La Noire has been known to the public for years now. PS3 owners will remember classic detective/open world game for its superb animations/graphics and stunning voice acting. This PS4 remaster doesnt really add new content to marvel at, but just the trip down memory lane in beautiful re-rendered PS4 animations is enough to warrant a purchase. Not to mention the appeal to newcomers who've never got the chance to see how incredible of a game it actually is.
For those who have not had the chance to play the original PS3 hit classic, the nice people behind the Take-Two studios have remastered it for PS4 format and man, I remembered how great this detective/thriller/crime fighting gem was. This version is the perfect opportunity for newcomers and returning players alike, as new collectibles have been added and of course, cuz its just simply a great game well worth the trip down memory lane.
The game is very story centered, and takes place in a chaotic Los Angeles back in the 1930-40's era. America was still new in establishing itself as a nation and the crime rate was unbelievably high, oftentimes involving dirty police and even dirtier government officials. The streets were flooded with murders, arsons, drugs running amok and the gang wars were also a factor. This re-imagining of that time era (to the best of my knowledge) is pretty darn accurate (minus the characters and certain events in the story) but L.A. Noire is a very true sense of the way things were back in the crooked days of America's darker times.
Cole Phelps, the protagonist and the man you will control for majority of the game, is a tightly woven ex-Marine who has just joined the LAPD police force. Known by his superiors and coworkers as the war hero responsible for the death of many Japs in the World War, he is caught in a conspiracy that goes above and beyond his police captain and into the upper echelons of the richer high class political figures in the city. You watch and play his journey in discovering the truth behind the crime wave that impacted Los Angeles at the time. You influence and control him as you rise to the top as an aspiring beat cop and as you solve cases and stop bad guys with convictions, you will slowly but surely progress through the police force ranks and eventually get promoted to the Detective squad, your first role there as a Homicide Detective. You can solve murders (and any other crime based case you get) in several differing ways. For instance, you may or may not truly solve the case due to lack of evidence depending on where you choose to go at different points in the game. Not investigating certain locations at certain times will make you miss out on key pieces of evidence and can possibly ruin your hopes of catching the right culprit, but even so, an arrest will and must be made whether you got the right guy or not. Cole has a strong sense of justice, but his partners and captains throughout the story will settle for whoever they can beat an admittance of guilt out of, much to Cole's chagrin. The key to getting 5 star grades on your case file report card which is given at the end of each crime you undertake and there are several branching results that could occur. Your investigative abilities and cop intuition will be put to the test and this is a neat feature to this game in my opinion.
You investigate and find clues by searching throughly at crime scenes and surrounding areas but some places where case breaking evidence can be found isn't always obvious. Choosing to search for a suspect in a case before going the local bar they frequent could result in you missing out on catching the true bad guy. Several times throughout the game, you will have options on where to investigate for clues and picking the right place to thumb for clues in the right order can be crucial. This results in a 2nd playthrough if you want to unlock every outcome in the games amazing story.
Another awesome feature this game throws at you are the police radio calls you can optionally take. While driving in any police car with a police CB, you will from time to time be requested to take a break from your current case to pursue bank robberies, petty street crimes, assaults on fellow police officers and many many more different street crimes. Taking these side quests is completely up to you, but doing so is a refreshing break from the norm of the story driven narrative. It also offers more insight to the corruption underway all around Phelps and completing all police calls soon becomes a goal for the player. A goal well worth undertaking.
The beautiful open world setting of LA 30's era is stunning and beautiful. It is an accurate design from what I gather, as there are plenty of key Los Angeles locales you can visit and create landmarks on your map. The facial expressions on this game were all created using real people's faces and the engine Take-Two used for this glorious and beautiful animation is still among the most realistic looking piece of work to grace videogames. The people talking have an eerily close look and feel to them, resulting in making this world and setting seem all the more accurate and real. The game may not offer players complete freedom at all times, but in between cases and as you progress in the main story of the game will offer more and more ways of transportation and areas will open up for you to drive and explore. The various outcomes can warrant several playthroughs but its the superb writing, amazing story and colorful cast of characters caught in a gorgeous LA setting that will truly sell this hit to most people. Its a marvel watching these events unfold before you as you get closer and closer to understanding the core of the problems the citizens of this town are subject to. Its a story that is best served fresh and may not appeal to fans wanting new content, but for me, a fan of the PS3 version, this new and remastered edition is plenty enough of an excuse to return to the crime-riddled world of LA Noire. I highly recommend to anyone who missed out on the original PS3 format game, and even recommend it to those who have played it and enjoyed it the first time around. LA Noire offers a sense of realism not often portrayed this well in games and does an excellent job at making players feel like a true up and coming detective. 9 outta 10 stars for me, woulda gave it a ten outta ten had there been fresh new story content. But still, an amazing game that got sadly overlooked in its day.