Clint Hocking, the outspoken creative director of Far Cry 2 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory now working at LucasArts, has gone against the critical consensus for LA Noire and denounced it as "derivative, uninspired and narcississtic".
The proclamation came on Twitter, with reference to the ongoing argument between the games industry and US film critic Roger Ebert about whether games can be considered art.
"1hr in. Moriarty was right re games as kitsch. Derivative, uninspired, narcissistic. Nothing original to say, & said badly. #LANoire" posted Hocking, clearly unmoved by Cole Phelps' first steps towards detective status.
The Moriarty reference is to Brian Moriaty, a veteran games designer who sided with Ebert's 2010 assertion that "games can never be art" in a GDC presentation this year. Moriarty proclaimed himself the first developer to side with Ebert, and claimed that games are instead a form of kitsch art - that is, designed to sell commercially.
There's no doubt that LA Noire will meet the latter criteria, but plenty would dispute Hocking's claim given the game's reception thus far and the effect it's had on Take Two's share price. We'll have our own review up shortly - it's been delayed for the extremely boring reason that Jon's been so busy with E3 prep, he hasn't had time to finish writing it.