If you’ve read my other reviews you will know that I love open world games, especially the Grand Theft Auto series. Similarly when Red Dead Redemption came out I loved that as well as I am a fan of both western movies and western games but when Rockstar released their first trailer for L.A. Noire I was rather unsure of what the game was supposed to be, a GTA style sandbox game or a Heavy Rain style detective game. It seemed a massive risk for Rockstar to take making a game like this, but after playing L.A. Noire, it was clearly a risk worth taking.

L.A. Noire is a game based in 1947 Los Angeles. As Rockstar highlighted, 1947 was one of the most crime ridden years in L.A.’s history. L.A. Noire puts you in the shoes of detective Cole Phelps, a patrol officer who slowly rises up through the ranks of the L.A.P.D. by solving cases. These ranks are known as ‘Desks’ in L.A. Noire, which are narrowed down into a series of cases that include Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and finally Arson. Without spoiling the game, you basically start of solving more simple crimes such as bank robberies or late night ally way shootings to full on linked murders. The Patrol Cases are pretty much there to introduce you to the world of L.A. Noire and get you started off being a detective rather than a gun-wielding maniac.


A key part of L.A. Noire is interviewing witnesses and suspects, and with this comes telling if they are telling the truth, lying or not spilling the beans completely. Guess these right, and new leads will unfold, get these wrong however and the interviewee will become a lot less helpful that they had previously been. This is completely unique to L.A. Noire and is mainly made possible by new technology Team Bondi and Rockstar call ‘Motion Scan’. Motion Scan can scan an actors face right down to the smallest twitch in facial expression, which makes reading peoples body language a lot easier if you know what your doing. Motion Scan makes for some amazing facial effects that cannot be seen in any other game, they are so good in fact that I found it hard to tell the difference between a picture of the Actor playing Cole in real life.


The story is a big part of L.A. Noire, as it is with any game that’s any good. The story in L.A. Noire is more about the crimes than about Phelps, although there is some parts of the game that focus only on Phelps’ past and present life. Unlike GTA you cant go around running people down in your car, or shooting down gangsters with your explosive shotgun as people in 1940’s L.A. seem to be great at dodging on coming cars! It is possible to injure or even run over citizens, but this can be hard and a waste of your time. The gun is only available to use when it’s needed and unlike GTA there is not such a broad range of weapons. The weapons of L.A. Noire consist mainly of Coles pistol, a Thompson machine gun, a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), the odd World War 2 rifle and a flame thrower which is only available on the last mission of the game.

There is a massive range of REAL cars in L.A. Noire with a trophy available for driving certain numbers of them. There are also a series of things you can do that skew off from the main storyline, these include street crimes, finding rare cars, finding newspapers containing short cut scenes, locating golden filmstrips and discovering some of L.A.’s most famous landmarks. In missions Cole uses his Notebook to keep track of evidence and questions that arise in interrogations or interviews. The notebook is a pretty valuable piece of kit to Cole as it contains everything to do with the case in hand, including the locations. Clues are added to the notebook when Cole discovers them at crime scenes. It is important to thoroughly investigate crime scenes as missing one clue could send you on a wild goose chase round L.A. trying to solve your case.

To round up this review I would say that L.A. Noire was a gamble for Rockstar as this game is very different from what we are used to, but it really was a gamble that was well worth taking. The map is huge, the characters are great, the voice and character acting is unmatched by any game, L.A. Noire is truly unique in these ways. It’s a game that you just want to keep playing and playing and when its over you feel lost. I cant wait for the DLC coming out for this game as Rockstar famously make some of the best DLC for their games, and I’m sure L.A. Noire will be no exception. This really is a game for my favourites list, and I would be happy to play it though again and again.


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