As you all know, my dear readers, I am an avid movie fan. One of my favorite genres of movies is "film noir". While the specific characteristics of the genre tend to be difficult to pin down, you know when you're watching film noir. There's just something about the mood the film puts you in, the way film is shot, the manner of the actor's speech that blends in just the right way to pull you in to the seedy underbelly of a seemingly innocent or glamorous area. Film noir is an awesome genre; stylish, yet simple, compassionate, yet brutal. And it's one of the few genres that I would love to just dive into. The interesting thing is, I was given just that opportunity yesterday when, in a moment of rare solvency, I was able to purchase what is surely to be a landmark video game, L.A. Noire.
Now, I'm not one to go with fads, sticking with what's currently popular is a great way to get and stay bankrupt. But in reading up on the game, and what they were trying to do, I couldn't help myself. I just wanted to play. I saw a few of the game trailers, and I could feel the edges of that Noir vibe. So, I ordered the game and waited patiently for it to arrive. I got it yesterday, and started playing almost immediately after I got out of work.
Just the start up screens alone were awesome. The menu screen in the shadow of harsh white lights with the buzz and flicker of fluorescent bulbs immediately dropped me into that Noir state of mind. Then as the game starts, that world just solidified around me. The soft, cool jazz. The rough voice of the narrator. The presentation and style of the visuals. It all came together and immersed me directly in my own Noir world. I played the first few cases and like few games before it, time just evaporated. What felt like 20-30 minutes, turned out to be 2-3 hours. It was truly amazing!
Admittedly, I haven't completed the game yet, but I still recommend it to anyone who is into story-based gaming, and is a fan of the film noir style. If this game is a hit, and they make a sequel, I hope they try their hand at a new city. Chicago, perhaps.. or, dare I say it... New York City! In the meantime, pick up the game. You'll love it!