Friday, June 7, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 4

Our exploits at the Homicide desk continue as we investigate the Black Dhal.... I mean, we investigate a series of random, completely unrelated murders that all just happen to have very similar MOs.

There are two things that truly hold the Homicide desk back, aside from the fact that your partner is just one or the worst people.

The first one is a problem that we so ineptly dodged in The Golden Butterfly (the case wrapped up at the start of this episode). While in the recording, Hugo Moller ran away because he was afraid of a murder charge, there is another way the case can wrap up.

As you could see, the evidence for both of the suspects was circumstantial at best, and could be interpreted as implicating either one. Without anything that can effectively tie either of them to the crime, it's essentially up to the player's questioning skills. Proper interrogating will allow the player to choose which of the two suspects that charge with murder.

A high ranking is only achieved in this case if the player successfully accues Eli Rooney of the murder. This isn't because he's the killer, but rather he's a pedophile. The police will accept this as the most desirable outcome because although the real killer is still at large, this case serves as an excellent excuse to take a pedophile off the streets.

Now, to be clear, pedophiles are vile and I agree that such evil people should be taken off the streets and rehabilitated because of the damage they do to the lives of young people. However, it is frustrating that the game active gives the player a bad rating for "booking the wrong guy" when it's obvious to everyone that neither of the two suspects actually committed the crime. It's hard to not think of these kinds of choices as "false" for that reason. After all, the story goes on even if the "wrong" choice is made.

Which is the other problem with Homicide desk is that this kind of investigation, even if the cases where the player don't get a choice in which killer they indicts. Aside from Finbarr "Rusty" Galloway, absolutely everyone else knows or suspects that all of the murders being investigated are the result of one serial killer. However, we have to pretend they aren't just so they we can investigate the case and falsely accuse another husband or secret admirer of the dead woman. There's not one case that's unrelated to the Black Dhalia killings, and one begins to feel it as they wear on.

I can't wait to be done with it so that I can get on to Vice, one of the game's better desks.

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