I just finished the main storyline of L.A. Noire. Goodness gracious, I had a blast with this one. Let’s walk through my impression of it overall, and see if I can convince you to pick it up for yourself.
L.A. Noire is a crime thriller set in 1947 Los Angeles. You take on the role of Detective Cole Phelps, a World War II hero who is back home ready to serve his city. As you rise through the ranks of the police force, you get a genuine feel of the time period, and of the fantastic cinematic elements that this game possesses.
The game uses a new technology called MotionScan, which records the actor’s expressions from 38 different angles and scans them right into the game characters; this causes the entire package to feel almost as if you are watching a film. In fact, L.A. Noire is the first game to ever be accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival. Very cool, indeed.
It is massive. Spanning three discs on the Xbox360 console, there is an incredible amount of things to do. Whether it’s combing over crime scenes for clues, interrogating suspects, chasing down criminals, answering dispatch calls to street crimes, or driving around the block by block re-creation of 1947’s Los Angeles, there is never a dull moment. The main story line is superb, with all of the subtle and underlying storylines culminating beautifully into a fantastic and emotional ending. All of the actors are spot on in their portrayals, and you’ll even see some familiar faces.
As far as gameplay goes, L.A. Noire is a Rockstar game; meaning, you are probably used to these controls. While it does have the open world of previous Rockstar outings, such as Grand Theft Auto, the key change is that you are now in the role of a rising star on the local police force. Gone are the days of senselessly killing civilians; your duty now is to defend them and apprehend those that break the law. The clues at crime scenes and places of interest are not so well hidden as to be impossible, yet spread out well enough to give the feel of actually discovering minor details. Whether it be blood splatter, shoe prints, discarded wrappers or bruising patterns, clues are an important element.
The other half of gameplay is, of course, interrogation and questioning. When asking a suspect a question, you are given three options; to either believe that they are telling the truth, catching them in a lie using found evidence, or pressing them further based on pure doubt. However, watch your suspects closely, as one wrong interrogation can let the culprit slip through your fingers, and you’ll have to restart the mission.
All in all, L.A. Noire is one of the best games I’ve played. It was fun, fast-paced, well thought out, and enthralling. I would give this game a 9.5, and I would recommend that you pick it up as soon as you can.
L.A. Noire is out now for the Playstation 3 and the Xbox360, rated M for Mature.
Geoff Girardin is an avid blogger, tweeter, and self-proclaimed social addict. All aspects of human interaction and the art of the social lifestyle interest him, and he somehow finds time to maintain his sizable network of influence-ers and influence-ees alike. Most of his time is spent working in retail, and the rest is used up by his dedication to teaching. When he finds a rare moment of downtime, he enjoys playing video games, drumming, or creating elaborate adventures. He currently resides in Rhode Island, is engaged to be married, and cannot wait to train his son to become Batman. Check out his website and follow him on Twitter.