Gaming goes classic Hollywood detective movie and wins. L.A. Noire brilliantly depicts that era.
Once again Rockstar delivers a stunning appealing game. Los Angeles looks and sounds like the 1940s. The style of the architecture and street layout are authentic. Head to toe fashion for LA residents is spot on for the era. The city is spacious and sprawling. You can almost smell the clean air. Popular landmarks placed throughout the city lend a break to the sprawl and adds dimension to the missions.
You play as Cole Phelps an ex-Marine and WWII hero who is eager to continue serving his country. Cole joins the LAPD where he hopes to help rid the city of government and police corruption, the darker elements of the drug trade, and crimes against young girls wanting to be Hollywood stars.
The story of L.A. Noire is woven between game missions and cinematic cut-scenes. Former Marines who fought with Cole during the war are now in LA. Eventually their paths will cross in some unexpected ways.
Cole starts his career as a patrolman. There he will learn the ways and means of policing. Cole is quickly promoted to Detective. As Detective, Cole will have several opportunities to work cases on the Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and Arson desks. As he and his partners investigate crimes, Cole enters important clues, persons of interest, and pertinent locations into his notebook for later use during interrogations of suspects and P.O.I.
New facial animation software is used to help Cole discern whether suspects and P.O.I. are telling the truth, lying, or expressing doubt when being interrogated. Choose right, case closed. Choose wrong and the suspect walks. Don't worry; you'll have another chance to get it right.
There is some real action in this game. Foot chases, fist fights, car chases and shoot outs occur evenly throughout the game to keep this somewhat slow quiet game feeling like an action game. Like the setting, the action sequences feel and look authentic. Cole is limited most of the time to his pistol. However, during some missions more varied weapons are at his disposal.
Once the detective work is done, Cole can explore the city looking for collectibles such as film reels, newspapers, and a variety of car models. He can also respond to street crimes.
L.A. Noire is a different kind of action game. The design really makes you feel like a detective instead of a criminal. The game slows down just enough to force you to think about the plot and how the missions and cut-scenes work together to tell a complete story. L.A. Noire deserves a second play through so that connection can be fully realized.
Definitely buy and enjoy.