Modern Game Design: part II

LALoading01

It was a dark day in the lonely city. A day like any other, and the worst day of my life. A man like me looks his whole life for that one dame, the one who takes your love, caresses it, and then squeezes it into an ashtray like yesterday’s cigarettes. She might be lounging in a smoky bar, or waiting at the corner of Lionel and 3rd street. She might be that song you heard on the radio or the rain leaking through the ceiling of your downtown apartment. For me, she was L.A. Noire.

LALoading02

I should have known better. I should have seen it coming, seen how she would promise me the world, promise to meet me later that night, and never show up. She would keep me waiting, keep me looking, hoping that she would come, that she was just late, that she wanted to see me more than anything in the world.

The world is a tough broad sometimes. Tonight was one of those times.

LALoading03

I looked back at L.A. Noire. The loading screen was still there, checking for downloadable content. I didn’t ask for this, but she didn’t care. She kept showing me that screen, close-lipped and cold-hearted. Was this almost over? Would I finally see her? Or was she only teasing me, letting me see the loading arrows in the corner turn and turn and turn, hoping that it meant that she would eventually be here? It could turn forever, like jealousy in the pit of a jilted lover’s stomach. I would keep waiting.

The rain was starting to come down outside my window. I glanced over at my watch. 11:43 PM. Still no word.

I knew that I should have left. I should have left L.A. Noire and found a new love. But I knew how they played the game. I could find another woman, but she would treat me like all the rest. She would tempt me with Arkham Asylum or Mass Effect, but I know how the city looks, and all roads lead to the same place. She would show me what I want to believe, and then hit me with loading screen after unskippable loading screen. You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t change a dame.

LALoading04

So I sit here, seeing the arrows turn, listening to the lonely music, and waiting forever for a new screen and the woman I came to see. L.A. Noire is a cruel game on a dark night, but sometimes even a cruel game is better than no game at all.

 

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