Thursday, June 2, 2011

L.A. Noire, or Ace Attorney without the training wheels


L.A. Noire is like a graduation from all the Phoenix Wright games; your choices aren't on a linear path towards being right, and you have to really focus on people's facial tells.  Okay, so there was that Apollo Justice game where you had to focus on people's facial tells, but they were all on cartoon images.

The great thing about the game is that, for the most part, the game continues on no matter what choices you make.  So you could be going down a completely different lead, arrest the wrong person, and let the actual criminal escape.  The game will still lead you down the story as if it was intended, and will not get in your way.  And even if you completely botch a case, you can always replay it again until you get it right.  I've went through one case already where half of my interrogation with a witness was botched, but I ended up catching the criminal in the end.  When the case was over, small hints inform me that if I had asked the right questions, I would've solved the case sooner than expected.  It's all these little "what ifs" that keep replay values high.

Add to this that all cases are set in mini-episodes, and you have a game that is sandbox-y yet still linear in story-telling - two things that I can completely get behind on.
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