Monday, May 27, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 3

Cole Phelps (Badge One-Two-Four-Seven) has finally graduated from the machinations and diverse plots of the Traffic desk and onto the grim, yet fulfilling work of a Homicide Detective.

Unfortunately, it's the worst desk in the entire game, and with the second worst partner: Rusty Galloway.

The problems with Homicide will become more evident later on, but for now take my word that the arc for the desk is unsatisfying.
For now, I'd like to say that the reason I gave Rusty any compliments in the beginning of this stream is that I completely forgot what an irredeemable piece of human filth he is. He's a wife-beating, lazy, misogynistic drunkard who always takes the easy route when investigating a murder.

This interestingly puts him at odds with Cole, which does offer an interesting dynamic between them, since Cole is a straight-laced by-the-book type. Rusty also takes up the duty of getting Cole's head out of the clouds. Hot off the heels of Traffic (and the cut Burglary) desk, we see that he's become obsessed with rising through the ranks. When he sees a sign that his murder cases might be part of a high-profile serial murder case (the Black Dhalia killings), he immediately wants to try to use it as a springboard to rise through the ranks.

It's the classic Rockstar dynamic of two truly bad people's very specific flaws somehow create a gestalt that doesn't immediately crumble under its own weight. Cole's go-getting attitude balances out Rusty's unbelievable laziness.

And to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, I think it's true to life that flawed people can come together and make some truly awesome things happen. On the other hand, these exact flaws are very unhealthy, especially in investigative work where a level head is one of the most crucial skills of the job. Neither one of them are the kind of person one would trust to keep people safe, which becomes clear as the story progresses. The blatant corruption we see in the LAPD (which was apparently very real from what I've heard) only further compounds the issue.

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