L.A. Noire: PC Hands-On Preview

L.A. Noire for the PC has boosted visuals, 3D support, and all the preorder bonuses and downloadable content seen on the console versions.

L.A. Noire

For those who've been holding out for a PC version of L.A. Noire, fleeing spoiler-packed discussions at the water cooler since the console release in May, the wait is nearly at an end. The PC version of Rockstar's gumshoe-'em-up arrives on November 8 in the US and November 11 in Europe as L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition.

Coming soon to a PC near you.

The Complete Edition, available through Steam and OnLive, as well as on ye olde DVD, comes with a code for all of the downloadable content so far. So, by way of compensation for the six-month wait, PC gamers get to play through Cole Phelps' L.A. Noire career in its entirety from the get-go.

Like the L.A. Noire Rockstar Pass, the PC version's download code gets you the bonus content initially available by preordering with various retailers, including the extra cases The Naked City and A Slip of the Tongue, as well as the post-launch downloadable chapters Nicholson Electroplating and Reefer Madness. The PC version also comes with The Consul's Car case, which is a chapter from the Traffic Desk portion of the game, previously only available for the PlayStation 3.

The PC port, produced at Rockstar's studio in Leeds, features remappable controls for the keyboard and gamepad compatibility, as well as adding 3D visuals; that is, support for Nvidia's 3D Vision system. Resolutions get a boost in the translation from the console version, too. When we sampled the game, playing through the Nicholson Electroplating case on the Arson Desk, the streets of Los Angeles benefited from these the most. The case begins with a catastrophic explosion at an electroplating plant and, as Detective Phelps arrives on the scene, the scorched streets looked especially striking.

The 3D adds depth to the ash particles hanging in the air around the site of the explosion and enlivens the (already lively) faces of Cole's interrogation subjects. It looks best when extending a scene into the distance like when you glimpse a sunny street through a window, say, rather than when a broken girder pokes out of the foreground and into the camera at the electroplating plant.

So begins downloadable episode Nicholson Electroplating.

For those without Nvidia's 3D Vision kit, this is the same L.A. Noire console gamers enjoyed back in May with upped resolutions, the full set of downloadable content, and some minor aesthetic tweaks. The shadow-on-an-alley-wall main menu screen, for instance, has been reworked. Now, the camera cranes up from the alley and through a window to look at Cole's casebooks on a desk, from which you can access completed cases.

L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition comes to PCs (and Macs, via streaming service OnLive) on November 8 in the US and November 11 in Europe. Rockstar's official system specifications are below:

Operating System: Windows 7 / Windows Vista Service Pack 1 / Windows XP Service Pack 3 / OnLive for PC or Mac

Processor: Intel Dual Core 2.2GHz to Quad Core 3.2GHz / AMD Dual Core 2.4Ghz to Quad Core 3.2Ghz

RAM: 2GB to 8GB

Hard Drive Space: 16GB

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 512MB to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1536MB / Radeon HD 3000 512MB to Radeon HD 6850 1024MB

Sound Card: 100 percent DirectX 9 Compatible

DVD Drive

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