At first glance you may mistake Rockstar Games' newest open-world game has nothing more than another Grand Theft Auto clone. But look closer, because Team Bondi's newest game
has very little to do with Jack Thompson's least favorite franchise. With its slow pace, emphasis on characters and graphic adventure roots, L.A. Noire feels more like Sam &
Max than Grand Theft Auto. But the rich blend of police procedural and intelligent writing has not only led to the most impressive game of the year, but also one of the very
best titles Rockstar Games has published.
L.A. Noire tells the story of Cole Phelps, a World War II veteran who attempts to make a name for himself as a Los Angeles police officer. This is the story of a man working
his way up through the ranks, from a street officer to a traffic cop to a homicide detective and beyond. Over the course of 21 individual cases, Cole fights for the truth and
learns a few things about himself along the way.
Cole is not your usual Rockstar Games protagonist. He's not motivated by the darker elements of our society; instead he plays by the rules and investigates each case with the
by-the-books gumption you expect from a straight-laced cop in the 1940s. Fans of Dragnet and other similar crime shows will appreciate Cole's no-nonsense approach to solving
crimes, something you certainly didn't see much of in Grand Theft Auto IV or Red Dead Redemption.
With the change of protagonist comes a definite shift in tone and pacing. This is not the fast-paced action game that GTA was. Instead we're given a methodical adventure game
that rewards players who pay close attention to the smallest of details. Heck, most of the time Cole can't even fire a bullet, let alone unleash the type of hell Niko Bellic
was known for. If that's the kind of thing you're looking for, then perhaps you should pick up Mafia II or the upcoming Saints Row game. Everybody else should strap themselves
in for a non-traditional graphic adventure game on the grandest of scales.
L.A. Noire mixes several disparate gameplay mechanics together to create one of the most impressive cop simulators of all time. Often times a case will start with you (and one
of your various partners) investigating a crime scene for clues. This is done by you slowly walking around, interacting with items, gathering clues/evidence and then
interviewing any witness or person of interest.
Combing the crime scene is a lot more exciting than it sounds, as you can interact with all kinds of objects. Not only can you pick up items, but you will also be able to move
them around to expose any clues and even open them up to discover a hidden surprise. A wallet can help identify a body and give you a home address, while an insurance letter
may give a person of interest a motive for murder. But be careful, not everything you can investigate is a clue. For every one useful item, there are at least four or five
items just taking up space. Even if you end up picking up comb or make-up pouch for no reason, these tiny details help sell this incredibly realistic world.
L.A. Noire is an intelligent game with stellar acting, game changing technology and a cast of memorable characters. It's also Rockstar Games' most refined product, making it one of the best games this high profile company has ever published. If you're into solving crimes and police procedurals, then this game was made for you. Just remember to switch to black and white!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!