Sessler's Soapbox: LA Noire

Posted: May 16, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: LA Noire
Adam explains why LA Noire is a watershed moment in the history of video games.

Comments are Closed

  • adamant5

    Must say that I had sparse interest in the game before viewing this Soapbox. I was under the impression (And I will admit it was a biased, uninformed impression) that it was going to be "Grand Theft L.A." Clearly not the case.

    I may pick this one up. Thank you for turning on the lights Brother Sessler. Right on!

    Posted: July 1, 2011 3:29 AM
  • TheSlowFlash

    I just finished LA Noire because I thought The Witcher 2 would be so much better. Man, I was wrong. The Witcher 2 was so awesome I didn't even feel like playing LA Noire. I was never excited about this gamwe. I can't believe how wrong I was. LA Noire is definitely the best experience I have ever had by miles playing a "video game". I bought my parents (both retired) a Samsung HDTV and a PS3 for the Blu-ray two years ago. Other than my Mom trying the Flower game, they have never used it for games. I showed my Dad LA Noire and he seemed genuinely interested. I bought an extra copy and they play it! They are almost done the game! I think I may even be able to get them to try Red Dead Redemption, since they now know the controls.

    Posted: June 5, 2011 8:57 AM
  • DAMG0014

    Duder, I thought what your're thinking now a few years back, when you were all like, "blah, blah stories in games can't be good blah, blah" - I'm paraphrasing, but I was starting to think similarly, and then Mass Effect comes out, and then... Dragon Age. This generation has really brought up great narrative. The stories themselves are meh, but they did something no other games have done which is character interaction, and it just gave the world a certain reality, your own little personal reality. That's something unique to games and it's something that has to do a lot with smart writing.

    The thing is though, is that yeah, you're right. The story is mostly there to carry these features. I have yet to play L.A. Noire, I'm a college student, so, maybe later; I don't know what it's like to play it.

    What interests me most, is this idea of a new genre, or a new way to play. You bring up H.P. Lovecraft; there was this great game back in '05 or something, called Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. For almost one third of the game, you don't have a gun. You're basically playing a stealth game and it was intense because of the presentation. It eventually turns into a shooter though, not a very good one, but the elements of what made the first few hours intense remained.

    This has a lot to do with the developer's creativity. How do you make a game absorbing? Thanks to advanced graphics, developers can this with the environment, how the game is presented, but they've yet to apply this creativity to gameplay, eventually the game turns into something you've done before, like shooting dudes or choosing dialogue. I personally would like a jungle adventure game, like Far Cry 2 but without the guns - my friend asks, "What will you do? Climb rocks, chop down large shrubs, swat mosquitoes? That sounds exciting, not."

    Posted: May 27, 2011 4:46 PM
  • justabum

    ..the only negative i have to say is: it seems as tho, and ive not played a whole lot, there isnt much subtlety to the faces..you have a conversation and the performances are great..and you ask questions, then comes the large movement of the upper body..almost swinging into position, and then the very obvious facial expression..i would have liked a bit more subtlety..i dont really know how else to articulate this point..

    Posted: May 24, 2011 9:16 PM
  • wiggum

    I've just finished the first 4 tutorial missions and am in the middle of The Driver's Seat, so I'm just getting started. Really like what I've seen and (especially) heard so far. My one little quibble is that I'm not crazy about how the game kicks you back to your notebook in the middle of questioning and interrogating to cross off the subject question you've just asked. I find it's a little clunky and interrupts the rhythm of the conversations while taking you out of the moment a bit. Other than that, this game is killer...

    And great call on the authors you mentioned, Sess. I've also read the seminal(hee)Masters like Hammett and Chandler and Cain and Thompson. So you and I are like birds of a feather! Scary, no? But if you haven't already, you have to give Ross MacDonald a try. I'm currently reading The Way Some People Die. Lew Archer is right up there with Phillip Marlowe, Sam Spade and the Continental Op.

    Posted: May 24, 2011 11:30 AM
  • elite_hoster

    How this game scored 5 or 9/10 is simple. to question why this game got it simply means you know nothing about games, and try to.

    The simplicity no game has manifested it's self in quite a way like(la noire) rich beyond the joke graphics that really justify the love the passion these developers gave for this game,

    This game is a high breed combination "csi" "heavy rain"" and "gta" 90 percent of the source engine is from rock stars code but not made by rock star only published, speculations are even rumors state "team bonide" and "rockstar" may have made a deal behind closed doors about future indevours on gta 5.

    yes it's true the boss of " team bondi" made the previous series of (getaway) for the ps2 but postponed the trailer that was announced for getaway 3 as in development but was later cancelled, speculations and rumors are told it could come out, but the (la noire) became the back bone and was later released 4 years later.

    While'st was in development since 2007 future delays postponed la noire. While (team bondi) and (rockstar studios) are not affiliated in any way apart form the developer tools that went in to making "la noire" owned by rock star studios does not mean they are owned by rock star, yes they are a new breed that have become recognized with in the gaming industry but not under "rockstars logo" that's about it.

    Posted: May 23, 2011 11:41 PM
  • herley79

    la noire is the stupidest game do to the gliches and the freezing up the game.....
    do not buy this game it takes a lot of memory in the hard drive and it is a very slow game i don't have that much time on my hands to play this stupid game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted: May 23, 2011 6:24 PM
  • M-Theory

    I got increadibly giddy when he mentioned the possibility of a Lovecraft game using this type of narrative, partly because I want a Lovecraft game that lives up to its pedigree, but mostly because this sounds like the perfect game for me, and I must get it now.

    I� I�

    Praise be to Sessler.

    Posted: May 23, 2011 5:09 PM
  • ZzBlackWolfzZ

    I personally feel they got EXTREMELY lazy with the production of this game. The graphics are bang on, the facial recognition technology is superb and the clues leave nothing out in the respect of detail. I personally feel it wouldn't be that hard to add a few points of customization here and there. Why must you be so FREAKING restricted??!?!? I mean I understand not killing innocent people and only being able to enter buildings when they pertain to a mission.....but how hard would it be to add the feature to choose your gun, add more random street mission encounters or unmarked crimes to encounter. For example as you rank up, new guns could be unlocked. And then to access said gun you could to to the station at the added gun locker and choose your side arm that you always carry....that being either a new pistol or revolver of some sort....and then the primary weapon being your shotgun or rifle that would always be handy in the trunk compartment of your police car....is that so hard to ask??? I agree with some other connotations towards this game....the scarcity of action causes you to value the rare moments it pops up, but the drought of action causes one to see this is a simple choose the ending book. Instead of feeling like a free roaming sandbox of a game that rock star is known for, it seems shrouded in an illusion of freedom....which reveals itself in the end to be a linear choose your ending story book kind of vibe

    Posted: May 23, 2011 2:49 PM
  • hedmunky84

    Best way to describe L.A. Noire is, its a point and click adventure for the 21st century.

    Posted: May 23, 2011 9:18 AM
  • Trentonater

    i wish he would've spent less time dissing Heavy rain. this is more heavy rain meets mafia 2. two of my favorite games from last year.

    Posted: May 22, 2011 6:58 PM
  • morecowbell24

    I'd be curious to hear Adam's thoughts on Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I think it compares to LA Noire and Portal 2 the way he describes them here. The mention of Lovecraft brought it to mind, and it to me is like LA Noire, the way Adam describes it. It is a game I would like others to play, even if they don't play many video games.

    Posted: May 21, 2011 10:08 AM
  • Patastic

    I believe sir that you have changed my mind about this game, and I will be playing it.

    Posted: May 20, 2011 7:05 PM
  • inferno959

    I'm pretty sure this is said by at least one person every week but this is my favorite web show on G4.

    Posted: May 19, 2011 4:38 PM
  • beinaido

    Well said Adam! maybe the closer thing that can be compared to L.A. Noire might be Mass Effect, which was a very successful game where the story was so important! Hope this game is as successful and there are more games like Noire!

    Posted: May 19, 2011 1:36 PM
  • SilverJC

    All that Adam said made me a smarter person. God! He knows his stuff.

    Posted: May 19, 2011 12:35 PM
  • CodenameESC

    I must say I understand the difficulties of categorizing something that sets a precedent for a medium, it has happened throughout the art scene for decades now. This might be a stretch, but look at DADA-ism that really bent the rules during its time and honestly pissed a lot of people off especially the main consumers of art, and and I think that falls in line with the worry that we have. Since a game like L.A, Noire could be taking major strides in furthering an art form, but making a sacrifice buy losing some of those players who really only wanted a 'GTA with Hats' kind of game (as Nikole hinted at during FEEDBACK).
    Now the other big predicament is how does this new(ish) style of game get categorized? I think that the 'Interactive Narrative' title is as Adam put it "blaah" and maybe this is my theatre and film background talking but 'Theatrical Game' seems like a better fit. Mainly because the word narrative doesn't express much more than some form of progressing story which makes a flip book as much of a 'Interactive Narrative' as "Heavy Rain" and that doesn't work for me. But the reason Theatrical might fit better is for a few reasons, and the first and most obvious one is the performances! This is really the first time that a living performance has been translated into a video game format really well (mainly because games like Corpse Killer did not). Also L.A. Noire doesn't get carried away with its self like a MGS and leave you watching more game than playing.
    Well now that I've wasted enough time writing someone will enjoy wasting time reading.

    Posted: May 19, 2011 6:19 AM
  • Money08

    i love this game got it on release day and haven't played anything else since and i have a lot of games

    Posted: May 18, 2011 10:01 PM

    OK I'm thinking for next time Chicago Noire, Paris Noire or Cairo Noire, or, get this..

    Coruscant Noire. That could potentially kick all kinds of ass =]

    Any more suggestions?

    Posted: May 18, 2011 3:23 PM
  • WraithMastah

    ... Wasn't there a good HP Lovecraft game? I seem to recall a Call of Cthulhu that people loved <.< Though maybe that he considers a good game and not a Lovecraftian style game. That makes sense.

    Posted: May 18, 2011 2:41 PM