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In my experience, everyone lies the first time
May 4, 2013 8:14 PM   Subscribe

A former LAPD detective gives commentary on the 1940s LAPD simulator, L.A. Noire (previously, previously, and so)
posted by The Whelk (22 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think we now need Dorner's Law.
posted by sideshow at 8:36 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok this is fucking fabulous.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:43 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Yeah, we don't usually get that lucky."
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:55 PM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ray Kelly watches The Naked City (1948) with a New York Times writer.
posted by Jahaza at 9:06 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Kelly is the NY City police commissioner.)
posted by Jahaza at 9:07 PM on May 4, 2013


I will say this, every time Cole Phelps picked up a bloody object with no gloves, I died a little.
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is cool. I'm surprised that "shoot at the cops and run" happens frequently enough for its occurrence here to be praised.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:11 PM on May 4, 2013


In case anyone hasn't seen it yet - Christian Donlan plays LA Noire with his father, who grew up in LA in the 40s. Also Christian's grandfather was a cop in LA in the 40s.
posted by Joh at 9:22 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is very cool, thanks for posting!
posted by capricorn at 9:25 PM on May 4, 2013


Joh: Great article. When I showed LA Noire to my grandparents, who grew up in Hollywood in the 40s, they had the same reaction. They noticed all kinds of little inaccuracies here and there, but they were still blown away by some of the details that were packed into the game (that nobody but people like them would notice).

For example, the movie theater where my grandma worked during high school had its facade perfectly recreated. My grandpa's church where he went as a boy was exactly as he remembered it. They could even tell me how to navigate around Hollywood as I drove Cole Phelps around... "turn left here and you'll see the Pantages on the right side in just a bit." And there it was.

The whole time they were spinning stories... "remember when we went to that restaurant after we met? Remember how your dad used to take you to this store?"

A wholly imperfect game, but I appreciate the beautiful memories it gave my grandparents.
posted by Old Man McKay at 9:36 PM on May 4, 2013 [61 favorites]


"Good evening, ma'am. I'm Detective Ken Cosgrove, Accounts."
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:54 PM on May 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


Old Man McKay, I feel like there should be some kind of traveling LA Noire roadshow, that takes the game to people who grew up in LA during that era. They would sit down and watch the game being played just like you did with your grandparents, and video their reactions and stories. It's a fantastic way to draw memories and stories out of people and create a historical document of its own.
posted by Joh at 10:01 PM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


I should probably finish this game. I played straight thought, I had to know what would happen next, of course knowing that since the story drew from so many classics that there needs to be a fall from grace and an act of redemption. Well I got a far as the first but as too drained to go on.

Maybe I'll replay from the beginning. I don't remember it being a very sophisticated take but it was a compelling. Noir is essentially classic tragedy, they are almost never fair by modern standards, but they are inevitable. More modern takes play with the idea that the tragic hero is not a victim of human frailty or error, but driven by a compulsion for self destruction.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:28 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


"New life insurance is always a big clue."
posted by Bwithh at 10:59 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been playing this lately; it's been the daily deal on Steam twice in the past few months for about $5. The game is fun (gets a bit repetitive) but the cast is great. You keep bumping into people and thinking "wait, isn't that...?"...

From some shows I've watched..

Kenny, Harry, Pete, and Kinsey from Mad Men, Salinger from SouthLAnd, Cousin Johnny from Justified, Walter from Fringe, the coroner from Psych, Tom the neighbor from CougarTown, Libby and the Bearded Lady from Carnivale, Weiss from Alias, even Malachai from Children of the Corn. :-)
posted by thinds66 at 11:12 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


It only recently dawned on me that Phelps was played by the same actor as Ken Cosgrove.

Now I keep waiting to find out that Ken is publishing a story about a messed up LA detective in the '40s and he's leaving SCDP for the west coast.
posted by dry white toast at 11:35 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really like this. I am *not* a gamer, but I can relate to this game.
Too few kosher delis. Those were all over the place in LA at that time. My step-dad was born there, photography was one of his hobbies. He had so many pictures of those places.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:34 AM on May 5, 2013


"They noticed all kinds of little inaccuracies here and there, but they were still blown away by some of the details that were packed into the game (that nobody but people like them would notice)."

I had a similiar reaction playing True Crime: Streets of LA, which was set in a sketchy but sprawling and occasionally startlingly lifelike recreation of contemporary Los Angeles. It wasn't that they got the details right, it was more like they absolutely recreated LA's silhouette but fudged the details. What I mean is, you could drive down a familiar street and if you squinted everything looked just right, but if you looked more closely you'd see that that that one big condo on Lincoln was now an office building and the Ralph's was a movie theater. It was like visiting an alternate reality, where everything is just the same, except when it is very different.

Somebody should just make "virtual city" games, where cities in different eras are recreated as faithfully as possible. I imagine a lot of people who can't afford to travel might like to visit virtual Paris, or visit their own hometown during the era when they grew up. The closest I'll ever get to visiting 1960s London is probably Destroy All Humans 2, and that ain't right.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:32 AM on May 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


I have enjoyed L.A. Noire, but I say this as someone who has never even set foot in California. Once in a while while playing I have paused the game and gone to look at the same intersection in Google Street View and while it is often interesting, I lack a visceral connection to what is on either screen. Occasionally I muse on what the experience of the game must be like for people who live there. "Okay, looks like I have to snoop around this print shop over at Vernon and Sixth. Hunh. It is in the same spot that the burger place is now. But look -- the tailor's was a tailor then too."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:10 AM on May 5, 2013


Now I keep waiting to find out that Ken is publishing a story about a messed up LA detective in the '40s and he's leaving SCDP for the west coast.

We beat you to this
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having played this while watching Mad Men, I now really want a sandbox intrigue set in 190s Manhattan.
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 PM on May 7, 2013


Also, I want a DLC case where a wooden fork is TOTALLY THE MOST VITAL CLUE.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 PM on May 7, 2013


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