I spent a few more hours with L.A. Noire and I’m afraid to say my overall opinion didn’t change. It’s not a bad game but it is hugely disappointing and playing through all the street crimes only highlighted this further. I realise that the street crimes were supposed to break up the cases and not be played back to back but during the game I wanted to get on with the story and ignored them. All of the 40 street crimes they pretty much all boil down to a variation of shooting a few people and then chasing someone on foot or car and none of them are much fun. There seems to be no connection between your character in the story and these side missions. Cole Phelps is portrayed as a good but flawed guy and yet playing him you’re mostly forced to “subdue” the criminals by shooting them to pieces, often fatally. I know it’s just a game but it’s supposed to be a different type of game.
The one thing which keeps running through my mind is how the rumoured working conditions during the development of the game may have impacted the final release. I’m never going to understand why “crunchtime” is required or acceptable in software development, it’s just a result of poor planning. Normally if a deadline isn’t going to be met you have two options, extend the deadline or reduce what you are trying to achieve. In L.A. Noire and many other games, cutting back on the number of levels, missions, cases would have made so much sense. If the developers were allowed time to step back and look at what they are creating perhaps they’d be able to see all the obvious flaws apparent on playing the game and have time to address them. I don’t care if hardcore gamers are going to complain about games being too short, gaming is moving into the mainstream and there’s no place for 30 hours games where most of that is simple repetition. If you have a 30-hour story to tell then fine tell it, if you’re just going to make me chase/shoot non-entities over and over then don’t bother.
I wanted the story, I wanted character development, I wanted choices but most importantly I just wanted my actions to have consequences.