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LONG BLOG

L.A. Noire: Where do they go from here?

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I love Team Bondiís and Rockstarís L.A. Noire. I feel it is an awesome game and a leap forward in emotive storytelling. I also liked the fact that the game was a bait and switch. People expected another GTA style game and they were giving almost an old school point and click adventure in exchange. Any arguments of those who believe contrary are unimportant as this does not deal with the quality of the game in question, but the consequences of its existence in terms of its own post release lifecycle.

NOTE: SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON

Post release: The story of LA Noire is incomplete, to place it bluntly. Large gaps exist in the time frame of the story, and even snippets of dialogue between Cole Phelps and his partners sometimes suggest unseen cases he participated in. I believe this to be the case for unavoidable reasons. First, the motion scan tech is incredibly space consuming even on PS3. Some stuff, such as the dlc cases are probably left out not only as preorder incentives but merely because there was no more space to put it in the physical media. Second, the time consuming development cycle probably meant a lot of cases were left on the cutting room floor. Third, LA Noireís story is very focused and cases that donít discuss the rise and fall of Phelps could be deemed superfluous and merely dropped to keep the storyís pace tight. It is inevitable that these gaps eventually be filled through dlc though and, in some ways, they already are.

Bringing up the exclusive dlc; Consulís car, slip of the tongue and so on are the first steps into filling in the gaps of time that exist in between patrol and vice desks (Arson desk is narratively the shortest and caps the story off. Through DLC, we can show Phelps very early days in his one-year on Patrol and all the gaps (I believe a total of 7-8 months are missing from the overall time line of the story. The Pre-order DLC will inevitably be made available through various online stores. As well as more individual cases showing up from time to time.

But where do we go in terms of cases post LA Noire credits. In the story (once again, SPOILERS!) Phelps drowns in a drainage pipe, unable to prove himself a hero to himself, his case lost with the death of Ira (the firebug), himself literally drowning because his self imposed and very real failures and flaws as a human being. The character then gets a double gut punch, once again being branded a hero in a manner he would not have felt he deserved, and having his elegy delivered by men he despised and used his memory and efforts to stay afloat. Evil always wins and the efforts of good men are always subverted for the purpose of evil.

But what happens now? Where do we go in the Story of LA Noire? There are two distinct possibilities, we can either follow Jack Kelsoís career as a DAís investigator, himself becoming disillusioned with the corruption of the new DA and those over his head. We may see some resolution to the story as people who deserve punishment get it. However, I expect this to be unlikely. If this were to happen, it would probably be the contents of an LA Noire sequel most likely, where Bondi can go in and address some of the communities concerns with the first product (most plausible improvements would be more to do in the over world, improved dialogue menu, more integration in how the over world is integrated into the case by case storytelling, more street crime, and so on and so forth, the addition of real side missions and so on and so forth.)

We may also get a Joke expansion story, similar to RDRís Undead Nightmare expansion that may explore stories in terms of film genres. We could get Sci Fi, horror, and spy movie stories. That attempt to use the back drop of LA Noire to tell a very different, very weird story. Imagine playing Cole as a G-man as he investigates a whole slew of UFO sightings and abductions (before you say flying saucers and Sci Fi B was a Fifties Phenomena, remember the famous Roswell incident occurred in 1947, the same year LA Noire is set). Or a CIA Cole as he roots out old style Hollywood depictions of Reds before they use the movie industry to take the country. Considering the success of Undead Nightmare, This is far more likely than one would think.

However this all speculation. What do you think will happen next?
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About Bugsportone of us since 12:52 PM on 11.08.2007