Published on June 20th, 2011 | by Remy Cuesta1
L.A. Noire Review
Rockstar has developed quite a number of different titles. We can date back to the early Grand Theft Auto series but they also had Smugglers Run, Midnight Club, Red Dead Redemption and Table Tennis. This time instead of playing the all out do what you want character, your a cop, a standup cop at that. The game isn’t your typical sandbox game however as detective work and clue finding is the key components here. L.A. Noire will measure how you interrogate witnesses/suspects, find clues and stop criminals from getting away. Do you have what it takes to be the best detective in Los Angeles?
1940s Los Angeles is a bad bad place. People get away with fraud, robberies and murder. The only thing that can prevent such crimes from going unjust is you. That might be a bit of an overstatement but everyone should be entitled to there own heroism story right? In this open world sandbox game they put in the shoes of Cole Phelps, a cop that’s somewhat of a war hero but is destined to be more. Its not long until you go from being a cop to a full fledge detective, your real cases begin and learning how the mechanics work is key.
L.A. Noire uses new technology called MotionScan, which allows them to completely mo-cap an actor or actress on a character. What you get is a completely new and engaging experience you have never seen before. Everything from eyebrows, lips, eyes and more have a realism because they were actually captured directly from a real person. The best part is that plenty of characters are recognizable to actors you’ve seen in some of your favorite shows today.
The use of the MotionScan technology plays the biggest role in the game as it is your job to interrogate witnesses/suspects for either information or confessions. When you interrogate someone their facial expressions will mostly give away if they are telling the truth, doubtful or lying. With Phelps’s trusty notebook you will have to gather clues in key areas, talk to several people and jotting down important information that can further the case. This will also be key to figuring out if someone is lying to you as you will need to refer to a clue discovered before hand. What I love about this style of play is that even expert players will sometimes have a hard time reading someone’s facial expressions.
L.A. Noire isn’t just detective work though. Throughout the city there are dispatch calls like a regular cop would get which you can take as side missions. If you thought there weren’t enough action elements in the game well this will keep the blood pumping. Most dispatches involve either running after a criminal, car chases or shootouts. There are 40 in total and can be done at any time during your career.
The level of detail in the game is great and aside something like Mass Effect this has some of the best character animations I had ever seen in a game. It truly knows how to bridge the gap closer from videogames and theater cinematic’s. The music also brings out some of the games riches features, enveloping you into the story but nothing is like the voice acting. Some really talented people are at the helm of characters you encounter in this game and it makes a world of a difference to see great work executed so well.
As you progress through the cases it starts to get noticeably repetitive, especially during homicide. Fortunately at the end of it and there after you get a refresher that keeps you going right through to the end. One option that should have been explored is multiple right answers while interrogating. I had sometimes come to my own conclusion as to why they were lying and while my answer made sense it wasn’t the right one since there is only one. While this is an open sandbox game it doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Hell the more damage you occur in the city during a mission effects your overall case rating at the end. You will also get occasional drops in frames and technical pop-ins but it’s not enough to really effect the game.
I believe that L.A. Noire is one of those games that everyone should try, aside some of the car chases and shootouts its one of the easiest games to get into. It will challenge new gamers and experts alike. This new franchise has remarkable potential and Rockstar has done a fine job of seeing this to completion. The game isn’t perfect by any means but it’s one of the best experiences you’ll get all year without a doubt.
[starreviewmulti id=2 tpl=20]
Overall = 8.9