May 20, 2011
Ok so L.A. Noire came out last Tuesday and I dove right into it. Now I am sure people see the Rockstar Games and go “Ok, more GTA and Mafia type games.” Well here is what I say to that person…Shut up. Yes Rockstar published the game but L.A. Noire only borrows driving and combat from GTA, after that it is a completely different game. Noire goes back in time to L.A. in the 1940’s (1947 to be exact). The premise is pretty easy to grasp. You’re a cop and you’re solving crimes. The best thing about this game is the story telling. As you play you feel like a detective and you start to run the outcomes through your head trying to solve the case. You start as an average patrolman and work your way up the ranks to traffic cop, homicide, etc. A neat feature is as you progress you have a partner who helps out with giving you directions, driving, or giving an opinion on the current case.
The gameplay works like this: you and your partner get assigned a case. You go to the crime scene, look for clues, and question witnesses or suspects and that will then turn into other leads to continue the investigation. Each case plays like an episode, but as you go you will start to see a bigger story ark. The attention to detail in this game is something you would only think t0 find in a great rpg. When your collecting clues you can look all over the crime scene finding things useful and finding things not so useful. Whether examining the body or looking in the bushes for more evidence there is always something interesting to find.
After you have collecting all the clues (or what you think is all of them) you can interview a witness or other P.O.I.’s (person of intrest). This is a really fun and new feature to the game. As you ask questions you really need to pay attention to how the person reacts and talks. Everything from eye movements, facial movements (yes they can show expressions) to body language needs to be considered. They really did a great job and making the faces look real and have the lips matched up with the words they are saying. After they give you an answer you can select three options: Truth, Doubt, or Lie. Truth is simple. You think they are telling you the truth. Doubt is the option you pick if you think they aren’t telling you the whole truth. Then my favorite, you can call them out on a lie. However if you pick this you must back up your claim with a piece of evidence you have found. Now if you pick the wrong option you will not revieve xp points and I will reduce the points you can get at the end of the case. As I have found out, calling out people on a lie and being wrong makes them very, very angry.
At this point in the investigation, after clues are collected and people are questioned, is usually when the action kicks in and let me tell you I have seen it all. Running perps down on foot, car chases, and good ol’ fashion shoot outs are usually how cases get solved. Besides the main story, as you play you can respond to dispatch calls and go do little side missions which can consist of a shooter or a bank robbery. You can also commandeer vehicles incase you for some reason ramped a curb into traffic and destroyed yours…….you know, in case. You also unlock outfits along the way to change up your normal look.
So yea, L.A. Noire is a slower moving game. Not to the point of boring you but to the point of great storytelling. You mean I can’t just shoot everything and kill hookers?? Go back to playing Call of Duty please….this review is for big kids. I am not a kid! Ok then take your simple mind back to GTA and spam more rockets because that doesn’t make you have to use your brain and we know how bad it hurts you to use it. L.A. Noire is a fantastic game all around. I am already willing to call this at least one of the top 5 games of this year. The stength of this game is the story and I hope that other games will see this and take note. L.A. Noire could be the beginning of a new way to play video games.