Week 1 – Character Analysis and Comparison.


Cole Phelps – From playing L.A Noire for a relatively short period of time it would seem that Cole Phelps is a detective who likes to play life by the rules. Furthermore, Phelps has strict self discipline which may have sprung out of his experiences within the marine corps. One could suggest that he comes across as a relatively normal detective in terms of wanting to get to the bottom of all cases in an attempt to restore justice. Unlike others working for the police force, Cole doesn’t drink and only resorts to violence unless there is no other option. It is also evident that Cole his highly intelligent. This is shown not only through his ability to solve crimes and decipher puzzles, but also through his referencing of famous literature, most notably William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Malcolm ‘Mal’ Carruther – The Coroner

The coroner within L.A Noire strikes me as a particularly interesting individual. ‘Mal’ tends to steer clear of anything non work related within his conversations and is straight to the point with his dialogue. ‘Mal’ is very experienced at what he does, and it is even revealed that he has worked as a coroner for twenty three years. At times, Mal’s knowledge and experience of human anatomy has been known to completely change the way in which a particular case is viewed. For example, within one particular case it is assumed that a victim was killed by a car. However, a post-mortem by Mal revealed that the victim in fact died from a stab wound.

Whilst playing L.A Noire the character of Cole Phelps reminded me a little bit of detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) from David Fincher’s thriller entitled “Se7en”. Obvious similarities include the fact that both are veterans of some kind, both work in the homicide department within the police force and both wear a fedora style hat. It could also be argued that these characters are intelligent and are very successful in their line of work. It is also worth pointing out that both characters are portrayed as being well read and calm individuals.

On the other hand, the character of Mal appears to be similar in personality to that of Eddard Stark from George R.R Martins “A game of thrones”. Although entirely different in terms of role and circumstances, both characters are extremely straight to the point in what they say and do, and both contribute greatly in helping those around them, particularly by those viewed above them by society.

There are certain plots and cases within L.A Noire that make the game fall into the thriller, and perhaps into the horror genre. The gamer is often faced with cases of cold blooded murders, rape and fraud. Other films nd books which include such scenes include “Se7en” and Stieg Larsson’s “The girl with the dragon tattoo. Additionally, one could argue that L.A Noire follows the crime and detective genre in that many twists are evident throughout certain cases in order to keep the gamer engaged within the plot.




  1. cbap / Mar 18th, 2012 23:12 Quote

    I like the way that you’ve described Cole as somebody who likes to play life by the rules, as I agree to some extent. However, do you think this is only one dimension of him? He was considered over-confident in WWII. Is the ‘new’ Cole a criticism of the ‘old’ Cole? Perhaps the story which parallels about his past is significant at a later stage in the game?


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