(For any newcomers: My wife, Kris, writes a weekly column under the heading “Lady Business”, giving her perspective on movies, television, pop-culture, and in this instance, video games!)
My attempt at playing L.A. Noire ended in tragedy…more than a few times.
I can only really get my mind around two video game controllers. The first being the Atari 2600 joystick, because the thing had a single stick and button. The second being the Wii controller, because if you want to move forward you just push your arm forward. Both are beautifully simple. L.A. Noire for X-box means that I’m stuck attempting to click on a whole host of buttons, all of which seem to be super sensitive.
On Friday night, Chris manned the controller while I made the choices on where to go and what to do. We solved the cases fairly quickly, though I felt squirmy about calling a suspect a liar even though they were clearly lying. Turns out my wussy non-confrontational side calls the shots in video games as well as real life.
Since I wake up at the crack o’ dawn, I thought I’d attempt to play it on my own Saturday morning. I chose a traffic case involving a suspicious car crash. For starters, it was hard to get my guy out of the building. He kept walking into walls, but not to worry…no one even noticed. Even though they mentioned that the crime scene was across the street, I still got in my car and began to destroy the city. I ran over light poles, smashed into the sides of tunnels and generally made the pedestrians of old-timey L.A. very nervous.
I found my way to the scene. Luckily, I figured out how to get the guy to run because he had to go up a crap-ton of stairs. On the way, people would randomly say things like “That’s the cop who cracked the big case!” or “Are you drunk?” I admit, I was bobbing and weaving. I knocked more than a few people over, but they didn’t seem to mind much. They’d just get back up and move along.
It took me way longer than I’d like to admit to figure out how to get down to the crime scene. Even though there was a map, I kept running in circles and trying to run off cliffs. I get to the crash site one hundred years later, and gather some clues. My interrogation of a woman involved in the accident was botched because I couldn’t bring myself to call her a liar. She didn’t tell me much.
After that, I also botched the questioning of a witness and was supposed to follow the woman. That’s when things really started to turn sour. I tried tailing her, but my driving skills made me a little obvious. I would try to creep up on her, but then suddenly floor it and bash through street signs and run over citizens. Fail. A re-start had me driving so slowly that I lost her. Another re-start had me get to the café, but then my guy got out of the car and was promptly run over. He screamed like a woman when he fell down, and I laughed so hard that I woke Chris up.
With his help, I learned how to commandeer cars, which was good because my car was a smoking pile of junk at this point. The driver would tell me to be careful with it, and I’d immediately smash it into a building. Then, I’d reverse and smash it into another building. Confession: I don’t know which button controls the brakes in this game.
A very long period of kicking down doors and picking up items that meant nothing followed. My partner didn’t do much of anything other than get his hat shot off in a car chase. (My hat remained dapper.) The best thing about the car chase was that my horrible driving seemed to pay off. I ripped off the suspect’s bumper. Then, I accidentally re-created a scene from World’s Deadliest Police Chases where I somehow caused him to spin his car around. I knew watching that junk would pay off one day.
I finished by killing my guy as he was chasing a suspect on top of a three story structure that was shoddily built. I was going to give it another go, but I realized I hadn’t bothered to learn how to shoot a gun, duck behind objects or any of the other important things needed to get me out of this endless loop of dying.
I didn’t save the game and attempt to finish later because my detective work was pretty awful and I didn’t want Chris to get stuck with a score of negative flobbidy-jillion points. However, I would have liked to know my cash value of damage to the city. I bet it was a doozy.