L.A. Noire

27 Dec

Phelps, Badge 1247; …How can I help you Detective? What could possibly be the most droning back and forth of any game gets repeated time and time again. Welcome to L.A. Noire a game that takes place in 1947 Los Angeles. Noire takes you through a trip back in time in the shoes of Detective Cole Phelps as he deals with murders, mysteries, and fires. Developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games in 2011. L.A. Noire is a game with great narrative and suspense but falls victim to some issues that plague similar “open-world” games; more on that in just a moment.

Phelps, Cole Phelps

Phelps, Cole Phelps

This game was played with all DLC on a PS3. All versions can be found for under 20 dollars but I would suggest checking amazon every now and then for a 5 or 7 dollar PC download. It has been mentioned several times that I enjoy short story driven games so when I heard L.A. Noire was thick with Mystery and suspense I just had to boot it up. Several hours later I am sad to admit I just wanted to turn in my badge and burner.

Black Stallion

Black Stallion

Visuals: L.A. Noire uses a technology called MotionScan that uses several cameras to catch every facial twitch and movement and then animate it. This was something really fun to watch especially during the interrogation scenes, and I think it was a big part of the B+ Cast they had act in the game. I’d also like to point out that with the exception of a few cast members the entire cast of AMCs Madmen is in this game. Aside from the close ups the Graphics wont really do anything to blow you away, everything seems foggy/blurry and there was quite a bit of choppiness (your mileage may vary)  everyone knows that with an open world game sometimes the graphics take a hit but I think if you are used to Rockstar graphics you’ll have no trouble jumping in.

Story: This is the meat of the game; you play as Cole Phelps a Veteran of  WWII and you decide to join the force. Your good nature doesn’t seem to mesh with anyone in the department and it was a strange twist to be the hero no one wanted to be around. Characters come and go and I worry that by saying anything I will give away some of the plot points; just don’t get super attached to anyone. As Cole works his way up the Police change other parts of his life fall apart and certain parts of his past come back to haunt him. Remember story is everything; L.A. Noire like a television serial has a grand arc which we learn about in the beginning but then we forget about until the end. My issue with the story is that you do forget about the arc and you don’t really care about the cases you are working on. I became so frustrated with the game for several reasons but one of the big ones was that I just wanted to move on! When you do get back to the arc you realize the juice wasn’t really worth the squeeze.

Gameplay: L.A. Noire is a slow game, I would say its an updated version of a point and click adventure. You start a mission by driving to a location you search for clues and then chase down a bad guy or interrogate them in a room. The controls feel clunky, I don’t know if a mouse and keyboard would have made it better but it was hard getting from point A to point B without wanting to destroy my console, TV, and anything else in my path. The gameplay is exceptionally repetitive and will gnaw at a gamer who isn’t used to old school gaming mechanics.  I think I’ve made my point about the gameplay for L.A. Noire.

Test of Time: This game already feels old so I don’t know if this is a good category for the game. The story is great if you can plow through the game I think you may enjoy it. Just know that L.A. Noire is not an exciting precision shooter or a nail biting thriller. I personally would be OK if I never played this game. I had the Complete Edition with all the DLC and was so angry I had to slog through several more hours of cases I couldn’t care about. I love what the team went for in L.A. Noire but it should have been a 8-10 hour detective game instead of a 20-50 hour desk job.

NO BROS SYSTEM this week!

Cy: Skip

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