoscoping-grrrr (you decide!) meant that any attempt at an enormous amount of depth through dialogue choices would create a fuckton of spoken unique dialogue, stat of the art lipsync porn and an exploded budget for what could wind up being a shorter game.

On the other hand, if it dated-but-stylised graphics (JSRF sort of cell shading to hide low polycounts and motion capture) and only written text with almost nothing spoken the project could be done since the bulk of the money would pay the writers.

Sadly it'd still be a fuck ton of work and hard to co-ordinate so many writers and test each of the game forks. Plus since it doesn't have space marine with a hormone imbalance it'd be slated by internet mouthbreathers as gay and possibly banned in Australia if the sex scenes don't give accurate and acceptably large bra sizes...

ALSO: No Discworld Noir versus LA Noire comparison?

...

Fight for glory:

Luthir Fontaine:
[

sravankb:

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...

also

TF2 (kinda)
half life

hes just verry picky is all. :)

To picky...I would rather deal with a fan boy...at least they have like something and put stock in it..hes just like pissin on everything hahah

A sequel to Phoenix Wright, Miles Edgeworth, actually implements the clue combining system that Yahtzee outlines. It's called Logic in the game, and combining facts from your observations guides you and helps you to construct arguments.
EDIT: Bloody ninjas. But yeah, check it out. It makes the debating way less frustrating than PW, and Edgeworth is a lot more suave than Phoenix

Your adventure game sounds an awful lot like the early 80's Infocom text adventure titled, appropriately, Deadline. So no, you didn't think of it first! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadline_(video_game)

I like the sound of that bunny rabbit shotgun game. Do you have a publisher for that?

jck4332:
I'm rather surprised for some reason that Yahtzee has played Phoenix Wright...

They're fun games with a rather good story. I'm more surprised that there's people out there who haven't played them...

your game idea sounds like phoenix wright except less linear and more time constrictive...

i approve. make it so.

This is as ridiculous as talking about books not having original ideas. I really am growing tired of these older man children preaching about a lack of innovation. The men (and yes its mainly men) bitching about games the most are the ones who aren't creating them. I know they idea may be that you're never too old for games, but I'm starting to feel like a line should be drawn for people like Yahtzee. His consistent trolling about games is targeting towards an age group that aren't aging well. I would rather focus my attention in the younger crowds. The kids that are the age were we started playing games. Why not engage and challenge them and get a working demographic going?

I think I'll write about that instead of reading another fanboy rant from a 40 year old about the next Zelda.

"My hope is that L.A. Noire's example will lead to a resurgence of games driven by exploration, inventory and dialogue puzzles with more creative plots and refinement of the mechanics. Making the cases a bit more organic and a bit less linear with more appropriate opportunities for failure might be a good start."

This really is the crux of the matter for my money.

I really enjoyed LA Noire and its mainly for the reasons of it being a return to a somewhat more thinking style of game and it does indeed provide a little hope for some better examples going forward.

I wont say you have been too hard on it because thats your style and I generally agree with everything you write.

I would however say that almost all games represent evolution not revolution. Sure now and again we get revolution, Deus Ex, Dune 2, GTA and the like. But more often than not games creep forward a little at a time and thats what LA Noire has done and it has crept in a very promising direction.

Well Yahtzee gets paid to shit on good games so whatever. But yes - LA Noire owes a fuck of a lot to LA Confidential.

Eh, I think Yahtzee's being a bit unreasonable with the comparisons to 'LA Confidential.' 'Noire' is a 1940s detective/police story, and there are quite a few factors about that setting that simply don't get changed in even a particularly original story.

Yes, the main character was wearing a fedora. That's kinda given. It was about as common among detectives (and even the general populace) as helmets were in the Army. And yes, lots of people smoke. That's also given, considering this was in the same decade as a war where we distributed cigarettes among our armed forces as freely as we did food and water.

The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown were both noir films about a private investigator (who's also a former cop) who becomes embroiled in a situation much more dire than he's initially led to believe, and they end with the status quo restored in the most tragic of ways. They have some traits in common, certainly, but I'd never consider them interchangeable.

And similarly, if you're going to criticize similarities between works within the same genre, it's important to distinguish between what's an unoriginal feature and what's just a staple of the genre. I wouldn't encourage a WWII movie about the Western front to replace the Wehrmacht with the Zulu for the sake of 'originality,' nor would I expect something from genuine film noir (and that's not a 'No True Scotsman' argument) to give its protagonist a beret and an opium pipe.

thenewprince:
This is as ridiculous as talking about books not having original ideas. I really am growing tired of these older man children preaching about a lack of innovation. The men (and yes its mainly men) bitching about games the most are the ones who aren't creating them.

Erm...well, yeah. That's how pretty much all criticism works. For one thing, there are a lot more consumers of goods than there are producers, but more importantly, why does it matter whether or not the critics are game designers themselves? Roger Ebert is one of the most well-regarded film critics on Earth, and he's not a director.

And, on an ironic note, Yahtzee is a game designer, albeit on a pretty small scale, somewhat putting a hole through your complaint.

thenewprince:
I know they idea may be that you're never too old for games, but I'm starting to feel like a line should be drawn for people like Yahtzee.

Gotta love that 'Fox News' mindset: video games are nothing but children's toys. I mean, it involves a controller! How many mature, adult hobbies involve a controller? Who cares if a game has a moving orchestral score, stunning visuals, and an exciting story? Apparently, including an interactive (read: fun) element automatically renders those features moot.

thenewprince:
His consistent trolling about games is targeting towards an age group that aren't aging well. I would rather focus my attention in the younger crowds. The kids that are the age were we started playing games. Why not engage and challenge them and get a working demographic going?

Simple enough: because if you spit in the faces of your established customers and then rely on a business model that requires them to buy your products for their children...you can see how that could go wrong.

thenewprince:
I think I'll write about that instead of reading another fanboy rant from a 40 year old about the next Zelda.

You know that he's not even thirty, right? Or do you just perceive everyone who's out of their college years to be 'somewhere around 40'?

thenewprince:
I know they idea may be that you're never too old for games, but I'm starting to feel like a line should be drawn for people like Yahtzee.

"Gotta love that 'Fox News' mindset: video games are nothing but children's toys. I mean, it involves a controller! How many mature, adult hobbies involve a controller? Who cares if a game has a moving orchestral score, stunning visuals, and an exciting story? Apparently, including an interactive (read: fun) element automatically renders those features moot.."

Couldnt agree more Char Nobyl!

Not to mention, has he ever seen a Yahtzee review before? He even cans the games he likes, its called a "reviewing style".

If you take everything literally newbprince... Then I think your a really intelligent person who fully thinks through what you post and carefully researches your topics.

*cough*

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

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

Read Full Article

I think you're absolutely right but let's remember this is an ADVENTURE GAME being done by a completely mainstream developer (well, a branch of one) and it is being sold to the MAINSTREAM. I think considering that, it's amazing an actual playable game came out at the end. Yes it's on rails, yes it's easy as fuck to find clues, but as someone else said it's a step in the right direction, away from your endless GTA/COD clones.

Well after L.A. Noire the next game will be: Lie to Me the Game.

Cause what much else is there really left to do with having this kind of facial empression thing?

I guess we are gonna see a few detective games the next time...

As I found myself reading and agreeing with the points made in the article I realised that I was automatically reading it with Yahtzee's voice.

As soon as you mentioned Time Limits, my mind immediately went to Dead Rising. Or rather, both of them. Those games did Time Limits very well, in my opinion. Not perfect, no (as you pointed out in your review) but well enough. I would enjoy an adventure game that employed a similar mechanic.

Also, if this does cause adventure games to make a resurgence, I do hope they can work more sensible logic into some of the puzzles, instead of just poking around with every item in your bag until you randomly find the one that works. Perhaps the time limits will take care of that.

Oh, and a very minor nit-pick:

A writer uses cliché as a softening agent to introduce something the audience isn't too familiar with.

That would be a trope. Things like an the Wise Old Master or the whole "it was all just a dream" angle, or the big red devil with horns and goat legs are tropes, that act as a point of reassurance or familiar territory. Something that doesn't need to be explained because the audience already knows.

A trope, done badly, is a cliché.

Im willing to bet the guy who thought up la noire wasnt thinking of adventure games at the time.

Luthir Fontaine:

Fight for glory:

Luthir Fontaine:
[

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...

also

TF2 (kinda)
half life

hes just verry picky is all. :)

To picky...I would rather deal with a fan boy...at least they have like something and put stock in it..hes just like pissin on everything hahah

its part of his peesona i doubt he actually is this picky. he wouldnt play half the games hes played if he was.

You're not obligated to talk to public investigators either.

The big flaw with the game design of Yahtzee's suggestion (although a lot of people get off on fake difficulty so many folks may prefer the game for this reason) is punitive replaying. You wouldn't end up just losing a few minutes as you reloaded the last checkpoint and retried a battle. You'd lose your entire gameplay experience. Your first playthrough you wouldn't even know how much more time you would need and how badly you had fucked up. You might play through from the start several times with hours of things to do before your time is up. This would quickly make most people say,
"Fuck it. I don't know what to do"
and either quit playing or look up a walkthrough.

I like the game idea, but instead of having a physical in game clock, perhaps you should have like a set number of actions you can take in one room. For instance, "1 hour" could be the time spent examining 6 pieces of evidence on a crime scene. That way, the investigative gameplay is all about prioritizing which part of evidence or which questions in an interrogation are the most important, while at the same time you're given enought room to actually weigh the options against one another.

L.A. Noire lacked actual deduction, or inference, that you'd expect from detective game. I would have preferred if you had to find witnesses yourself. Gather statements and from those deduce who the most likely suspects are, THEN interrogate them. This isn't required in LA Noire. You can simply walk around hitting A/X until the music stops. Get all the questions wrong and still progress without ever listening to a single word, or paying any attention to a single clue.

I've only played one game like that. Unsolved Crimes on DS. It's not a great game by any stretch but the game required you to deduce events and suspects based on crime scene evidence. For example; In one case broken glass is under the victim's body, which means the window was broken before their body was put there. In another two witnesses statements don't match up. You had to figure it out for yourself.

What really annoyed me about LA Noire was that I'd get evidence that conflicted with who I'd arrested [SPOILER for White Shoe Slaying case] You end up arresting a homeless man when one of the first pieces of evidence are the car tracks showing how the body was dumped. I know it's possible the homeless guy GOT a car somehow but I'm not even allowed to ask? That's just dumb design.

"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"

The whole point of LA Noire is that it's an old style of gaming that's had something added to it which is the facial capture hardware. I'm pretty sure that's literally the definition of gaming evolution. Doing something new entirely wouldn't be evolution, it would be a revolution...

Zenode:

DiamanteGeeza:
Le snip snip

It's still a form of motion tracking (tracking the muscle movements in the face), and the tech is even called MotionScan, you just explained how it was rendered out?

This is the first time this technology has ever been used in gaming, whose to say it cannot be refined and made easier to develop. Look at CGI in film, it was an expensive process, but after a few films brought it into the mainstream (Star Wars: Ep 1 comes to mind), it became extremely popular and now it's used in pretty much every blockbuster movie. It may be time consuming and hardware melting now, but it more than likely in the future will be streamlined and made easier for developers to use in future games which require realistic facial features.

But it isn't tracking motion in any way, shape, or form. Tradional mocap does - it tracks the locations of markers, and that data is then applied to bones in the face/body to create the animation. The animation engine will then interpolate the marker data and apply it to the bones in the hierarchy, and that is how you get your animation.

L.A. Noire's method does none of that. It scans the actors head at 30fps and stores the complete model mesh and texture from that snapshot in time (just as if you 3D scanned a vase). It is a very hi-tech version of stop-motion animation, but captured in 3D and in real time. What I described was not just how it is rendered in-game, but also how the data is obtained. Motion is not tracked; a head is repeatedly digitally scanned lots of times per second, and that's it.

Having used this technology (I can tell that you haven't ;-), I can assure you that we will not be seeing widespread adoption of it on the current platforms because the memory footprint per character is simply too big to be practical, unless you design your entire engine and game around the fact that it has a lot less memory to use.

On the next generation of consoles? Possibly, if there is significantly more RAM (think 10x) than now, but there's also the bottleneck of data transmission speed - hopefully the next gens will all have HDDs as standard so that the huge quantities of model and texture stream data can be guaranteed to be cached, because Noire is pushing how many simultaneous streams of that size you can get off a DVD.....

But anyway, back to your original point - "It's still a form of motion tracking" - no, it isn't.

LA Confidential is my favourite movie of all time.

I'm a bit late to the thread...

The first true PC game was Spacewar (1962); it's that game where two ships fly around a celestial body shooting at each other while trying to avoid getting sucked in by gravity. It was also the first famous game, the first influential game, the first game to be expanded or patched (the most well-known example being its true to life moving starfield background named "expensive planetarium," although the game's gravity and hyperspace mechanics and simulated angular momentum and space weather were not in the initial game either), the first game with options (any of those features could be turned off at the player's leisure), the first arcade game, the first game to be ported (to the arcade), the first game with a story, and also the first game based on a literary source (the Lensman series of science fiction novels by E. E. Smith). The first adventure game was Colossal Cave, which came out 14 years later. I'm not really a big fan of adventure games, but the only one of those games I can think of that doesn't fall prey to that genre's "mentally ill hobo" gameplay trappings is Mode (1996), which worked somewhat like the hypothetical game you described (looking for stuff is mostly pointless since the game is primarily driven by who you talk to and how well the conversations go, progress is less about creating new options and more about becoming better informed about which options to take, the game is about a mystery which you probably won't even notice if you don't know what to look for, and there's a very fixed time limit which draws closer with every choice you make).

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