NOT A MOVIE REVIEW: HULK PLAYED L.A. NOIRE

June 8, 2011

HULK TRY KEEP THIS SHORT. AND WARNING, HERE BE SPOILERS.

IN FRONT YOUR VERY OWN EYEBALLS, YOU HAVE HULK’S FIRST VIDEO GAME REVIEW. IT NO WILL HAPPEN MUCH. JUST EVERY ONCE AND AWHILE WHEN HULK FEEL IT PERTINENT, USUALLY INVOLVING SOMETHING DO WITH RELATING MEDIA THOUGHTS OR IF GAME DEAL WITH SOME CINEMATIC ISSUE.

BACKGROUND: HULK PLAY LOT OF GAMES. HULK PLAY RPG ENVIORNMENTY STUFF (FAVORITES: BETHESDA’S OBLIVION AND FALLOUT SERIES, ROCKSTAR’S COLLECTIVE OUTPUT, AND GENERALLY THE FINAL FANTASY SERIES THOUGH THE LAST ONE = SHIT), HIGH QUALITY FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS (FAVORITES: BIOSHOCK, CALL OF DUTY 4 BUT NOT THE SEQUELS, GOLDENEYE!) AND SPORTS GAMES (FAVORITES: MADDEN, 2K SERIES IN BOTH BASKETBALL/BASEBALL, KEN GRIFFEY JR. BASEBALL, MARIO TENNIS, BASEBALL SIMULATOR 1000). THIS REASONABLY WELL-ROUNDED HULK GUESS.

BY ALL ACCOUNTS, L.A. NOIRE HAVE LOT GOING FOR IT. IT HAVE GREAT SENSE OF ENVIRONMENT. HULK ABSOLUTELY LOVED TRAVERSING ABOUT 1940’S LOS ANGELES (WHICH RECREATED WITH GREAT HISTORICAL DETAIL). THE GAMEPLAY RELATIVELY INNOVATIVE AND IT MORE INTERESTED IN OTHER PURSUITS THAN THE FREQUENT SMASH+GRAB ALTERCATIONS OF GRAND THEFT AUTO. MUCH ALREADY MADE OF THE PERFORMANCE-CAPTURE STUFF AND THAT LIVE UP TO WHAT PROMISED.

THIS GUY REALLY ENJOYING IT

BUT HULK JUST WANT TAKE MINUTE TO THE MAKERS OF L.A. NOIRE WHY THERE GAME UTTERLY COLLAPSE IN ON ITSELF AFTER SO MUCH PROMISE:

IT RARELY ADHERE TO STORYTELLING 101

HULK KEEP HARPING ON THIS ISSUE LATELY, BUT IT BECAUSE IT JUST FEEL PERTINENT.

AND L.A. NOIRE GET ONE THING MAJORLY, MAJORLY WRONG. WHEN THE STORY SUPPOSED TO BE “EXPERIENCED” BY THE PLAYER IT DO NO FUCKING GOOD WHEN THE GAMER AT HOME ACTUALLY MILES AHEAD OF THE MAIN CHARACTER. HERE MOST EGREGIOUS EXAMPLES (AND AGAIN, MAJOR FUCKING SPOILERS WITHIN):

1) DURING THE “HOMICIDE” PORTION OF THE GAME WE SUPPOSED TO BE “SOLVING” MURDERS, IT PRETTY CLEAR FROM EVEN THE BEGINNING OF FIRST MISSION ON THAT THIS MURDER AND ONES THAT FOLLOW ACTUALLY PART OF LARGER SERIES ALREADY TYING INTO THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDERS. WHICH MEAN THAT WHEN LOCKING UP SUSPECT TO CLOSE CASE WE HAVE NO INTEREST IN ACTUALLY BECAUSE WE ALREADY SURE IT NOT THEM. SO WE ESSENTIALLY JUST PICK ONE. THERE ABSOLUTELY NO JOY IN IT. NO SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT (WHICH ABSOLUTELY SHOULD BE FEELING). IT ABSOLUTELY JUST LIKE SLOGGING THROUGH BULLCRAP. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT SO CLEAR THERE MYSTERY FIGURE OUT THERE TO BLAME. HULK GET SENSE THEY TRYING TO DO SOMETHING INTERESTING WITH GAME, BUT HOW IT INTERESTING IF IT TELEGRAPHED SO CLEARLY AND ABSOLUTELY TREATED LIKE A “REVEAL.” HULK WONDER IF  MAYBE THEY THINK THIS  SOME COMMENTARY ABOUT HOW ONE “NEVER KNOWS IF THEY LOCKING UP GUILTY PERSON” BUT IF THAT THE CASE THEN IT NOTHING MORE THAN HALF-BAKED BULLSHIT.

2. AND NO, THEY NOT DO THIS COCKTEASING “WRONG SUSPECT” ANGLE FOR 1 CASE, NOT EVEN 2 CASES, BUT 5 DAMN FUCKING CASES. IN CASE NOT AWARE THE GAME HAVE 20 OR SO CASES, SO THAT 1/4 OF THE GAME SPENT LOCKING UP PEOPLE YOU ALREADY KNOW NOT THE RIGHT SUSPECTS. WHAT A FUCKING WASTE. HULK BORED TO TEARS BY THE FIFTH TIME. THE ONLY THING THAT KEPT HULK GOING DURING THIS HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE STINT OF THE GAME WHEN HULK SURE THAT ALL THE EXTRANEOUS CLUES HULK GATHERING BE IMPORTANT WHEN TIME FINALLY COME TO LOCK UP THE MYSTERY FIGURE BEHIND ALL FIVE MURDERS. TO SOLVE A SUPER CASE SO TO SPEAK THAT TIE INTO ALL OF THEM AND ALL THE LITANY OF EVIDENCE GATHERED THAT LEAD TO THAT CONCLUSION. IT JUST SEEM SO OBVIOUS IT GOING THERE… AND THEN IT END IN LAME DRIVING AROUND TOWN FOR MARKERS BIT FOLLOWED BY SUPER ANTI-CLIMACTIC SHOOT OUT. AND ALL THOSE RELEVANT CLUES COLLECTED MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING CAUSE THERE NOTHING TO ACTUALLY SOLVE. IT BANAL.

3. OF COURSE THEY DON’T LEARN THEIR LESSON AND EMPLOY THE SAME EXACT DEVICE OF HAVING ONE MYSTERY FIGURE BEHIND ALL OF THE CRIMES DURING THE “ARSON DESK” SERIES. SURE THERE SOME OTHER SHADOWY INVOLVEMENT BUT YOU KNOW ALL MAJOR PLAYERS INVOLVED ON THIS WHOLE DESK’S AFFAIR HALFWAY INTO THE FIRST ARSON CASE. NATURALLY, IT END IN EQUALLY DISAPPOINTING FASHION.

SERIOUSLY IT NO WONDER THAT THE TRAFFIC AND VICE DESK CASES = THE ABSOLUTE BEST ONES BECAUSE THE INDIVIDUAL CASES STAND ON THEIR OWN. YES, THE VICE CASES OFTEN DEAL WITH THE SAME SUBJECT OF THE MORPHINE, BUT AT LEAST THE PEOPLE GONE AFTER RELEVANT TO THE WEB OF THE CRIME SYNDICATE. AND GOING UP THE LADDER TO THE TOP OF THE RANKS OF THE SYNDICATE VERY SATISFYING ON NARRATIVE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT-FEELING LEVEL.

4. THE DEATH OF HAVE COLE HAVE NO IMPACT AFTER SPENDING LAST 1/4 OF ALL MISSIONS PLAYING AS KELSO. THE JOURNEY OF COLE FROM HARD-NOSED GOLDEN BOY PRICK TO MAN MORE ACCEPTING OF THE GRAY AREAS OF LIFE, THE ABUSE OF POWER, AND SENSELESS CRIME SHOULD BE… WELL… LOT MORE INTERESTING. INSTEAD AFTER THE MOMENT COLE HAVE ACTUAL TURNING POINT, THE GAME SIDELINE HIM TO PLAY KELSO. COLE ONLY COMING BACK TO DIE. THE GAME ITSELF THE END ABRUPTLY RIGHT AFTER WITH NO ROUNDING OUT OF THE STORY IN ORGANIC FASHION… UGH…THE GAME SPEND HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS TELEGRAPHING REPETIVE STORYLINES ONLY TO SUMMARIZE THE ENDING WITH QUICK ON THE NOSE EULOGY SPEECH ABOUT THE PRESUMED COVERUP… THE WHOLE SERIES OF DECISIONS MAKE LESS THAN SENSE.

5. AND SPEAKING OF COLE’S STORY, AT FIRST HULK THOUGHT THE GAME MAKE INTERESTING CHOICE OF NOT SHOWING COLE’S WIFE AT ALL. HULK SORT OF LIKED IT, BUT THEN SHE SHOW UP WHEN KICKING COLE OUT OF THE HOUSE FOR PHILANDERING ABOUT. THE SCENE HAVE NO IMPACT BECAUSE HULK NEVER SEEN OR HEARD A SINGLE WORD ABOUT THIS PERSON BEFORE. HULK IMAGINE THE DEVELOPERS THOUGHT IT THIS MOMENT TO PUT FACE ON COLE’S ACTIONS, BUT REALLY IT JUST MAKE THINGS RING HOLLOW. IF THEY COMMITTED TO THIS NARRATIVE DEVICE SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT AND WE NO LEARN COLE BEEN KICKED OUT. HULK FEEL LIKE IT WAS A BAD MOVE ON PART OF DEVELOPERS. PERHAPS THEY THOUGHT THEY DOING SOMETHING INTERESTING AT THAT POINT, BUT REALLY IT JUST FAIL. THEY TRIED HAVE IT TWO DIFFERENT AND UNRECONCILE-ABLE WAYS.

6. THE CHOICES FOR THE BIG OVERARCHING STORY: THE AFOREMENTIONED TELEGRAPHED AND TOO-EARLY DROPPED CLUES, THE MILITARY FLASHBACKS, ABD THE “BEHIND THE STORY” NEWSPAPER ARTICLES = ESSENTIALLY REMOVE ALL FUCKING SENSE OF MYSTERY FROM THE GOD DAMN STORY. SERIOUSLY. EVERY BIG OVERARCHING MYSTERY THAT COLE WILL ENCOUNTER AND TRY AND SOLVE IN LAST HALF OF GAME PRETTY MUCH REVEALED IN THE FLASHBACKS THAT OCCUR BEFORE THE ACTUAL CASE. NARRATIVE-SPEAKING IT HORSECRAP.

HULK WANTED TO LOVE THIS GAME. AND THERE REALLY A MILLION OTHER THINGS TO TALK ABOUT IN TERMS HOW IT GOOD/BAD, BUT THEY SORT OF OUTSIDE THIS “STORYTELLING 101″ ASPECT SO HULK WILL DROP IT.

HULK JUST HATE HOW IT MADE BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING HOW A “DETECTIVE” STORY SHOULD ACTUALLY UNRAVEL. WHICH ESPECIALLY SUCK CAUSE THE SUBJECTS OF THESE STORYLINES AND THE ACTUAL IDEAS BEHIND THEM OFTEN GREAT. IT JUST A MATTER OF EXECUTION AND IN A FEW EXAMPLES OF FLAWLESS INDIVIDUAL CASES HULK SEE WHAT THE GAME COULD HAVE BEEN. BUT EVEN MOST THESE CASES RUINED BY THIS PREMATURE TEASER VIDEO REVEALS (LIKE THE GUY PUTTING THE HEAD ON THE CAR GAS PEDDLE, THE ARSONIST ACTUALLY SHOWING HOW HE FUCK HE MESS WITH HEATER VALVESS). THESE THINGS MAY SEEM RELATIVELY MINOR BUT IF HULK PRETTY SURE THAT WHEN COLE ARRIVE ON THE SCENE, THE PLAYER SHOULD BE IN THE COMPLETE FUCKING DARK ABOUT EVERYTHING INVOLVING CASE. THAT BRING THE GENUINE THRILL OF DISCOVERY.

INSTEAD WE GET A DETECTIVE STORY WITH ZERO ACTUAL NARRATIVE REVEALS.

WHAT A JOKE.

THIS SHOULD REALLY BE MORE INTERESTING

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4 Responses to “NOT A MOVIE REVIEW: HULK PLAYED L.A. NOIRE”

  1. Phil said

    I haven’t rented a game in years, Hulk (usually just wait to buy them cheap), but I think I’ll rent L.A. Noire. I want to see it in motion and interact with it a bit, but just as an experiment. Then, when the rental period’s up, I’ll watch L.A. Confidential and reread Clandestine again. In fact, forget the video game!

  2. [...] NOT A MOVIE REVIEW: HULK PLAYED L.A. NOIRE « FILM CRIT HULK! HULK … HORRIBLE STINT OF THE GAME WHEN HULK SURE THAT ALL THE EXTRANEOUS CLUES HULK GATHERING BE IMPORTANT WHEN TIME FINALLY COME TO LOCK UP THE MYSTERY FIGURE BEHIND ALL FIVE MURDERS TO SOLVE A SUPER CASE SO TO SPEAK THAT [...]

  3. [...] here on Way of the Game, so I’ll spare you the repeat.  For external discussion, I like this review by Film Crit Hulk focused on story issues.  Trouble is, I really hate to pick on L.A. Noire.  Not only did I love [...]

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