The Interrogation Game

A man in a corner is never going to shut up. If he shuts up, if he says what I knew I should say, "Call my lawyer," then he's going to the station, he's going to get booked, he's going to court. For a guy in a jam, there's only one way out, to keep explaining, hoping that somehow bullsh*t buys liberty. – Mack Malloy, Pleading Guilty by Scott Turow

Interrogation is the heart of L.A. Noire, and it is broken. It employs a flawed model of interrogation, and each step in the process drives wedges between what the player intended, what the game interprets, and what Det. Cole Phelps actually does. Eventually, like Phelps himself, you might start to accommodate the corrupt system within which you must work, but it remains a bad system.

L.A. Noire presents interrogation as a game of distinguishing truth from lies. The suspect or witness shares a piece of information, and you are presented with three possible reactions. They are: Truth, Doubt, and Lie. Truth signifies that you believe the subject is being truthful, and Lie indicates that you believe the statement is false and you have information that proves it. For instance: You're talking to a freshly-minted widower, and he says that he never had a problem with his murdered wife. Except his daughter told you that he bought his wife a gift as a way of saying, "Sorry for ending our last argument by belting you." So now you've caught him in a lie, and he comes clean. Doubt means you do not believe the statement, but you don't have evidence to back that up. After you select one of these reactions, Phelps responds to the interview subject.

These mechanics always feel artificial and disjointed. Your goal is to keep the conversation going, to respond in a way that makes the suspect give up information that they tried to withhold. But the only way to keep them talking is to decide whether or not they are lying. The decision you have to make is not really related to your goal.

The problem for L.A. Noire is that its audience knows the rules of the police procedural, even if sweating a suspect isn't something most people have done outside the confines of marriage and child-rearing. We know that the trick is to force liars to add to their lies, to adjust them on the fly, using bits and pieces of the truth to frame new falsehoods. Hostile interrogation is about entrapment and manipulation. Whether someone is being honest or not is almost immaterial. If you have evidence, you force them explain it or you withhold it until you can hang them with it. If you don't have evidence, you let the instinct to keep explaining work its magic, until eventually the constructed story snaps under its own weight. We have read and and watched the scenes that L.A. Noire attempts to translate into a game, and we know the translation is hopelessly flawed. The object of the game is to make someone tell you something they didn't want to. L.A. Noire presents it as a multiple choice mind-reading test.

Even if you grant that this is a contrivance necessary to spin gameplay out of interrogation (although couldn't your choice be one of attitude: good cop, bad cop, professionally detached cop?), the three possible reactions are coarse-grained and unclear. L.A. Noire presents you with one "edge case" after another that confounds the limited selection of reactions. For instance, how should you respond to someone who is telling the truth, but not all of it? Remember, two of the possible responses involve accusing people of lying, so do you really want to do that with a material witness who might just be reticent, not deceitful?

An example: In one case, Phelps is interviewing a victim's landlady. She's not in the frame for the murder. Phelps questions her about where the victim spent her time outside the boarding house, and the landlady says that she doesn't really know, that the victim never really confided in her. Now, this makes perfect sense, but maybe the landlady knows more than she is telling. Does that make her a liar? Obviously not, but what is going to happen if you select Truth? Phelps might effectively abandon that line of questioning, or he might suggest that surely the landlady has some idea of what her boarders get up to. If you select Doubt, there is a very good chance that Phelps will effectively badger her, and she might tell him to go to hell. Or Phelps might find a way of cajoling more info. The correct reaction to this woman is a mixture of belief and doubt. She has more information, and she even wants to be helpful. How to get her to tell you more?

The nuclear option is to accuse her of lying. You have the victim's library card, for instance. Phelps could tell the landlady he knows she's lying and brandish the library card to prove ... what, exactly? That you know the victim used the L.A. library system, so the landlady must know something? Obviously it's a ridiculous idea, but in the strange logic of L.A. Noire, it just might work. In cases like this, you're shooting in the dark. You want the landlady to tell you whatever she has internally dismissed as irrelevant or unkind about the victim, but your options suggest nothing about how you will accomplish that.

Which brings us to Phelps, and his bizarre, seemingly out-of-context reactions. In order to justify why getting the "Truth or Lie" questions wrong will result in giving up on important lines of questioning, Phelps has to make the most ghastly gaffes you can imagine. Whether it's chewing out a teenage rape victim while she lies in her hospital bed, or threatening an obviously grieving friend about what you'll do to him if he doesn't start talking, Phelps is all about inappropriate confrontation.

In Team Bondi's defense, Phelps is not a likable person. He is lacking in empathy and gets along poorly with most people. It makes sense that he has a limited interrogation repertoire. But there are too many times when actor Aaron Staton's line readings bear no relationship to what has just transpired in the game. Perhaps he heard the same words, but he missed the tone, and so his response seems spliced-in from another conversation. It's a consistent annoyance, but it is outrageous in the interviews, because Phelps is clearly behaving stupidly just to punish the player for having an incorrect reaction. "Listen kid! If you don't come clean about your murdered mother and help us send your dad to the gas chamber, I'm going to throw your ass in jail!" As a little girl bursts into tears, you can only stare in slack-jawed shock at a detective who thought that was an appropriate follow-up.

My problem isn't with failure, but with failing because the game gave me no way to express my mixed reactions to a witness's behavior, or my intentions in questioning. I could handle the flawed interrogation mechanics if the ways of controlling them were exact and consistent, but they are not. At least, not in a way that is convincing.

I will admit here that I have become much better at this aspect of the game, and my interrogations have become more rewarding, but only because I have learned to compensate for this strange conversation system by ignoring my intuition and trusting what the suspects' overdone body language tells me. Even that fails me at some crucial junctures, but perhaps that's what really makes this game noir. Like any classic noir hero, I am trying to play a rigged game according to rules that I don't understand.

Comments

A well-written article as usual, and I found myself nodding in agreement more than I'd like. Overall, I'm enjoying my time with L.A. Noire, but the interrogation system has led to far more frustration than I was anticipating.

For instance, how should you respond to someone who is telling the truth, but not all of it?

This scenario happens constantly, and the interrogation system is not properly designed to account for it. I have gotten much better at interrogations with practice, but as you said, it is only because I have adapted to the game's method for reading the witnesses and learned to ignore my own intuition.

I think you are criticizing this game for trying to do something that nobody has ever done before (at least to the best of my knowledge) and not doing it perfectly. I have been having some of the same frustrations you mention but I am trying to figure out what the game wants me to do so I can make for a good experience. There have been times that I have failed on an interegation and felt satisfied with the result.

Much like Heavy Rain (which had some people hate it for the reasons I loved it), it is an attempt at a new style of gaming and I am going to support it the best I can so it can get better.

You're lying Zacny, and I know it. You've always hated this game, but you bought it anyway, took it home, and smashed its skull in with a socket wrench! Now you better start coming clean before I break your jaw!

/checks notepad

Oops, looks like I don't have any evidence to back that up. Apologies sir, let me try again. Water under the bridge yeah. But Lord help me if I incorrectly doubt you once.

Gravey wrote:

You're lying Zacny, and I know it. You've always hated this game, but you bought it anyway, took it home, and smashed its skull in with a socket wrench! Now you better start coming clean before I break your jaw!

Brilliant. Bravo.

kazar wrote:

I think you are criticizing this game for trying to do something that nobody has ever done before (at least to the best of my knowledge) and not doing it perfectly. I have been having some of the same frustrations you mention but I am trying to figure out what the game wants me to do so I can make for a good experience. There have been times that I have failed on an interegation and felt satisfied with the result.

To be honest, I'm only a bit into the game (basically just got done the tutorial cases and am now starting the first real case, about to confront the victim's wife) but I feel like it could have used a lot more focus testing early on to figure out if the system would even work.

I'm already craving for them to have either taken more influence from Alpha Protocol or from Phoenix Wright. When I went to the first girl who I was supposed to question, the first suspect, I know the game was basically telling me to accuse her of lying. But it seemed like the better option would be to doubt her, to maybe press her for more details. In fact, when someone's story is fishy in Phoenix Wright, that's precisely what you do.

She yelled at me and then I lost my chance to question her.

It feels more like I'm using the Mass Effect system, where I choose what feels like a reasonable option and then Shepard says something I didn't at all intend or mean. When you get right down to it, this should be the sort of system you could most easily test early on in terms of gameplay, or even with live actors, to figure out how it would work.

So I'm now going into the game with little confidence, uncertain of how many people I'll end up putting in the slammer that don't deserve to be there.

kazar wrote:

I think you are criticizing this game for trying to do something that nobody has ever done before (at least to the best of my knowledge) and not doing it perfectly. I have been having some of the same frustrations you mention but I am trying to figure out what the game wants me to do so I can make for a good experience. There have been times that I have failed on an interegation and felt satisfied with the result.

Much like Heavy Rain (which had some people hate it for the reasons I loved it), it is an attempt at a new style of gaming and I am going to support it the best I can so it can get better.

Aren't articles like this the exact kind of thing that's needed to make this new style of gaming better?

Dysplastic wrote:

Aren't articles like this the exact kind of thing that's needed to make this new style of gaming better?

It depends if the article scares off potential buyers or not. I don't want this game to become the next Mirrors Edge.

kazar wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Aren't articles like this the exact kind of thing that's needed to make this new style of gaming better?

It depends if the article scares off potential buyers or not. I don't want this game to become the next Mirrors Edge.

I think the fact that the Rockstar name and marketing team are backing this game means it will sell very well.

Nice thoughts, Rob.

I basically had a similar article written up and ready to post on my blog. I think designers need to start looking at their audience more and realising that we all have different ways of interpreting things and of relating to inputs during conversation. For me, the word "doubt" isn't accusing someone of lying, it's trying to get them to expand on what they're saying. It's a "You're not telling me everything but you're possibly not intentionally lying" option.

However, the game treats it as "You're lying but i have no proof at the current time".... which, if you do have proof you need to choose "lie" instead. I don't know if the game alters which conversation options you get a tick next to based on clues gathered but i certainly felt like getting a tick next to an option that i had doubted the answer to but gained no knowledge or understanding of was pointless.

I haven't had a chance to see how LA Noire handles it yet, but I generally liked the way the dialogue options worked out in the Mass Effect games, weird misinterpretations and all. In a weird way, it almost added to the verisimilitude of the character of Shepherd: haven't you ever tried to say something and you can't quite phrase it the way you mean it and then once the words are out of your mouth you realize that you've just said something completely different than what you intended?

Maybe that's just a fanwank explanation, but I thought it worked out okay.

Dyni wrote:
kazar wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Aren't articles like this the exact kind of thing that's needed to make this new style of gaming better?

It depends if the article scares off potential buyers or not. I don't want this game to become the next Mirrors Edge.

I think the fact that the Rockstar name and marketing team are backing this game means it will sell very well.

That didn't help Bully.

I definitely agree with the article. My wife and I have been playing together, and make every interrogation decision on the edge of our seats.

But there are too many times when actor Aaron Staton's line readings bear no relationship to what has just transpired in the game.

There have been plenty of moments where we've chosen the "wrong" answer and Phelps says incredibly random accusations. For instance, a witness says they don't know anything about a particular piece of evidence, and we think they're lying about it, so we choose the evidence we think proves that lie and instead of giving us a line that is situationally appropriate, Phelps yells something like "I know you're lying! You committed that murder!!!!" When my wife and I had only meant to imply the witness was lying about a piece of evidence, not that we thought they were the murderer.

There are only so many clues per case, it does seem weird that they wouldn't record specific responses for each piece of evidence you can choose to provide as proof of a lie. Even though that's a good deal more work for the developers, it really does break the believability of the game when you, the player, choose something that seems completely logical and the game can't provide logical feedback. It's not like this is a text adventure and we're typing in silly random words. It's a closed system. The use of audio cues "Generic Response A-E" for wrong interrogation choices makes for a confusing and disjointed experience.

[side note, and one of complete conjecture: a lot of audio people on the development side of things talk about the fact that they aren't allocated very much memory to store audio files, so maybe the interrogation problems are tied to the fact that the facial animations took up so much space that they had to cut certain audio cues... just a thought....]

Ariskany Evan wrote:

[side note, and one of complete conjecture: a lot of audio people on the development side of things talk about the fact that they aren't allocated very much memory to store audio files, so maybe the interrogation problems are tied to the fact that the facial animations took up so much space that they had to cut certain audio cues... just a thought....]

I am very curious how much memory this "MotionScan" facial animation data consumes. It's probably just a bunch of spatial keyframes, which normally wouldn't take up as much space as an audio or video file... but then again, it would have to be a TON of spatial keyframes.

I am loving the game, but can admit the interrogations are borked. Maybe my enjoyment (and lack of frustration) stems from the fact that I am playing with a guide (going for the 5star all cases achievement - don't you judge me!), and am playing the game as a slightly interactive TV show.

I think you are perhaps overly harsh on L.A. Noire, but will concede that ultimately it isn't quite a game; it is more of an experience. I am glad I bought this at full price because I want to see more of this type of entertainment in the future.

I get the problems he has with the interrogations but I think they're overstated personally. I fully expected LA Noire to become my new game of the year but unless some big changes happen near the end, it won't. However, I still am loving it and often finding the interrogations challenging. Failing to get a question right really feels like a defeat which is not what I expected it to evoke. I often get really frustrated when I get an accusation wrong, not because the game didn't present it well but because I know I missed something. It has occasionally been a failure that I think was undeserved but that happens with all games. I agree that sometimes it feels like Phelps and the people he's talking to are disjointed, like they were recorded at different times (which they likely were, a problem with almost all video game dialogue) but things like him accusing someone of murder just for showing contradictory evidence is intentional I think. Aside from being a character without a lot of empathy, his job is to try to put people on edge to make them reveal things they normally wouldn't. Accusing someone of murder is a good way to rile them up. If you look at a lot of cop shows, this is a technique that's often used and a cop show vibe is definitely what they're going for here.

I think a key thing that's being overlooked here is that the game isn't all about interrogations. The order in which you visit locations and present evidence to those you interrogate is just as important. I've had suspects I wasn't able to generate any leads out of because I didn't pick the ideal order of places to check for evidence. I replayed one case to test this and when I did things in a different order, I presented better evidence to that suspect and got much more information out of him. The game's far from a full open world but you have the freedom to pursue things in different ways and it's critical when playing to analyse all those perspectives.

The thing that I also think is important is that the game doesn't fail you outright for not doing an interrogation or pursuing a case in the ideal way. You may not get the highest ranking but you don't get an arbitrary game over when you have failed your third question or something like that. That would have been a very easy design decision to make and they avoided it which I think is a very good thing. If you're not the best at a particular element of case work, the game won't slap you around for it.

This is a game by a rookie team (the writer and director has only one other real title under his belt too which is The Getaway, a polarising one) who has pulled off some amazing stuff and yeah, it's definitely got some aspects that should and likely will get refined for future installments. However, I think this is an incredible first effort at creating a new sub-genre that's largely been unexplored so far. Like Heavy Rain, LA Noire has many flaws that can be dealt with in time but I think this expansion of the medium is important and I think writing it off because the first one wasn't perfect is a bad idea.

kazar wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Aren't articles like this the exact kind of thing that's needed to make this new style of gaming better?

It depends if the article scares off potential buyers or not. I don't want this game to become the next Mirrors Edge.

I take issue with the idea that the purpose of criticism is to make sure the game sells well. The assumption is that Mirror's Edge brought nothing to the table because it didn't sell well. Actually it's been fairly influential in many ways, because critically it got talked about quite a bit. That doesn't mean it got a direct sequel or anything, just saying it did have an impact.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

This is a game by a rookie team (the writer and director has only one other real title under his belt too which is The Getaway, a polarising one) who has pulled off some amazing stuff and yeah, it's definitely got some aspects that should and likely will get refined for future installments. However, I think this is an incredible first effort at creating a new sub-genre that's largely been unexplored so far. Like Heavy Rain, LA Noire has many flaws that can be dealt with in time but I think this expansion of the medium is important and I think writing it off because the first one wasn't perfect is a bad idea.

I had no idea that the director had his hand in The Getaway. That makes me like Team Bondi that much more-- I thought that was an awesome game, and even pointed out to the wife a couple nights ago how similar the two games actually are, from an open-world/driving perspective. Mostly I was recalling the way The Getaway directed players through the streets to their next destination-- turn signals would blink when you needed to turn down the next street. I wish LA Noire did the same thing.

As far as the interrogations, I feel that the out-of-context responses are wildly out of context, but are good indicators that they are also the wrong responses. I've found that when the right choices are made, Phelps stays within context of the interview/interrogation. I do agree, though, that those three options are far too polarizing at times, in that if I choose "Doubt," I'd rather simply tell the guy I doubt what he's saying is the whole truth; instead, Phelps goes off on an angry tangent and I lose that part.

This isn't to say that the system is broken, necessarily-- and I think that's kind of a strong wording from Rob-- but it definitely needs improvement. I think the system we have now is borne of multiple reasons, though. First, this is really the first game of its kind-- to interrogate someone based on their facial ticks and such isn't something games could do successfully until now, and getting it to work as well as it does had to have been a huge undertaking. Not only that, but to introduce something so new and unique to the game industry, it couldn't possibly be successful were it as intricate and nuanced as a real-life conversation is, what with the possibilities of intelligent dialog, and the gray areas between truth and lies, independence and coercion. As was mentioned, the file sizes of the animations and audio would be huge, and the media games are produced upon are simply not large enough to carry all of that detail. And even if they were able to do so, that is so much subtlety in conversations to try to design, I'd say it would be nearly impossible to properly capture all of that in the first go ,let alone assume the audience would dive right into something so intricate.

Instead, I feel that this is a solid foundation for future games of the sort. Yes, it needs improvements, but the fact that overall it is successful in doing what Team Bondi set out to do, sets the stage for them to do even better in the next round. They've proven their design, now they should have the freedom to iterate upon it and make it that much better. I feel like this is the first successful baby step, and I can't wait to see the possibilities that come from it.

Having just finished up the first Phoenix Wright, I can assert that L.A. Noir isn't the first game to struggle with fitting all responses into a limited set of categories.

If anything, I think these show just how well BioWare did with the ME2 system.

PyromanFO wrote:
kazar wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Aren't articles like this the exact kind of thing that's needed to make this new style of gaming better?

It depends if the article scares off potential buyers or not. I don't want this game to become the next Mirrors Edge.

I take issue with the idea that the purpose of criticism is to make sure the game sells well. The assumption is that Mirror's Edge brought nothing to the table because it didn't sell well. Actually it's been fairly influential in many ways, because critically it got talked about quite a bit. That doesn't mean it got a direct sequel or anything, just saying it did have an impact.

I can't emphasize Pyro's first sentence enough. Plenty of people get paid decent money to market these games. That's not our job.

As for the Mirror's Edge example, I think it's deeply flawed. I don't know about reviewers, but critics generally really liked that game.

Interesting. Haven't played, but it reminds me of Mass Effect, where the short text choice often doesn't really match up with the audio that comes after you choose it.

Maybe ME3 will refine things a bit, and give a better model to copy from for other games.

I think that the one-word response system has definite advantages over the older system whereby what you click is exactly what you say. The latter is capable of deeper and more intricate conversations [see: Planescape Torment, where certain dialogue options would vary often by a single word,] but the former allows for a much more challenging and more imprecise conversation.

It's like, in the one-word system you are just trying to muddle your way through a conversation, and it seems a lot more challenging. In Torment [again with the Planescape reference] it was often disappointingly easy to see which dialogue choice was the most rewarding one to choose / the way to win the argument, simply because it was the longest! The game had beautifully written dialogue, but there was no challenge in the conversational aspect of it, you could sit back, take your time and read out all of the options.

If the system were placed into L.A. Noire, it would be very difficult to make the dialogue challenging, you'd have to absolutely avoid anything that would make it obviously the right choice, which means that Cole wouldn't be able to make any leaps of logic in either Truth or Doubt, (because the player could just read ahead on both options.)

I guess the latter is more immersive in this context [when it works, because you have to think about what is going to be said for yourself, which is obviously necessary in L.A. Noire. I still have a soft spot for the first, though, for the intricacy and expressive choice enabled.

There's no perfect "conversation" system, it kind of depends on what role you want conversation to play during the game, in L.A. Noire conversation victory/failure is on a singular scale, with a measure of success given after every conversation. In Planescape Torment and other games using the older system, conversations often have no victory/failure conditions and are invitations to experiment and develop a character.

I'm enjoying the game, though I do agree with the majority of the criticism.

It's the closest thing in years to my favorite FMV game of all time, In the 1st Degree.

Also, I picked up the game knowing my wife would enjoy watching and being able to participate from the couch. "He's LYING!!"

I haven't played L.A. Noire yet, but it sounds like the whole problem could have been avoided if the three options had been contextually renamed throughout the game so that they each reflected their outcomes in each given situation better. You know, sometimes instead of "Doubt", it's replaced with "Probe" or something. That would at least seem to be the quickest and cheapest way to fix it.

MechaSlinky wrote:

I haven't played L.A. Noire yet, but it sounds like the whole problem could have been avoided if the three options had been contextually renamed throughout the game so that they each reflected their outcomes in each given situation better. You know, sometimes instead of "Doubt", it's replaced with "Probe" or something. That would at least seem to be the quickest and cheapest way to fix it.

Agreed

I would have liked a more Pheonix Wright solution as well. Keep the multiple choice... but make the multiple choice be A)Fact #1 in statement is wrong B) Fact #2 in statement is wrong C) You're leaving something out or D) I think you're telling the truth. I think that would still have fit exactly in the style of gameplay and interrogation that the developers wanted without feeling as disconnected when we get something wrong. At least we know what we got wrong in that case. Or closer, anyway.

I'm loving the game, especially the ever moving plot regardless of how much or little I screw things up as Phelps. I still seethe when I get interrogations wrong, and they make me want to replay them every time because it seems like such an arbitrary fail that I didn't DESERVE to get it wrong, but it's nice that the game rolls along well enough after that I don't feel like I HAVE to.

It feels like they were just trying to find a way to EXTREMELY HIGHLIGHT the facial movements in the interrogation gameplay, and in doing so inadvertently removed the context.

PyromanFO wrote:
kazar wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Aren't articles like this the exact kind of thing that's needed to make this new style of gaming better?

It depends if the article scares off potential buyers or not. I don't want this game to become the next Mirrors Edge.

I take issue with the idea that the purpose of criticism is to make sure the game sells well. The assumption is that Mirror's Edge brought nothing to the table because it didn't sell well. Actually it's been fairly influential in many ways, because critically it got talked about quite a bit. That doesn't mean it got a direct sequel or anything, just saying it did have an impact.

Thats not how I saw it. All I ever heard was Mirror's edge is a failure and that people are scared that EA would revert to sequels to old IPs instead of coming up with more new IPs like Mirror's Edge.

I think the context is being hidden in the back quotes. This was a response to the question about criticism of games are about making future games better and I was saying that if everyone only bashes a game that is introducing new and interesting gameplay mechanics, it will most likely be considered a failure and these gameplay mechanics could be DOA. Note that I was never saying the criticism shouldn't happen, just saying that I would rather support a game that is trying something new but with flaws in hopes that future games can improve upon it.

I'm loving the game, especially the ever moving plot regardless of how much or little I screw things up as Phelps. I still seethe when I get interrogations wrong, and they make me want to replay them every time because it seems like such an arbitrary fail that I didn't DESERVE to get it wrong, but it's nice that the game rolls along well enough after that I don't feel like I HAVE to.

That's the major problem with the system, I think. There are a lot of questions where it actually doesn't matter if you hit Truth or Doubt. In those cases, you're "penalized" by not getting the points, but you still get the same information. I think it would be a lot more effective if the game didn't tell you that you got the question right until the end of the case.

cube wrote:
I'm loving the game, especially the ever moving plot regardless of how much or little I screw things up as Phelps. I still seethe when I get interrogations wrong, and they make me want to replay them every time because it seems like such an arbitrary fail that I didn't DESERVE to get it wrong, but it's nice that the game rolls along well enough after that I don't feel like I HAVE to.

That's the major problem with the system, I think. There are a lot of questions where it actually doesn't matter if you hit Truth or Doubt. In those cases, you're "penalized" by not getting the points, but you still get the same information. I think it would be a lot more effective if the game didn't tell you that you got the question right until the end of the case.

That's spot on. Without the immediate feedback I'd feel a lot less aggravation. I think there might be an option to turn that off.

Jolly Bill wrote:
cube wrote:
I'm loving the game, especially the ever moving plot regardless of how much or little I screw things up as Phelps. I still seethe when I get interrogations wrong, and they make me want to replay them every time because it seems like such an arbitrary fail that I didn't DESERVE to get it wrong, but it's nice that the game rolls along well enough after that I don't feel like I HAVE to.

That's the major problem with the system, I think. There are a lot of questions where it actually doesn't matter if you hit Truth or Doubt. In those cases, you're "penalized" by not getting the points, but you still get the same information. I think it would be a lot more effective if the game didn't tell you that you got the question right until the end of the case.

That's spot on. Without the immediate feedback I'd feel a lot less aggravation. I think there might be an option to turn that off.

It would definately make the game more immersive to actually not know if you got all the information out of the suspect or witness. Even if they made it an option (hardcore mode). I would even say that I wouldn't want to know after I am finished the case so if I ever want to replay the game I won't be able to game the system and know what to say.

Heh, its funny to see a spam bot post items for sale but not provide a way to buy them.

Like any classic noir hero, I am trying to play a rigged game according to rules that I don't understand.

Mr Rob Zacny, this is the best final line of any article I ever read.

wordsmythe wrote:

As for the Mirror's Edge example, I think it's deeply flawed. I don't know about reviewers, but critics generally really liked that game.

I wish more people would draw this distinction.