Sunday, July 21, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 7

Despite having one of the worst, most corrupt partners in the entire LAPD, we join detective Cole Phelps in attempting to crack down on corrupt drug trade.

But no crime can escape us so long as we're to do a bit of Detective Work - LA Noire.

It strange that despite the length, most of the juiciest meat takes part towards the end of this episode. We've talked about many of these things before, but it bears repeating. Despite not being developed by Rockstar, LA Noire still suffers from the hallmarks of their design: An over-infatuation with open worlds doesn't make any meaningful contributions to the game. And like most Rockstar games, it tends to bring in complicated themes without doing much with them, as if they have to prove how adult their writing is.

But in addition to all of that, there's the weird scene where Cole Phelps, a married man, goes out of his way to have an affair with a woman he's grown infatuated with. During my first playthrough of the game, I remember being taken aback by this twist. Over time, I've warmed up a lot more to it, but to explain requires more details that we'll talk about in later cases.

The other crucial detail this plot does get into is the corrupt nature of the LAPD. I'm not going to discuss the historical corruption of the force at the time LA Noire takes place, though you should look it up for yourself as it's a very fascinating topic. What is worth nothing is the way the department as a whole, even "good" cops like Cole Phelps, get bent towards protecting this corruption even if they'd be otherwise opposed to it.

Sure, he gets in his subtle acts of rebellion against the authorities at play, like with the boxer on that fixed match, but he'd ultimately still fall in line because otherwise he'd be shaking the boat too much. And as a glory hound with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, Cole Phelps can't stand the idea of risking his position.

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