LA Noire - Immersion in the Mundane

I have a funny history with LA Noire. When it was released 12 years ago (2011) I picked it up, played it for a couple hours, and put it away. It wasn't until 2015, armed with a printed guide, that I decided to play it again. The game really opened up to me once I had my little bowling alley gutter bumpers in place.

Now, again playing it 8 years after that marvelous experience, I am finding an even deeper connection to it. The time, the setting, and the logical rhythm of how the game unfolds seemingly grow in importance to me as life marches on.

I'm not exactly sure why I am revisiting this title. In the intervening timeframe, I lost my English grandmother, who married an American man very much like one of the men in this game. Only they lived in post-WW2 Washington, DC and not LA. I suppose there could be a yearning to connect to this particular time when "the greatest generation" were living the younger years of their lives. 

In recent years I have found myself thinking a lot about the near-complete loss of that generational hand in our everyday lives. Growing up they were the ones running our major corporations and government and since they have left us it's hard not to imagine that we've lost some of the wartime order they brought. Like, when you mess up at work or in sports or in life and a WW2 vet who saw combat tells you to get it together it hits a little harder than when a younger generation does it (though, I have had a combat vet of Desert Storm as a boss for years and a lot of my parents peers growing up were Vietnam vets, but it just isn't the same).

The "order" of things made perfect sense in the shadow of a world war and I think this game captures that without even trying. Yes, there are terrible things in this game, but there are always terrible things. Even today. Oh, yes. Very much today. 

I once asked my grandmother why things were so seemingly "better" in the late 40s - early 60s and she simply said, "Because the war was so terrible, everyone wanted to create a better place to live." This game captures that sentiment. 

I'll have a full review of this game soon and probably, finally, move to a more recent release soon!