Review: L.A. Noire (PS3)
Rockstar games are known famously the world over for their controversial series, Grand Theft Auto. This time, however, the violence is being toned down in favor of a game said to be similar to Heavy Rains detective gameplay.
They have pushed both the XBOX 360 and the PS3 to their uncompressed limits, also including a new face and body language system you have to pay attention to in order to crack the cases. Does it solve being able to be a good game while being different and something new? Read on to find out!
In L.A Noire, you are a cop who sets out to try and restore order to a crime ridden 1940’s style L.A. Unlike other titles made by the infamous Rockstar, this ones’ violence is rather toned down. Many people are fresh out of the war, and trying to find their place among the world. You play Cole Phelps, a detective eager to prove himself after surviving World War 2.
The game has been designed differently from a lot of other games gamers receive, with nearly every hunk of animation, both facial and movement, being done by body actors. The game rinses and repeats a very stale, but easy to follow linear mission routine, with 21 ‘cases’ across 5 different desks, there should be a decent amount of content to keep anyone happy. Each desk comes with a new partner, some who you can trust, and others you cannot.
The gameplay involves several sections to it, involving travel to and from locations in a sandbox style world, scouring crime scenes for evidence, and examining the various bits of evidence all over by rotating the items and finding hidden clues. You will also be able to question different witnesses, and this is where the game shines. You need to pay attention to their detailed facial and animation expressions to see if they are lying or nervous etc, and choose from several options to incriminate or trust them. Its a refreshing and unique take to gameplay, and really makes you feel like you are in a detectives boots.
The bad guys, sadly, will only get away if it is pre determined in the story, meaning you cannot fail the missions if you tried. Another aspect to the gameplay is the chase scenes. These will be played out both on foot and in a vehicle, with different ways to stop the criminal appearing, from shunting their vehicle to ending it in cold blood from shooting, leaping over fences and other obstacles to try and catch them. As the game progresses, there are plenty of shootouts later in the game, involving a very basic cover system.
If completing linear objectives are not your cup of tea, you can take the time and explore the world of L.A. at your own pace, with around 40 missions non critical to the games story available to participate in, from trailing suspicious bad guys to their lair or even foiling bank robberies, there is just enough content to keep you amused.
Does L.A. Noire manage to achieve what it set out to do? Sort of. The sandbox world seems too empty, kind of like the old game, The Getaway from the Playstation 2, but the focus is not really meant to be on that aspect, but rather the crime scene investigation and witness interrogations, and its unique way of examining items and paying attention to the motion actors movements really shines.
While trying to be sort of like Heavy Rain, the game manages to come up short, but still provides a rather enjoyable experience with medium to low replay value.