Review – L.A. Noire

Rockstar is one of those companies that announces games and people immediately sit up and take notice. L.A. Noire, the joint effort from Team Bondi and Rockstar is no different. As one of the more highly anticipated titles this year. Noire hopes to leave an impression on gamers and quite an impression it is.

Set in the backdrop of LA in the 1940s, L.A. Noire puts the gamer in the shoes of a young and ambitious war hero turned LA Police Officer, Cole Phelps. His first real call is to the scene of a murder where the player is shown the basics of how to move and perform detective work. Knowing that this could be his big break he along with his partner immediately set out in search of the perpetrator. This sets Phelps up for a fast tracked career amongst the ranks of L.A.’s finest police officer.

The detective work is done by searching crime scenes for clues all of which will give Cole other options when it times comes to  interrogate suspects and question witnesses. When searching for the clues the controller will jolt ever so slightly in your hand letting you know that something is nearby that requires investigation and an ominous musical score plays gently in the background and will stop once all the clues have been found letting the player know that they can move on. Not all “clues” have bearing to the overall outcome of the particular case but you do get ranked at the end of each case based on how thorough your interrogation/question skills and detective work was.

When interrogating suspects or witnesses, Cole has 3 responses Lie, Doubt and Truth. All of which will have illicit different responses. The player has to really pay attention to who they’re talking to as they NPC will display certain tells if they’re giving the truth, unsure or full of it. All I can say is pay attention to their eyes they tell a whole lot. If you’re completely unsure, you can go back and look over the evidence and notes before making the decision or your detective’s intuition. Using intuition uses a point to remove one answer giving the user a 50/50 shot at making the right guess but don’t use your intuition points carelessly because you won’t get it any back until you level up.

The game plays just like Grand Theft Auto but much tighter and more refined. When getting into the drivers seat, Phelps opens up his trusty note book and decides what location is going to be his destination. The customary “GPS” Style navigation then pops up in the corner. En-route to these destinations, you will hear calls out for police assistance, provided you’re driving a Police Car, and can then either respond or ignore the call which turns into a side mission. The side missions vary from something as routine as stopping someone from committing suicide to putting an end to a hostage taking. They’re tonnes of fun and a nice distraction from the overall story – another thing to note about the side missions is they help raise your rank in the police force thereby opening up more intuition points which do come in handy with some of your more formidable Suspects.

Graphically this game floors me. I am completely enamored with the graphics in this game and am still amazed that developers are able to up the ante graphically with this aging technology. The voice acting is very good and the musical score is fantastic.

For those of you who love searching for items and collectibles, there is no shortage of that here. There are 13 papers all of which have a video sequence telling a story, a variety of true to life Landmarks from LA in the 1940s and the never ending search for all the different cars from the era. This is sure to please the completionists out there.

Those of you looking for balls to the walls high paced action may be disappointed as LA Noire is really about the atmosphere, Story and the homage being paid to the movies this game so heavily draws inspiration from. L.A. Noire has managed to find the perfect balance between Detective work and action. This is one o those rare games that tries to do something a little different than the norm and succeeds. This is a must buy game. If I had to gripe about anything it would be the fact that there are  absolutely no Multiplayer options. I think it’d be fun to solves cases with friends and play the Good Cop Bad Cop sort of roles.

Pros:
Graphics are extremely impressive
Sound – Great music and voice acting keep the Story moving along
The Story – Pays a great deal of respect to the films it’s inspired by

Cons:
Little Replay Value
No Multiplayer Option

Feed Your Console gives L.A. Noire an enthusiastic 9.5 out of 10

12 Replies to “Review – L.A. Noire”

  1. cant wait for this game! 🙂

    Rockstar is such a good publisher/game designer, any game with the rockstar logo is guaranteed to be awesome

    nice review thanks for no spoilers but how’d you get it up so fast? did you finish the game before you review it?

    1. Lets just say that my eyes are bloodshot and my wife feels slightly neglected over the weekend. In truth the poor weather we had here made it that much easier to do the review.

  2. Sweet! good review, now I’m definitely looking forward to this.

    Btw, how is no multiplayer a bad thing, I think it’s a good. Far too many games going multiplayer, with it being pointless, rather have an engrossing story and better gameplay than multiplayer 🙂

    1. Hey Yack – Thanks for stopping by. It’s not a deal breaker for me by any stretch. I just think it could have been fun to have some form of multiplayer option. Maybe see who can solve the crime the fastest, play the good cop bad cop roles when interrogating a suspect or something else.

      You are right when you say it’s best to leave it out of it can’t be done properly. I just love online co-op games and would like to see more. The inevitable DLC for this is sure to please many gamers.

      Regardless, This was a great game

  3. I’m with Yack, multiplayer bugs me. Not that I’m against it in principle, but usually it means that you have to forgo all other elements just to play someone online. Not even worth it. I cherish the times that games like L.A. Noire, GTA, Elder Scrolls, and Mass Effect come out. It’s a rare thing nowadays! L.A. Noire isn’t about the multiplayer, just like GTA has never been about that either.

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