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Face Noir
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07-25-2013

Face Noir

I was on my second whisky when she walked into my office. With legs that went up to her neck, and ruby-red lips that were completely out of sync with her voice, I knew she'd be trouble. She wanted me to review her, and I was just about drunk enough to take her up on that offer. Her name was Face Noir.

Okay, so I'm not going to be the next Raymond Chandler. But the pulpy depression-era detective yarn spun in Face Noir is such an earnest attempt to recreate the tales of Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade that it's hard not get caught up in the world of the hardboiled private detective. 

An unrepentant love letter to the genre, Italian studio Mad Orange's sepia-toned point-and-click adventure game revels in its status as an homage, and it immediately draws comparisons to the fiction that it apes. Lamentably, it's hampered by a poorly-implemented engine, hideous character models, questionable design decisions, and a slew of translation problems. So why, with all these frustrating issues, do I still find myself a wee bit enamoured with it?

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