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Faction Diary: LA NOIRE – entry001

May 27, 2011


The latest Rockstar entry is made like a melting pot of past gamer experiences.  It is a mix of Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and for our Commodore 64 peeps, topped off with a twist of Ticket to Paris with all its clue findings and conversations.  We’ve spent several hours with the game, but not gone far, for some very annoying missteps from RS when building this game. Oh let me explain….


The good is that all the control mechanics are solid so far. Driving, shooting, getting into cover all work so far. There are a lot of foot chase sequences that resemble those of GTA IV. Admittedly, they’re fun for the time being. However those that occur up steps and in tight spiral spaces are done an injustice by the shotty camera.  The tutorial also gives some misleading tips, for you are told during questioning folks:  Select “Truth” when someone is telling the truth; Select “Doubtful” when someone is being less than honest, but you don’t have the facts to totally debunk them; And select “Lie” when someone is obviously being dishonest, and you got the proof to choose otherwise. Well, I played through one sequence where I was looking for a missing LA citizen. All accounts show that he has met a very brutal demise. After questioning the guy’s wife, you run into the last person who was known to be with him before his disappearance. From questioning others, his answers appear to be disingenuous. So I answer “Doubtful”. Both were wrong.  Then I decided to go through the rigors of playing it again. Because I didn’t have any hard proof to disclaim his responses, I then chose “Truthful” thinking my reaction was too harsh based on the facts.  Those were both wrong!  At the conclusion of the whole case, you get a score card. It said that harder questioning of this person would have ended the case sooner – that would only conclude that I had to pick “Lie” in both instances. But hold on…. I didn’t have any proof! This totally contradicts the theory explained in the game!


Yet these are the least of our frustrations so far.  The biggest problems are with how the cases are saved.  There are checkpoints, but you cannot revert to a previous point in a case. Also, if you decide to quit the game before solving a case, you have to start all the way from the beginning.  These cases even when knowing where all the clues are and right answers, can take a good hour to go through. This along with your inability to skip past cut scenes already experienced, make this a very grueling and tedious experience so far. If you cannot finish a case before quitting you feel penalized.

We did find the sporadic police calls quite fun.  To this point, these will be the height of the action.  It appears (and we could be wrong) that you only have 40 of these to play through.  In a sandlot of this scale, this is way too few.  We’re through a ¼ of them just finishing our first case. Another interesting aspect is the choices given during questioning.  Not sure how to react to an answer? - then use an “Intuition Point”.  These are awarded after gaining levels through various actions. Intuition points can show you where clues are, take away false choices when questioning, and allow you to ask the community which answers to choose. You get life lines!


So far, the game is interesting.  Yet we do not see the 9/10 5/5 and other high scores it has been given consistently from the pundits.  That could change, but due to the save issues mentioned above we doubt it.   We are only through our first case (not including the tutorial) so there’s a lot of game left.  Stay tuned to our next entry to see how things continue to pan out.

 

Faction Review: Bioshock 2

April 14, 2011



I love a nice cold glass of pink lemonade, just like the next guy.  Just don't pour it on my steak.  Oh what's that?  You got a nice slice of pumpkin pie, bring it here.  But keep your damn gravy away from it.  Yeah my chicken potpie comes with a crust, however that doesn't mean I want a big a$$ slap of cookies and cream on it.  What does this all mean in English?  It means that just because I enjoy certain elements of food separately, doesn't mean that I'll still enjoy them when slopped toge...


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Faction Review: Battlefield BC2

April 14, 2011



I have to tell you…I can't stand some of the off-the-wall comparison of games that you see people make.  Fallout to Bioshock, Zelda to Mass Effect, even Rainbow Six to Halo; These are just examples of the idiotic matches that people try to make when evaluating how good a game is.  However, I'll tell you one comparison that should be made...  and made loud and clear.  Battlefield BC 2 is leagues beyond the Modern Warfare series, period.  But let me shoot straight from the hip in this regard;...


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Faction Review: Metro 2033

April 14, 2011

Metro 2033 is a title inspired by the book (same title) written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Since the books original release in 2002, it has had over 400,000 copies sold worldwide, and has received esteemed acclaim.  That’s the book.  The game on the other hand is another story.  Coming out of nowhere, this title had very few press attention….. hold on.  Let’s forget the normal introduction here, cause we find this one hard to describe using normal philosophy.   If you would al...


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Faction Review: Uncharted 2

April 14, 2011



It has become a trend that started in the mid-to-late 90’s that simply won’t go away. The best this…. the best that…. THE BEST EVER.  These loosely used descriptions of games now make the average hardcore gamer cringe at their mere mention.  We understand the lure.  If you can successfully proclaim something you’ve experienced the best “xox” of all time, it means that you were around to witness something phenomenal and groundbreaking.  This epic event that is bound to cement its...


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Faction Review: InFamous

April 14, 2011



We personally roll our eyes in mistrust every time a new super hero sandlot is announced.  Prior to 2009, the most recent fails were courteousy of the last Spiderman installments and Superman Returns. Because of these huge disappointments, gamers just don’t put much faith in these titles.  In 2009, we’ve seen this genre resurface in attempts to breathe it new life. Prototype was the first to release, with mixed reviews, and its own bag of issues as far as we’re concerned.  Infamous, whi...


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Faction Review: Killzone 2

April 14, 2011



Odd....huh - to see a site's co-editor contribute with an all-out review? Well I think our experience with Killzone 2 was just ripe for an editor's picking. Now, I could sit here and try like the hard working contributors to come up with some fancy shmancy write-up, before we start breaking down our official score for this game. But honestly, Killzone 2 is not worth it! Though I can name a handful of titles that are definitely worse, this one sucks. This title not reaching its full potent...


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Faction Review: Borderlands

April 14, 2011


 Over the past few years, we’ve seen the holiday season flooded with triple- A potentials. After the disappointing year that 2009 had been leading up to this past holiday season, it was hard to imagine that any title would be able to pick up the mantle.  The last hope in our minds would be Borderlands.  This title, the next to take a crack at a war-torn wastland theme, saw its developer Gearbox doing some big time promoting in the latter part of the year.  Just earlier in the year, the ...


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Faction Review: Call of Duty Modern Warfare

April 14, 2011

Normally when something good that we enjoy starts to spoil, we toss it out.  Milk goes bad, it goes down the drain. Whew – that claim chowder sat out for too many days…. seal it up; throw it in the neighbor’s back yard..  Aunt Merdal’s blueberry-sausage surprise is startin to ‘surprise’ that digestive system? – time to take it to the nearest soup kitchen… You get the point. Things go bad, we need to get rid of it and wait for a fresh batch to come our way. Well unfortunately, ...


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Faction Review: Fight Night RD 4

April 14, 2011

Fight Night RD 2 and RD 3 were not only 2 of the best boxing games ever made, but arguably the best sports games of all times. Whenever you can take gamers whether casual, hardcore or fanatic; sports fans or sports haters, and glue them to your title for hours a day -- for months, you have something special. That’s what these 2 installments were able to accomplish. I have yet to of met 1 gamer; of any background or gamer class, that did not LOVE these games.

With that said, there was not t...


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