First Impressions - Face Noir

An idealist eh?

Face Noir is a film noir detective point 'n' click adventure game set in 1930s New York. With only that sentence, I'm already pretty interested in what this game has to offer and thanks to my mate on Steam, Mix-Master, I managed to get a copy for free. Unfortunately, I haven't really played the game as long as I usually do before typing up a "First Impressions" article, only about 20 minutes, but I think it's still a sufficient amount of time to post some preliminary thoughts on the game.

What I like

  • Jazz soundtrack: I'm a big fan of jazz music in games, one of the best has to be SimCity 3000's soundtrack by Jerry Martin. The jazz was so good that my father mistook it to be some music by Miles Davis. Anyway, the little I've heard so far of the Face Noir soundtrack is perfect considering the game's setting, 1930's New York.
  • Ambient sound: The noises made by nearby planes, trains and automobiles (no I'm not talking about the movie) sound surprisingly authentic and really helps with the immersion.

What I don't like

  • Dialogue: I can't remember any of the dialogue right now, but all I know is that some of it is really bad. I think one of the reasons why it's bad is because they use redundant language with their similes. I know they're trying their best to do the cool monologues that are a common trope in film noir, but things like "the ground was wet, like a wet sponge", just sound clumsy (I made that one up mind you, but you get my point). To be fair though, I'm guessing the developers aren't native English speakers as they are based in Italy. Could also explain why the detective utters the Italian expletive of "Dannazione!" all the time.
  • I'm already stuck: I'm only about 20 minutes into the game and I'm already stuck. I know what I need to do but it seems like the most logical solution (in this case using lockpicks to unlock a locked gate) isn't the right solution. I mean, come on guys, seriously? Either the solution is really convoluted or there's something minute I've missed.
  • Character models: The character models are a bit oldschool - think early 2000s in terms of graphics. Graphics don't maketh the game but with point 'n' click adventures, it's usually pretty important.


I really like the setting and the ambience that Mad Orange have developed with Face Noir and so far I'm intrigued to learn more about the plot (especially after the dramatic introduction). I just hope the game doesn't turn out to be too difficult or the low-budget visuals and dialogue, too jarring.

[ LINK: Official Face Noir website ]