L.A. Noire Game Aid

23 May in design, lanoire, videogames

L.A. Noire Overlay360 Overlay

Are you the recent proud owner of a copy of Rockstar/Team Bondi's latest blockbuster videogame, L.A. Noire? Are you thinking that your game experience has been lacking something, that there's some kind of disconnect between the controls and the action, but you're not entirely sure what it is?

Well, let me help you there. Some idiot decided that when you're interrogating a witness, and you have to pick between the nebulous options of "Lie", "Doubt" and "Truth", that it would be a really good idea to show the legend for these actions on-screen in completely the opposite order to the way those buttons sit on your game pad.

L.A. Noire is exactly the sort of game which will get non-regular gamers going back to their consoles (I know this is the case because it happened to me), and some of us have used the space in our brains to memorise things other than the order of the buttons on our game-pads - especially when the game allegedly works far better on the console we don't actually own ourselves and we have to play it around our girlfriend's house. So these hypothetical and un-named gamers may well find themselves randomly 'believe'ing people who are obviously lying to them on a regular basis, causing them unnecessary tedium re-playing the same damn mission over from the beginning to get it righ-oh wait, fuck, it happened again. You get the picture.

So I've produced a helpful overlay (above, 360; PS3 version here), which you can print out at an appropriate size and blu-tack onto the top-left bezel of your TV to cover up the annoying and misleading ones the game developers put there. Not only does this replacement game aid correctly order the buttons, but it also re-labels them with more-appropriate text! Because you've probably noticed by now that "Lie" doesn't actually mean "I think you're lying", it means "I'm going to directly accuse you of something random and sometimes unpredictable and hope that I have evidence in my notebook to back it up". "Doubt" doesn't mean "I doubt you're telling me the truth", it means "bullshit" - Either "accuse the witness of bullshitting you" or "bullshit the witness 'til they tell you more", either interpretation works.

Try it - you'll thank me later.

(Why did the game's developers put the buttons the wrong way up? Well, there's two competing theories, and I'm not sure which one holds more water. The first is that the game's developers are Australian, and this is the country that gave the world Fosters, and thus they probably were just too... 'daft' to realise that the prompts would be better the other way up. The other theory is that this is their revenge for a lifetime of "everything is upside-down in Australia" jokes.

Don't get me wrong - I'm thoroughly enjoying the game so far, it's a long way from rubbish. But there are a couple of annoying hang-ups, and this is one of them.)


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