When I received L.A. Noire, it was actually not the top option on my list. I had seen a few ads and thought it looked like a promising game, but in all truth I was anticipating a glorified shooter with a little RPG flair. I put it in my Q not really expecting much. I was slightly disappointed to have not received my top choice, but I figured I should at least give it a try.
After just a little play time I found that I thought before was wrong. I had my hands on a game with a solid RPG backbone and intense and intriguing cases. You are only allowed to draw your gun in situations which require it. In that way, it's nicer than many other games which allow you to go around shooting up everything which crosses your path. It adds an element of reality.
Cole Phelps is a protagonist with ideals, and certainly someone you want to identify with. And through the game you come to see that he is even more than the “perfect” hero which everyone expects. He is flawed in a way that shows the player his humanity.
There are only two reasons that this game is a 9/10 instead of a 10/10. The driving aspect of the game is a little frustrating since the reverse function is the only form of brake any given car has. It’s slightly annoying, but far from a major flaw. Also, an option to customize your gun would be a fun tweak. I understand why the game omits it- for the sake of presenting a story which more closely resembles reality- but I still would enjoy perhaps using my hard-earned rank points to buy a fancy new gun or some nifty bullets. But those two little things aside, L.A. Noire is an excellent game. It's interesting and unique in a way I had thought games had ceased to be. It keeps you guessing until the very end, just like any mystery game worth its salt should. I would definitely recommend it to any RPG, Mystery, or Crime-Drama fan.
First off, I am a huge fan of Rockstar's games, having played all of the GTA series, and Red Dead Redemption.
This game certainly does not disappoint. I'll list Pros and Cons to keep things concise:
1. Accurately recreated city of LA. I live in LA and was amazed at how well they did. Where did they find the time?
2. Cases are gripping and clue searching and interrogations are crazy fun.
3. Collecting landmarks, street crimes, and film canisters are a little bit of busywork, but not too much, and they make you appreciate Rockstar attention to detail, which was insane!
4. Fun achievements.
5. Facial movements and cinematics were awesome. By the end of the game, my wife and daughter who were only watching, were completely engrossed and emotionally stirred by how things turned out. I've never had a game make me, or them feel that way.
6. The final case in Homicide was crazy fun. I won't give it away, but not only did it make you think, it also had my heart pounding at the end. Better than a movie, in my opinion!
7. Being able to track your progress in the Rockstar Social Club for 100% as well as see your friends' progress is awesome. Love this feature!
1. Game is not as action packed as most Rockstar offerings, but the street crimes make up for that somewhat. This game is more of a thinking person's game, which is also a Pro, in my opinion.
2. Collecting the vehicles for 100% is more difficult than usual because the cars all look so similar and as far as I know, 1 of the vehicles is only obtainable at a specific part of a specific case (Packard Custom), so this was silly to me.
3. Not being able to skip most of the cutscenes is annoying, especially since getting all achievements requires multiple playthroughs of cases, unless you cheat by getting Interrogation answers through guides.
4. No save-anywhere functionality. This can be bypassed if you change the volume, but still... annoying.