Great visuals and general presentation, deeply flawed investigation mechanics and annoying cliche political story.
Stophocles wrote this review on .
My other issues with this game lie in its now tired and cliche story about greedy old white capitalists exploiting the little people. This is a story which has simply been done into the ground at this point, especially now in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. The other elements of the story are much less likely to annoy players. Throughout the game you are presented with the standard liberal talking points about business and warfare, some of which will come across as annoying at best and horribly offensive at worst to thinking, conservative leaning people. Despite the annoying aspects of the central story, it's clear that Team Bondi took seriously the task of trying to create a believable representation of the housing initiatives of the 1950s. However, ultimately what they would like you to think is that the U.S. government should have been directly running the housing industry during this time, rather than delegating to private businesses and local government. It's easy to sell a point like this through some nice visuals and an engaging story, but the vast majority of economists and even liberal political theorists would vehemently disagree for fairly obvious reasons. Team Bondi however is not so much interested in presenting an accurate and fair assessment of things as simply distributing leftist propaganda. In this world, industries should be nationalized in their entirety because of the few bad apples in the private sector who behave unethically and illegally. There is a distinct intellectual shallowness to Team Bondi's narrative. There is never a mention of smart regulations that can keep this kind of behavior at bay; the federal government should simply oversee everything because businessmen are evil. Ironically, the local government officials are shown alongside the businessmen and are made to look just like said businessmen - evil and selfish - but we are presumably meant to believe that the federal government is not like this.
The liberal propaganda reaches the peak of its stomach-turning capability during a flashback in which the lead protagonist shouts at his fellow soldiers something like, "The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor because we cut off their oil supply! What would you do!?" It seems that Team Bondi watched Michael Bay's abortion of a war film to do their research on this front, and are equally uninterested in fact. Did the Japanese have imperialist ambitions as well? Did the Chinese cut off their oil supply as well and that's why the Japanese army raped and killed hundreds of thousands in Nanjing after their invasion of the Chinese mainland? This game isn't interested in these questions.
Ultimately, LA Noire plays like a great game. If you're not too interested in politics and things like that in general you likely won't be bothered by the story. If you are, I hope you don't care to think about these things in a holistic and intelligent kind of way or you will likely come away from the experience as irritated as me.