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Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it matters.
Right off the bat, you can tell that LA Noire is going to disappoint a lot of people. The latest game from the people who gave you Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption takes a decidedly more serious-minded approach to the open world. In LA Noire you aren’t encouraged to cause mayhem – in fact, you are prevented from doing so for the most part. Instead, the focus is very much on people rather than destruction. With the aid of a new technology that gives actual life to the faces of those you meet, the people within the game feel very much like just that – people – rather than lifeless automatons programmed to run away when you barrel toward them in your car.
The obvious downside is that the game doesn’t offer the “sky’s the limit” sandbox gameplay that previous Rockstar games are known for. Most likely, your game time will not be characterized by flipping cars, exploding streets and dead pedestrians. You’ll find yourself driving relatively slowly, stopping at traffic lights, and waiting as pedestrians cross the street. And here’s the kicker: whenever mistakes are made, it will seem like a pretty big deal. You’ll knock down a light-pole, and your partner will freak out. Pedestrian’s faces will betray their shock and horror at the situation. You will feel guilty. At least, that’s if you’re anything like me.
And that’s just the driving.
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