…and a tickle of the funny bone
When I started out my career on the traffic desk of the LAPD, I really wasn’t expecting to be much more than a glorified traffic light. Alas, I was wrong. Abandoned vehicles have led to possible murders, hit-and-runs have uncovered relationships amuck, and the less said about cars dangling on cliffs the better. Nothing is ever as it seems in L.A. Noire, and the second DLC case A Slip Of The Tongue proves that even the slightest incident can escalate into the greatest of melodramas. A Slip Of The Tongue kicks off with another day, another dollar car theft. It’s easy to become desensitised to the manic street chases that occur in L.A., but this one ends with the hasty suspect still adamant that he’s in the clear. With an overturned vehicle and a shifty eyes saying guilty, but with the receipts and alibis proving innocent, Cole Phelps and old buddy Stefan Bekowsky are forced to follow a long paper trail to uncover one of the largest vehicle racketeering rings in California. Compared to most of the other cases, A Slip Of The Tongue is very interrogation heavy. Those who rely on their exploration abilities to wing their ways through investigation may find themselves at a loose end if they can’t worm their way into suspects brains. A lot of clues and leads you’ll be given are from the mouths of the dumb, the deceitful and the dastardly, and if you’ve never been a fan of sitting down and interviewing suspect then you may be in for a bit of a disappointment here. Hell, even when a ‘Chase’ against time occurs, you’re recommended to walk a few blocks down the road rather than hitch a car. The most action packed sequences are a the beginning and the end. Otherwise there isn’t a lot of action, and although that doesn’t make me feel cheated out of my money as I feel all the mechanics of L.A. Noire work well, it’s a fair disappointment seeing as the last downloadable case was such a great mixed bag of content. Once again, standards are high for the production values, and everything hits the ever escalating bar originally set. Possibly one of the funniest yet most annoying characters in the game; Automotive dealer Richard Coombs played by American TV acting veteran Kurt Fuller makes his mark on this case. His salesman technique of presenting cars like prizes on a Saturday morning TV show is enough to create a love/hate relationship with the cretin, and he’s certainly the most eclectic suspect to ever grace the grisly streets. It seems that this case has taken the route of comic relief in a surprising turn, as although A Slip Of The Tongue balls to the wall humour throughout, you can’t help but snigger at the unfortunate suspects to get an earful of accusations. The edgy teenager accused of stealing the first vehicle has this weird sugary leap to his step and acts like he’s about to be consumed by nervousness, and a woman trying with the bizarre figure of the innards of a lava lamp trying to bed Cole to avoid trouble don’t prove to be the hardest suspects to outwit, yet raise a smile in the absurdity. From the two past downloadable cases, it’s clear there’s a trend forming here. Although these downloadable mysteries aren’t going to add much to the L.A. Noire experience as a whole, they’re certainly enjoyable little titbits, and the will to purchase any downloadable cases is most likely already been decided by whether or not you wanted to trade this game in before the finale. A Slip Of The Tongue offers practically nothing in the way of plot insight and can be seen as a rather forgettable case if played in the main story, yet its bizarre characters shine a lot more than it’s on par plot…and strangely the comic relief amongst the harrowing crimes in the main game works. It may not be to everyone’s’ taste, but it’s certainly not a loss if you’ve purchased a Rockstar Pass.
The Bad: Feels less balanced in terms of gameplay than previous cases, Humorous outset will not appeal to some