1st group of Questions

7

Cole Phelps: Sticking to the standard that is set by a game which carries film noir characteristics, the main protagonist is a flawed justice seeking detective. The interesting twist however is that we, the players, watch his rise, fall and eventual redemption. We see him love and we see this reciprocated, but equally we see him despised as his ‘bad behaviour’ is uncovered. Phelps is an interesting character to play, especially as through the facial mapping technology we play as a digitised actor rather than an avatar.

Cole reminds me of a stereotypical early 1900’s honest policeman. I could see him as being a shining light at the start of the game, though with story progress more a rough diamond. It was however difficult to associate the character to other characters after knowing him as Ken Cosgrove on Mad Men.

Roy Earle (Partner during Vice desk missions): Where Phelps’ other partners can be nice, rude, brash or beaten down but still good lawmen, Earle is obviously crooked from the first time you meet him. He is setup instantly as someone who you will have conflicts with, someone who you are not supposed to like deep down. This belief was reinforced for me when we are given the task to drive to the next mission in his car, very different from that of a standard issue police cruiser. However this instant hatred for his character made him interesting.

Earle is meant to trigger that sense of hatred in most, something that reminded me of Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage) in Bad Lieutenant. Though Earle did tend to lend his attitude to more of a pimp in my mind, no doubt due to his long history on Vice.

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Comments

  1. AndrewKingsley / Mar 15th, 2012 18:11 Quote

    I agree with your point about Roy Earle, who was obviously created to implement a huge contrast between Cole and his other partners. His attitudes towards Women is also a huge step up from the other characters who call them stupid and broads. Roy instead physically assaults one lady just because of her ancestary.

  2. ticknaylor / Mar 16th, 2012 16:23 Quote

    I like your point about playing a digitised avatar rather than an actor. I get a very different feeling when playing this game compared to games such as Fabel, when we are very much in control of the character. In Fable, it situates the gamer as in complete moral control of the character, and it has always felt as if I were existing in the game play. However, with LA Noire, although there are certain choices to be made, it feels more like I am progressing Phelps’ destiny which has already been decided. This is much the same feeling as watching a film or reading a novel, I do not feel that I have any control over any of the characters. This aspect contradicts with what I have come to expect from contemporary games, but it makes it more compelling because the plot becomes the most important element of game play.

    • Synchiron / Mar 17th, 2012 13:46 Quote

      @ticknaylor
      I agree with your point completely, L.A. Noire feels almost like a book, albeit and interactive one, where everything is predestined and as you play you feel like you’re move towards something that has already happened, where as in the Fable games you are in control, you can choose many paths and your game play is reflective of that, especially as you can visibly be an evil or good character; LA Noire seems to retain alot of ambiguities about all of it’s characters till the very end, really.

  3. Albertwhitehead48 / Mar 16th, 2012 20:07 Quote

    I also liked your point about playing as a digitised actor rather than an actor as I feel that whilst playing as Cole Phelps I don’t connect with him as a character in a game, like I do in other games, such as Mass Effect or Skyrim. It certainly feels to me that I am watching a film at some points and I think this makes the whole facial recognition software all the more useful.

  4. Lieutenant Sam / Mar 17th, 2012 17:21 Quote

    I found all this comments interesting, it appears so that the game does concentrate on plot that is pushed on a fixed track, much the same as a book. You don’t have control over the character’s development and little impact of decisions. It all seems contrived and can get agitating, but if you see past this and see what the game is trying to do it works very well. I think the game didn’t get as much praise as it deserves because it was so different in a way that people are afraid to acknowledge.

  5. Thomas / Mar 18th, 2012 18:16 Quote

    It was interesting how you referenced Bad Lieutenant – although isn’t that film more of a surrealist character piece than a detective story? I think in that film, the fact that Terence McDonagh is a broken human being is secondary to his status as a corrupt police. Plus Earle isn’t a drug addict – he chooses to be a bad police officer. A very interesting comparsion though.

  6. M.Lockheart / Apr 12th, 2012 12:23 Quote

    Cole Phelps certainly has a dichotomy both in personality and he has a lot of moral inner conflict. He seems to run a Jekyll and Hyde persona as he starts off as a righteous upstanding crime fighter but eventually his nobility begins to take a fall. He is revealed to be flawed like the rest of humanity. In this sense it may be said that he reflects the generic view of humanity and perhaps the dichotomy in his personality reflects the time the game is set in. His background also reveals his instability and his disturbed past seems to leak in to his present life, infecting and distorting it along the way. It will be interesting to see the full effect his past has on his current condition and how it continues to shape him as a character.

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