L.A. Noire: Making You an Incomplete Completionist - luciablee Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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L.A. Noire: Making You an Incomplete Completionist

   There's a very good reason why I have owned L.A. Noire since its release and still have yet to beat more than 6 cases. It's because it forces you to be an incomplete completionist. I know, it's making me just a regular gamer.

   Each case, you have elements such as suspects to interview, crime scenes to examine, newspapers to find, extra cases to investigate, street crimes to resolve, and retro cars to collect. And the kicker? Very little checkpoints.

   With this being said, I am no detective. I can't read the intricate facial expressions that Rockstar has built into this title. I can't tell if the suspect is telling the truth, if I should doubt them, or if I should accuse them of lying. Even if I guess correctly that they are lying, I rarely throw the right piece of evidence in their face.

   Sometimes I don't even have the right evidence to throw in their face because I missed it at the crime scene. Maybe I didn't turn the dead woman's body in the right direction to see the key bruises. Maybe the scenery was so dark that I missed seeing the shrunken head lying in the corner. And maybe I think this machete is pretty suspicious and spend frustrating minutes trying to get Cole to tell me I'm right. Mostly, I just get a variation of "You suck." Then I leave in a fit.

   The city is so well done that I would be honored to explore it if it appeared in a Grand Theft Auto title, but this isn't GTA, and being such, there is no motivation to explore the city. My partner can drive for me so I don't have to tack on a few extra hours of gameplay just zooming across the city. But if I don't spend those hours driving, I miss out on extra cases and street crimes. Like all side quests, these further distract me from the problem at hand and I never get around to beating it, unless I--gasp--skip driving. 

   Also on the topic of skipping, after a few deaths, any action sequence will give you the option to skip it with no consequences on the story line or case. That's just such a dilemma for a completionist that is already having trouble being a completionist in this game.

   Further, any outcome you have in a case doesn't influence the story as a whole. Even if I bungle up a case, I still get to continue the game free of charge. I have absolutely no push to be perfect in a case, except for my inner drive. This inner drive, at least for this game, is slowly ebbing away.

   Other times, the case just works out right. I will get 3/3 interview questions correct and I will be able to move on with the case with no guilt. No restarts, no loading from far off checkpoints. Unfortunately, this happens a little too infrequently. 

   Thus, L.A. Noire advances only little by little in my hands. It's only when I get a non-completionist with me that they force me to move on when I get 3/5 interrogation questions correct or can't seem to find that last piece of evidence.

   After this internal dilemma to find my true style of gameplay, I'm left with a few questions that maybe you can answer for me. 

   Should Rockstar have made a bit more of an incentive for doing better on a case opposed to letting any outcome succeed? I think that would have helped me restart a bit more often instead of just giving up after a few hours on a single sequence of a case.

   Or do you think this is part of the beauty of L.A. Noire, opposed to just another problem completionists will have to face during their gaming escapades? Any other games that get on your nerves like L.A. Noire got on mine?

    Maybe I just need to face the facts and realize that I'm an incomplete completionist--a regular gamer.

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