View Full Version : Question for those who've finished LA Noire *spoilers*

31-08-2012, 03:12 PM
So, I just finished LA Noire - very late to the party, I know. Great ending, really nailed the noir-ness. The whole thing's probably the most cinematic game I've ever played, though whether that's a good thing is up to individual tastes - I really liked it, but see how others wouldn't.

But anyway, my question is, does it feel to anyone else like it's deliberately ambiguous whether Cole committed suicide/chose to die at the end? He didn't even try to jump out of the sewer (but then he didn't have much time). Also, the way the game was drip-feeding the info about the "incident" in the caves in Japan make it seem like the guilt may have finally got too much for him (although minutes earlier he was still talking about trying to bring justice to the main conspirators). He also just seemed really defeated emotionally at the end (but not enough to want at first to bring that guy in alive). I hope this was intentional, as if so it was a great storytelling gambit.

As an aside, I loved the way the perception of Cole totally changes as the story progresses, at the start he seems like a golden boy who can do no wrong, but things become much more ambiguous towards the end. On the other hand, to achieve this, the story had to do some things that seem counter to the principles of player agency in games - such as withholding information from the player or only hinting at it (eg the affair). I mean, was this the only game ever that features a main protagonist who you don't control in the climax? This makes it less like roleplaying and more like watching a movie, which totally works in this game but definitely wouldn't suit for most.

31-08-2012, 06:01 PM
I don't think it was part of the plan to start with, but I think Cole made the choice to sacrifice himself as a form of redemption and acceptance of his past failings.

The game was good, I remember enjoying it, though it did occasionally frustrate. Especially a few cases where I knew something was wrong and the game simply wouldn't give you an option to voice that until the plot dictated that you 'realised' it a while later. Also the questioning bits made Cole seem like he had multiple personality disorder and I think that jarred with become attached to the character.

31-08-2012, 07:03 PM
I don't think it was part of the plan to start with, but I think Cole made the choice to sacrifice himself as a form of redemption and acceptance of his past failings.

That's the impression I got as well.

01-09-2012, 07:53 PM
Agree with the two above. Redemption etc. I did very much like Cole's story arc, both in terms of how we as the player percieve him and as how he as a character develops.

He feels very... flawed; more human. Initially because of his preachy-ness, which is made worse when he cheats on his wife and then later when we found out his past. In hindsight he seems very much trying to redeem himself throughout, but failing that and failing his family, he dies nobly which is frankly the best he could hope for.

It is, after all, easier to die for a noble cause than to live for one.

01-09-2012, 11:15 PM
I don't have much to add (maybe when I get to replay it with the DLCs), but I wanted to say thanks for letting me now I'm not the only one on this forum who enjoyed that game.

01-09-2012, 11:21 PM
I didn't get that feeling at all. I got the feeling he realized he wasn't getting out in time and just kind of came to terms with it in a matter of seconds.

On another note, I hated the ending. It came way too fast. He just died out of nowhere and then after a ~30 second funeral cutscene, that was it. Nothing.

I really enjoyed the rest of the game, and Cole's descent made it all that much more tense, but the ending just wasn't satisfying at all.

01-09-2012, 11:31 PM
Yeah, there was nothing really redeeming about Cole. He went into the tunnel to save his lover, was never there for anyone but his personal interests and ended up dying because he didn't escape a sewer in time. Nothing learned or changed about him.

02-09-2012, 12:00 AM
I only played it recently too. Really enjoyed the game for what it was and the over arching story line was pretty well done but i felt the affair thing just detracted from it. I just remember thinking "am i meant to care?". I'm still not sure, but i didn't.

02-09-2012, 03:10 AM
Thanks guys for the replies, because there were different opinions over whether Cole did choose at the last minute to die or just didn't have time to escape, I'm going to assume the ambiguity was deliberate and give the writers much kudos.

Kudos both for the intentional ambiguity and the risks they took with the story - deliberately creating a main character many people dislike or are at least ambivalent about took a lot of guts in this climate of publishers playing it safe. As did including the affair without giving the player any choice in the matter, I've read a number of posts complaining about that element, but it was important to the noir story they were trying to tell.