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Old 06-24-2019, 04:45 PM
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recommend video games for me


I spend too much of my free time getting pissed off at the news, watching stupid YouTube videos, and drinking. I need another hobby.

I've decided I need to take up gaming.

I haven't done any gaming in years. I understand that video games have evolved a helluva lot since the days of Doom. (Seriously, do people still call them "video games", even? I'm like Rip Van Winkle here.)

I'm a middle aged dude. I like puzzles and mysteries (I'm a cybersecurity guy by profession). Playing with other humans would be nice, but a single-player game is OK too.

I don't think I'm looking for a first-person shooter, at least not of the kind I used to play. My reaction time, spatial reasoning, and fine motor skills, never that great to begin with, are absolute shit now. A game where I have to do a lot of combat is probably not for me. I don't mind having to off someone now and again; I just don't want to have to rush through halls blasting monsters left and right.

I've also read that some video games have really high quality writing, and the players get to be involved in an engrossing drama. I think I'd like that.

I guess ideally I'm looking for a game where I can play detective, have time to ponder pieces of a puzzle, and get wrapped up in the drama. Maybe bust a cap in a guy's ass if it's really called for.

Or maybe that's not what I'm looking for. Hell, I don't know. You tell me!

I can do PC, Linux, or Android. I don't have an iOS device.

Lay it on me.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:57 PM
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Are you familiar with a lil game called Portal?

I haven't played it but L.A. Noire is a detective game with not as much hair-trigger combat requirements.

I really liked the walking sims Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch.

The Witness is great if you're into pure puzzling with minimal storylines. The Talos Principle is much more dialogue heavy but again has great puzzles.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:02 PM
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Maybe The Council? It's an adventure game with investigation mechanics where you spec into different skills, so it's designed to not be possible to find every clue in one play-through. It's also delightfully crazy, which makes it really interesting to see where the plot is going to go next.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:42 PM
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You need to stop what you're doing right now and get yourself Return of the Obra Dinn. It's the best detective game that's ever been made, bar none. No combat, very little exploration - it's just you, logic, context and visual clues against a fiendishly clever mystery.

I'll also second LA Noire - good game, the combat segments are a bit shitty but tend to be short at least and the story & characters are really interesting.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:56 PM
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Are you familiar with a lil game called Portal?
Portal requires fairly good reaction speed to finish. I gave up once it got to a point where you needed to do several things in quick succession.

ETA: Steam sale starts tomorrow, so you might want to wait for that to buy games.

Last edited by Arrogance Ex Machina; 06-24-2019 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:22 PM
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Portal requires fairly good reaction speed to finish. I gave up once it got to a point where you needed to do several things in quick succession.

ETA: Steam sale starts tomorrow, so you might want to wait for that to buy games.
Eh, I'd say Portal might be worth trying. This middle-aged gamer managed just fine, and I never excelled at platformer/puzzle games. Very few games have taught you how to play as you go along as well as Portal 1 and 2 did. I'd bet if you returned to the game you'd be surprised at how easily you pass the bits that troubled you earlier (I often found that a good night's sleep was all it took to turn an impossible room into an easy one).

The sheer excellence of the Portal games makes them worth checking out, even if that genre is not typically in your wheelhouse.

Definitely check out the Steam sale. Tons of games should be up for sale, and somewhat older games can often be had for a song (and a couple bucks). Check out https://steam250.com/ for lists of awesome games that might interest you.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:34 PM
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re. writing: "80 Days" supposedly has 750000 words of content. It's fun to play through a few times and visit different cities. "Heaven's Vault" by the same studio is more of an exploration game; you're an "archaeologist" (Indiana-Jones style, anyway) rather than a Sherlock Holmesian detective.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:44 PM
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Wow, some cool sounding games being suggested. From the descriptions and a little reading, I think the ones I'm leaning toward so far are "Obra Dinn", "LA Noire", and "Firewatch". I think I'd prefer something with limited sci-fi or supernatural elements. I'm not totally opposed to finding aliens or whatever, but all other things being equal, I'd generally prefer to keep things closer to a real world setting.

Obra Dinn looks super clever, and the rush of monochrome nostalgia alone would be worth the time and money. LA Noire looks closest to what I had in mind, and the visuals look awesome. Firewatch just sounds like a really cool setting, and from what I've read, the way the relationship between the player and the boss evolves is handled well.

So, let's hear more suggestions along those lines.

Thanks to all!
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:26 PM
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FWIW, I found LA Noire really tedious. The central mechanic--look at a witness's face and use facial cues to figure out if they're lying--was damn near impossible for me. Add to that that I was playing it on a PC, and the port from console wasn't great, and I quit after a couple of hours.

Portal, on the other hand, is one of the best games ever made. It's way into the science fiction, but if you can get past that, it's hilarious, and the puzzles are all brilliant and fair.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:59 PM
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If you are into cyber security, you want to play micro corruption.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:47 AM
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With your background in cybersecurity and the fact that you like puzzles, take a look at Invisible Inc, which is like a turn-based puzzle game. You have a group of hackers who are on the run and need to figure out who set you up by breaking into corporations' databases. The art style is unique and there are many tactical decisions along the way.
  #12  
Old 06-25-2019, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
Wow, some cool sounding games being suggested. From the descriptions and a little reading, I think the ones I'm leaning toward so far are "Obra Dinn", "LA Noire", and "Firewatch". I think I'd prefer something with limited sci-fi or supernatural elements. I'm not totally opposed to finding aliens or whatever, but all other things being equal, I'd generally prefer to keep things closer to a real world setting.

Well, bad news there - Obra Dinn's story does involve supernatural elements. I would, however, say that it's a case of realistic or history-grounded supernatural. Without spoiling too much, I can say the game revolves around finding out how the crew of a regular, historical East Indiaman and its perfectly normal crew reacts to a series of decidedly irregular circumstances.

As well the simple premise of the game is not exactly real world : as part of your assignment on the part of the EIC insurance claim bureau ; you're given a stopwatch that can, if used on a dead body, show you the exact moment that person died, frozen in time. The whole game is then about exploring those static visions to gather clues, details, make inferences based on what people seem to be doing or where they were at the time Joe Sailor got crushed to death while innocently taking a massive shit off the prow (not making that one up), that kind of thing.


I still say this is a game you shouldn't miss out on, and probably on of the if not the best game of the past 5 years.


LA Noire for its part is purely, sometimes painstakingly historical (they went out of their way to recreate 1950s Los Angeles, complete with monuments and some inspired-by-true-events investigations)
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Portal, on the other hand, is one of the best games ever made. It's way into the science fiction, but if you can get past that, it's hilarious, and the puzzles are all brilliant and fair.
This, absolutely this.

Portal and Portal 2 are right up there with the best of the best.

If you were swinging for a console I'd recommend a Nintendo Switch and Breath of the Wild. A game so good it is worth buying the console to play it on.

Since that isn't your bag I'd have a look and see if you can a copy of "lemmings" on the PC. A 30 year-old game but still one of the very, very best.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:58 AM
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What about the X-Com games?

It's been ages since I've played, but IIRC it's a shooting game that's really a puzzle game. You can only move your characters within certain frames (think chess) and you're trying to kill the aliens. It's a puzzle game because you need to figure out the best placement for your soldiers to both kill the enemy, but not be exposed to getting killed yourself. There is no real combat other than clicking a "shoot this guy" button.

Here is a Youtube video of someone playing.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:15 AM
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What about the X-Com games?

It's been ages since I've played, but IIRC it's a shooting game that's really a puzzle game. You can only move your characters within certain frames (think chess) and you're trying to kill the aliens. It's a puzzle game because you need to figure out the best placement for your soldiers to both kill the enemy, but not be exposed to getting killed yourself. There is no real combat other than clicking a "shoot this guy" button.

Here is a Youtube video of someone playing.
I've not played Xcom but I have played Mario and Rabbids on the Switch, also "into the breach" which works on the same mechanics as Xcom and they are great fun.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:39 AM
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X-com being very sci-fi, which you said you didn't want, how about the slightly more obscure Phantom Doctrine ? It's pretty much "X-Com, but instead it's the Cold War". Your guys are KGB, Mossad, CIA agents you recruit and train, investigating a worldwide conspiracy/deep terrorist cell.


Of note, it's less shooty-bang-bang focused than the X-com series ; because as soon as you've alerted the bad guys they'll send infinite waves of reinforcements your way - which is par for the course when you're a team of spies operating covertly behind enemy lines. So instead there's a big focus on infiltration, reconnaissance, sneaking about watching where the guards are and planning *before* you go loud (or better yet, arranging things so as to not have to go loud at all and accomplish your missions without anybody the wiser) because once that first gunshot rings out you're on a timer. You will *not* survive a protracted firefight. Get what you came for, call for extraction and run. Have an exit plan from the get go. Have a couple more in case shit unexpectedly goes sideways (it will).
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
What about the X-Com games?

It's been ages since I've played, but IIRC it's a shooting game that's really a puzzle game. You can only move your characters within certain frames (think chess) and you're trying to kill the aliens. It's a puzzle game because you need to figure out the best placement for your soldiers to both kill the enemy, but not be exposed to getting killed yourself. There is no real combat other than clicking a "shoot this guy" button.

Here is a Youtube video of someone playing.
I wouldn't really describe X-Com as a puzzle game. It's a tactics game, and figuring out best placement for your soldiers is part of that, but it's not a situation where there's a fixed solution or best path to get through a level, which is what "puzzle game" implies to me.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:16 PM
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Well, bad news there - Obra Dinn's story does involve supernatural elements. I would, however, say that it's a case of realistic or history-grounded supernatural.

<snip>

As well the simple premise of the game is not exactly real world : as part of your assignment on the part of the EIC insurance claim bureau ; you're given a stopwatch that can, if used on a dead body, show you the exact moment that person died, frozen in time.
The supernatural element as you've described it there sounds OK. And I see the magic stopwatch thing, but I can live with some unobtainium stuff to move the game along. I think I just don't want things like "You're a space smuggler racing poltergeists for the magic orb" kind of stuff.


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With your background in cybersecurity and the fact that you like puzzles, take a look at Invisible Inc, which is like a turn-based puzzle game. You have a group of hackers who are on the run and need to figure out who set you up by breaking into corporations' databases. The art style is unique and there are many tactical decisions along the way.
That does look fun. Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
X-com being very sci-fi, which you said you didn't want, how about the slightly more obscure Phantom Doctrine ? It's pretty much "X-Com, but instead it's the Cold War". Your guys are KGB, Mossad, CIA agents you recruit and train, investigating a worldwide conspiracy/deep terrorist cell.
I took a quick look at that just now and it bears further reading. I'll look closer when I get a bit of time this afternoon.

Thanks to all!
  #19  
Old 06-25-2019, 12:25 PM
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Some of my favorite games:

FTL --You're captain of a small starship, fleeing from the bad guys, delivering secret plans to the good guys. Along the way you face dozens of encounters and small adventures, and lots of starship combat. The combat is real-time, but you can pause, and is much more like a Star Trek episode than Star Wars -- i.e. you give the order to fire your weapons, direct power to the shields or engines, try to escape, etc. With certain modifications you can even board enemy vessels! I think it's a blast, and the closest a game has ever come to being the captain of the Enterprise.

Total War strategy games -- a mix of turn based strategy and real-time tactical battles. I've played most of the historical ones -- Rome 1 and 2, Medieval 1 and 2, and a couple of others. The Rome ones are my favorite. You can play as a faction of ancient Rome, Greece, the Gauls, or various other empires/factions of the ancient (or medieval) world. With conquest or intrigue, try and enlarge your empire.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 06-25-2019 at 12:26 PM.
  #20  
Old 06-25-2019, 01:29 PM
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The Professor Layton games are being re-released on Android and are well worth the time. Puzzle games, very fun stories.

There are three, including a brand new one that was designed for mobile phones.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

Layton Mystery Journey - the newest one and probably one of my favorites.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:28 PM
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The supernatural element as you've described it there sounds OK. And I see the magic stopwatch thing, but I can live with some unobtainium stuff to move the game along. I think I just don't want things like "You're a space smuggler racing poltergeists for the magic orb" kind of stuff.

I figured
But yeah, no. It's more in the vein of the Pirates of the Carribean movie(s) : "aside from the whole cursed immortal pirates who are cursed and immortal because they stole magic Aztec gold thing, it's a period piece !" . Plus the ship, crew, historical customs and so on were painstakingly researched and knowing stuff about the period/naval history will make some deductions easier. Basically, think H.P. Lovecraft meets the Aubrey & Maturin series, if that makes sense to you.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:06 PM
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The Steam Summer Sale is going on right now, and is a fantastic place to get some bargains. I recommend picking up a bunch of old games for real cheap, and trying out a variety of options. FTL is $2.49, LA Noire is $6.99, and Portal and Portal 2 are an astonishing $0.99. For less than twelve bucks you can have four games that might scratch your itch. XCom 2 is $14.99--a little more, but it's a phenomenal game.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:47 PM
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Can't recommend Obra Dinn enough. I was legitimately obsessed with the game. Absolute masterpiece.

Here's another idea: Inside. It's a minimal platformer that relies more on puzzle solving than on actual coordination, with a surreal yet gripping story.

Last edited by Go_Arachnid_Laser; 06-25-2019 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:50 PM
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The Steam Summer Sale is going on right now, and is a fantastic place to get some bargains. I recommend picking up a bunch of old games for real cheap, and trying out a variety of options. FTL is $2.49, LA Noire is $6.99, and Portal and Portal 2 are an astonishing $0.99. For less than twelve bucks you can have four games that might scratch your itch. XCom 2 is $14.99--a little more, but it's a phenomenal game.
Oooooh.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:49 PM
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I really liked the walking sims Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch.
Oooh! Agreed. I'm not much of a gamer, but I LOVED Edith Finch. Totally immersed myself.

Now I'm Firewatch, as it was suggested to be similar.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:37 AM
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LA Noire promises more than it can deliver. Its facial animation is more of a gimmick, unfortunately. Obra Dinn is widely praised.

By looking at at Steam page of Obra Dinn https://store.steampowered.com/app/6...the_Obra_Dinn/ , you can see a little below its rating the user-defined tags associated with the game. There is "detective", "mystery" and "story rich". If you click on them, they'll take you to other games with similar tags which you can filter by "top selling"


Observer seems to engross you in a Blade Runner-like world with little/no combat. I bought it but haven't played it yet but the reviews should give you more info.

For something atmospheric where combat is largely discouraged, Darkwood is good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mQEhl6GXvM

Kentucky Route Zero is like an old-school puzzle adventure game, somewhat reminiscent of Monkey Island but with more uncanny/creepy mood rather than humor.

From what I've read about it, The Cat Lady is fairly heavy but might be good if you want something dark.

The Stanley Parable is a kind of puzzle/detective game that gets funny and meta. The detective part comes from finding out how you can mess with the puzzles and gameworld.

You may also want to check out The Swapper and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 09-23-2019 at 01:37 AM.
  #27  
Old 09-23-2019, 04:18 AM
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I think you should try Bullet Force game
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:13 AM
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I can highly recommend The Long Dark. It's quiet and spooky most of the time, except when you get attacked by wolves. I have over 20 hours invested in it and I still haven't managed to figure out much or survive for more than a couple of weeks at a time.

Don't pay full price for it tho; it goes on sale for a huge discount all the time.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:09 AM
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Do you have any interest in point-and-click adventure type games? Like, were Maniac Mansion or any of the Monkey Island games on your list at any point? If so, consider Thimbleweed Park, a really fun game if not a "serious" one. There's no combat of any kind, no reflexes required, you can't ever reach a fail state, and the puzzles are challenging but mostly fair and solvable.

The plot starts with you as a detective in a small, Twin Peaks-type town, investigating the murder of the local pillow baron. It sprawls out pretty widely by the end, and in fairness there's some weird sci-fi stuff here and there, but I loved it.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:40 PM
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You might want to check out escape the room games available in both browser and android. They're typically free aside from ads, but they can vary a lot in quality. The Japanese ones are usually your best bet and are typically English friendly. My go-to site is jayisgames, but they're all decent enough.

If you can tolerate early PC games, you can play Robot War, Robot Odyssey, Paradroid, and Hacker via Internet Archive.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:21 AM
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FWIW, I found LA Noire really tedious. The central mechanic--look at a witness's face and use facial cues to figure out if they're lying--was damn near impossible for me. Add to that that I was playing it on a PC, and the port from console wasn't great, and I quit after a couple of hours.
Ah I just thought I'd got seriously hit with autism. I really had no clue as to what their face said in the slightest on the PC, and just read the guide for the answers. Occasionally it would be obvious given the answers, but in reality, I think some of us are faceblind to someone lying like that, as if you were a policeman.

Quote:
Portal, on the other hand, is one of the best games ever made. It's way into the science fiction, but if you can get past that, it's hilarious, and the puzzles are all brilliant and fair.
Absolutely completely agree, except I'd say Portal 2 is the greatest game ever made. Portal 1 is a good introduction, short, replayable, funny. Second one just ramps it all up.

Cave Johnson, Portal 2: “When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your D*** lemons, what the h*** am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:51 AM
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Ah I just thought I'd got seriously hit with autism. I really had no clue as to what their face said in the slightest on the PC, and just read the guide for the answers. Occasionally it would be obvious given the answers, but in reality, I think some of us are faceblind to someone lying like that, as if you were a policeman.
The problem with LA Noire's dialog system is that it's piss-poorly explained - you've always got 3 options, truth, doubt and lie. Truth is straightforward enough, "I think this person is telling the whole truth". But the other two options are confusing before you grok that Lie means "I've 100% caught you telling porkies and I can prove it right now", whereas the innocuously named Doubt is "I KNOW you're full of shit but I can't prove it so I'm going to try and get truth out of you some other way". And the later is the crux of the problem because that "other way" is opaque to the player. Sometimes Cole will insinuate things, sometimes he'll start shouting like a maniac and badgering people within an inch of their lives which is extremely jarring when you were having a nice conversation with the hospitable widow who you think might remember a little more than she's letting on. So, yeah, contrary to intuition, "doubt" is the most aggressive option of the lot rather than hedging your bets.
Once you've grokked that, the choices the game expects you to make become clearer however. And sometimes there simply aren't any good choices because the case is designed to be ambiguous.

As for the facial cues, I found them transparent most of the time which is to be expected : they mo-caped professional actors, i.e. people whose entire job is to lie convincingly ; and then told some of those people "look like you're lying". Which they've spent entire careers learning how not to do. So they exaggerate a LOT with the sideglances and the not looking the player in the eye and the shifting about (or, conversely, the chin up, straight stare, "I dare you to call me a liar, pig").
I guess I'm a good android empath
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