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Average User Score: 7.8May 25, 2011Now, I would first like to say that I am NOT a mainstream gamer. Sure, I play Halo: Reach online every now and then, but for the most part, INow, I would first like to say that I am NOT a mainstream gamer. Sure, I play Halo: Reach online every now and then, but for the most part, I would prefer a more unique experience, such as the Mass Effect series, Dragon Age: Origins, and the Dead Space series. So, when I read in GameInformer about a game called L.A. Noire, I got genuinely excited. Heck, I had only a penny left after I had bought it. This game made me effectively go broke. It wasn't worth it.
Now, the gameplay is interesting, I will say that. You scour a crime scene looking for clues, and then interview any suspects that you have. To get suspects, you may sometimes have to chase them, on foot or in vehicle. These sequences are meant to change the pace of gameplay, which, while I admire the effort, become tiresome when they happen. Also, the game has been lauded for its facial capture technology, which allows fully accurate capture of the actor's performance. The animations are solid as many of the actors give good performances, but the faces themselves seem rather low-grade in comparison. They don't look horrible, just not that good. That, or I just have a crappy T.V. The surrounding world that you inhabit is a very convincing recreation of the 1940s, from the housing to the cars to the clothes that people wore.
Now, since you play as a detective, you happen to progress through different desks of the LAPD: Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and Arson. In each of these stages you are assigned a partner, each of whom has their own personality. The only partner I can honestly say that I didn't like is Roy Earle of Vice. He is just an enormous douchebag. The others are fine. The character you play as, Cole Phelps, is a war hero of the Pacific campaign who has joined the LAPD to make the world a better place, and to potentially right some of the wrongs he committed in the war. He is a flawed character, eventually making a choice along the road that damages his once good name. Now, I have nothing against flawed characters, as I find that when done well, they can be the most interesting. But to be honest, I found Cole Phelps to be uninteresting and boring. Oh, and the "wrong choice" that I mentioned, yeah, I pretty much lost all sympathy in him after that. Then again, that may just be me.
Now, while I will complement the innovation that some of the gameplay possessed, there is still one flaw in the experience: It often gets boring. It also doesn't help that the most interesting cases are the Homicide cases, which occur in the middle of the game. Perhaps it may have helped if they gave the gamer a little more in the way of choice, such as in a BioWare title, but the story itself is pretty linear, so it just makes me think that this would have been better off as a TV series. Now to be honest (and I am kind of ashamed to admit this), I didn't truly complete the game. I made it past the first case in the Arson desk, and just gave up afterwards. I looked up the ending on YouTube, and it was underwhelming. I mean, 20 hours and THAT'S all they give you? They do give you the opportunity to replay cases in an attempt to get a better rating, but honestly, I don't see the logic in playing a level in a mystery/detective game once you know what's going to happen.
Now to be honest, this game isn't horrible. It's just not the kind of game I like. There is an audience out there for this game, of that there is no doubt. For now, however, I think I'm good with Xbox Live arcade titles instead. Or that Hunted: THe Demon's Forge game that comes out next week. Hopefully, I'll like that more. And if not, than I have to stop pre-ordering.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8May 23, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is, by far, the most disappointing DLC I have yet to purchase. It isn't bad by any means, but it doesn't quite impress. Why would that be, you may ask? Well, let's take a look.
In this spin-off pack to the actual game, you play as Gabe Weller, a character from the Wii-released Dead Space: Extraction, as he looks to find his young wife Lexine, who also happens to be pregnant with a child. The necromorphs aren't the only threat that you face, however, as a group of individuals are trying to stop Gabe from reuniting with his wife. Why? To be honest, I don't know. I haven't played Extraction, so I feel that maybe I can't judge this properly until I do, but I didn't feel that this held up with the rest of Dead Space 2. Which, let's face it, had it's flaws. The main gripe I had with Severed is that I had hoped it would lengthen the main game. I mean, 8 hours? Really? Unfortunately, this pack lasted around 1 hour. I got more time out of Witch Hunt, for crying out loud. As for gameplay, it's pretty much the same, but it was also disappointing to note that they ripped some of the more nteresting moents from the main game onto this. Remeber when you had to fight off oncoming necromorphs while hanging upside down? It's in here, too. Come on, Visceral, try something different.
In short, this add-on disappoints. It was promising enough, but unimpressed in almost every category.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.4May 21, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Okay, so this is it. The Big One. the DLC so bad that it was awarded the Gamespot award for "Worst DLC to a good game." But is it really so?
First off, the plot: The point of this pack is for you, the player, to find Morrigan for a final face off. Along the way, you gain two temporary allies. Oh yeah, and your dog is back. There is that. Now, that is the entire plot, to find Morrigan and what it is that she plans. And yes, it actually leaves you with more questions with answers, but it also does do a fairly good job at giving you closure. That is, if you have romanced Morrigan. I'm sure if you haven't, than you would be missing out. The pack is also only two hours long, with maybe one side quest. However, given the focus, I'm not sure what else they could have done with it.
Gameplay: This is a pack for Dragon Age: Origins. Outside from a really cool end boss, there's not much that is different. But, then again, it's Dragon Age, so that's not a particularly bad thing.
Characters: Outside of your dog (who I don't need to say much about, because, well... he's a dog), the other two allies that join you are Ariane, an elf searching for Morrigan after the latter steal a sacred book from her tribe (which is never resolved, by the way), and Finn, a young mage who doesn't quite like life outside of the Tower of Magi, but nonetheless joins you on your quest. While these two do provide some humorus dialogue and funny moments, their personalities don't quite wonder beyond what I just told you. That being said, I would like to see them in a future installment, if nothing else to make them more well-rounded characters.
The verdict: I can see why this DLC dissapointed, seeing as how it not only promised a finale to Dragon Age, but was also centered around one of the most popular characters, AND how it was realeased the same day as Lair of the Shadow Broker, which was probably the best add-on for Mass Effect 2 (I thought Liara was kind of "meh" until I played that pack). But as for the worst DLC to a great game? No, I don't see it. True, it's flawed, and ture, BioWare is capable of doing better. But for what it is, a DLC meant to serve as a definite ending to DA:O, it's not that bad. There are some funny moments, an incredible final boss (which admittedly is pretty easy, but I digress), and, if you so choose, an emotional closing scene between the Warden and Morrigan. And, it promises something big will happen in the future of Thedas, something in which the Warden, Morrigan, and their son will play a part in. It could have been a great DLC, but for what it is, it's not terrible. I just wish that they could have brought up the thread in this game in Dragon Age 2. Let's hope Dragon Age 3, at least.… Expand