L.A. Noire Review

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So the game is great, except the gameplay? Sometimes I wonder if game critics wish they were reviewing movies as much as developers are accused of wishing they made them.

Mmm, it's a shame this game isn't appearing onm PC, my dad made several attempts a few years ago to find a truly noir-inspired games, I think this one might have actually fit him after a fashion.

Why oh why is this console only? This is the perfect game for a lot of PC players and Rockstar still insists on being a console whore. Which will make the game all the worse if and when it does get ported to PC. Inevitably glitches and crap slip in, making the experience for PC not as enriching as it would for console. It is evident with every one of Rockstar's games since GTA3.
That being said, from the audio I heard during the review, I swear it was recorded back in the 50's to 60's which is evident in movies like Goldfinger, Bad Day at Black Rock, well you know where I am going. That kind of ambience thrown in can trip a lot of nostalgia meters with the older crowd, making this game for a broad demographic.
All they need is a Maltese Falcon case to put in for DLC and Rockstar can buy Sweden.
And make a decent PC port.

Andronicus:
Grand Theft Auto with period cars and music and with a greater emphasis on sleuthing than gunplay?

The only way it could be better is if it was made in Austra...

Oh wait.

Trouble with that line of thought is that with everything I have seen of LA Noire, it isn't GTA. The closest you get is getting to drive the car fast. You don't even get to run over pedestrians as apparently everyone in '40's LA are acrobats able to dodge a speeding car.
Go into it with the mindset that it is GTA in the 40's and you are going to be very disappointed. Go into it with the mindset that it is Dragnet or even Maltese Falcon, and expect to have your mind blown.
If all you want is a GTA clone, save your money.

Nautical Honors Society:

Assassin Xaero:
From all the going on about how realistic their characters would look I expected them to look, oh, I dunno... more realistic? Did I miss something?

Go back and play almost any other game and you'll truly see how realistic these faces are.

I just borrowed GTA IV from one of my friends and LA Noire's faces are leaps and bounds above a game that came out only a few years ago.

OT: I love this game and while I understand the few flaws in the mechanics it doesn't take anything away from the game for me.

Which is amazing when you consider it is the same engine at the core. Of course I've seen devs before use the same game engine again and again, and still squeeze money out of it. (Looking at you, Epic)

IE is good initials, but it doesn't roll off the tongue well.
What about a splice of the words?

Intent
Intertainment?

Anyone here played Discworld Noir? The interrogations here sound very reminiscent of that game, especially the notebook mechanic.

When you get them right, interrogations are one of the most satisfying things about the game, and I never really found them all that irritating except when I completely flopped an interview.

samsonguy920:
Why oh why is this console only?

Because I have bad karma. Sorry I have to bring you down with me. :|

I'm not really a fan of the GTA games mainly because I have no interest in pursuing gangbanger/drug-runner/etc. stories in those settings, so the opportunity to have a similar world playground (I didn't really do the mass-murder type thing...much) to drive around in without needing to play scum to do it sounds kinda nice.

Somehow I doubt it would equal Driver for that, though. Ah well.

That happens a lot in Futurama...

I've never agreed with a review more! I expected The Escapist to all over this game and am glad it wasn't just me the interrogations let down.

The Truth, Doubt, Accuse thing needed a Paladin/Renegade colour-code system to show, not just what Cole was going to say, but how he was going to say it. I never really felt like I was part of Cole, more like I was his partner observing him :(

Cousin_IT:
So the game is great, except the gameplay? Sometimes I wonder if game critics wish they were reviewing movies as much as developers are accused of wishing they made them.

More like "the game is great, except for one aspect of the gameplay that is flawed".

Sometimes I wonder if people actually react to the written review or just want to put out a statement and lazily search for a reason to do so.

I admit sometimes I get extremely frustrated with the interrogations. It's like I feel I know more than the game does, but it's just too stubborn to admit it.

This, and Uncharted 3, are the only games I'm upset about not getting to play since my PS3 died. I really wish they'd released a PC version. Also those facial animations are spectacular.

I am shocked this game is not on PC. First of all, as the review says, it has some very intellectual moments, secondly it is based in a period that more older PC gamers would know about and appreciate and thirdly, it's no big deal to have 2-3 DVD's because it's all installed to the hard drive!

As per the paltry 36 posts here, for a few people, this is going to be a brilliant game for many older more intellectual console gamers, I do not think the average Mass Effect/Bioshock/Halo console gamer will be interested. It's very hard to get sales numbers in the game business, but I would not be at all surprised if this doesn't even manage 2 million sales, half of what Rockstar games usually do. Giving the cost of development, this game won;t make a profit therefore, so I don't thin we'll see an L.A. noire 2.

Personally, I think a game like this would sell at least an additional 2 million on PC, and Rockstar are so missing out by making a game suitable for the PC market and PC gamers, but then only releasing it on console!

samsonguy920:

Andronicus:
Grand Theft Auto with period cars and music and with a greater emphasis on sleuthing than gunplay?

The only way it could be better is if it was made in Austra...

Oh wait.

Trouble with that line of thought is that with everything I have seen of LA Noire, it isn't GTA. The closest you get is getting to drive the car fast. You don't even get to run over pedestrians as apparently everyone in '40's LA are acrobats able to dodge a speeding car.
Go into it with the mindset that it is GTA in the 40's and you are going to be very disappointed. Go into it with the mindset that it is Dragnet or even Maltese Falcon, and expect to have your mind blown.
If all you want is a GTA clone, save your money.

Hehe, actually, I'm not really a big fan of GTA at all. I loved the openness of the GTA games (III and onwards; never really got to play the top down ones), but the gameplay was really just meh to me. There's only so much shooting people I can deal with before I feel like putting the gun to my own head. The majority of the missions were just "go here and shoot this person". The only reason I put up with it was because it had a fascinating sandbox world to explore, and the only way to see it was, of course, to do missions. You know, I never really understood people who would randomly just run around shooting pedestrians, or running them over in cars; I just never saw the point. That, and the whole modern "gangsta" vibe it gave off, especially in San Andreas, pretty much put me off completely. But LA Noire is pretty much that entire sandbox world, in an awesome period, with an awesome noire theme, with an emphasis on cognitive processes beyond matching up reticules with pixelated heads.

So yeah, I'm of the mindset that would tend to explode, as you described.

And yeah, this is a big coup for the Australian industry considering how big it is. I'm actually having a lot of trouble finding a reason to not buy this game. The only thing stopping me from running out and buying it right now is the fact that I have exams in two weeks. That, and the shops are closed at this time of night.

Good review in overall, but I actually thought a lot of the interrogations were fairly simple. And I don't exactly get why Russ would want to nail McCaffrey with that movie lot job of Evelyn Summers in his review ... I fail to see the connection.

Johnnyallstar:
I have to say that I love this game. I love everything about this game, except the occasional lockup.

I almost never pay for DLC, but I would pay for more cases. I'm only around 70% complete, because I kinda don't want to finish because then what else is there to do besides just bum around?

Seconded. As soon as DLC for L.A. Noire hits the PlayStation Store, I'm picking it up, whatever it may cost and include.

Finally, I couldn't wait to read Russ' review of L.A. Noire. I was expecting him to be more positive to be honest, because he praised Mafia 2 quite a lot and LA Noire looks to be a substantially better game. That being said, the interrogations are something I'm very much looking forward to, because it makes you think, rather than force you to press a button to continue.

I think working out how to convey to gamers the meaning of a dialogue choice without actually just having the whole option is something the gaming industry hasn't quite reached yet. ME did it okay, ME2 did it slightly worse, Dragon Age slightly better but no-ones got it perfect.

Question though, it sounds like exactly my sort of game, but how violent is it? Because a lot of the cases just sound a little to gruesome/nasty for me to want to pick up the game, even though the game sounds awesome

From the videos I've watched some of the facial animations are incredible - but this does seem to cross in to uncanny valley territory at times. Maybe this is an artifact of the videos, I hope so as I'd love to see this picked up by other games.

Just picked this up today and wondering how I will cope with the interrogations, as long as it's as fun and engagging as it promises I will be fine. =)

Joa_Belgium:
Good review in overall, but I actually thought a lot of the interrogations were fairly simple. And I don't exactly get why Russ would want to nail McCaffrey with that movie lot job of Evelyn Summers in his review ... I fail to see the connection.

Perhaps to show off interrogations without spoiling the game for anyone? :)

I personally found that I got better at the investigations as the game went on. I completely blew the first two or three cases (ok, maybe just about everything in Traffic), but by the time I got to Homicide, I was missing perhaps one or two questions in the whole case. There is *definitely* a learning curve with this game, and you really need to be paying attention to your detective work. It's a very brainy game, which I love about it.

I hate the driving, though. Haaaaate it. I make my partner drive everywhere.

Nautical Honors Society:

Assassin Xaero:
From all the going on about how realistic their characters would look I expected them to look, oh, I dunno... more realistic? Did I miss something?

Go back and play almost any other game and you'll truly see how realistic these faces are.

I just borrowed GTA IV from one of my friends and LA Noire's faces are leaps and bounds above a game that came out only a few years ago.

I'm not quite sure how to phrase this... I could understand the actual character model looking better, but for actual graphic wise, still. Whenever I think of realistic looking characters, I think of Butcher Bay, and that was what? 5 years ago? And they've even redid them since. To me, at least, LA Noire's still look a bit on the cartoony side compared to these...

uk_john:

As per the paltry 36 posts here, for a few people, this is going to be a brilliant game for many older more intellectual console gamers, I do not think the average Mass Effect/Bioshock/Halo console gamer will be interested.

This reeks of elitism.

Have you even played Bioshock? It's far more 'intellectual' in its subject matter than LA Noire. Gaming on console or PC does not make someone more intellectual, that idea to me is utterly ridiculous.

PC gamers have more tech know-how than console gamers, that's about it.

-30 year old console and PC gamer

MiracleOfSound:

uk_john:

As per the paltry 36 posts here, for a few people, this is going to be a brilliant game for many older more intellectual console gamers, I do not think the average Mass Effect/Bioshock/Halo console gamer will be interested.

This reeks of elitism.

Have you even played Bioshock? It's far more 'intellectual' in its subject matter than LA Noire. Gaming on console or PC does not make someone more intellectual, that idea to me is utterly ridiculous.

PC gamers have more tech know-how than console gamers, that's about it.

-30 year old console and PC gamer

I agree with the MiracleofBeieber, knocking people because they play this game instead of that game on this platform instead of that platform is so elitist and snobby. don't judge people for doing essentially the same thing you do for fun.

Frybird:

Cousin_IT:
So the game is great, except the gameplay? Sometimes I wonder if game critics wish they were reviewing movies as much as developers are accused of wishing they made them.

More like "the game is great, except for one aspect of the gameplay that is flawed".

Sometimes I wonder if people actually react to the written review or just want to put out a statement and lazily search for a reason to do so.

second paragraph:
The only thing keeping me from polishing up my "Game of the Year" stamp for LA Noire, however, is the second thing you need to know about it: The gameplay will frequently piss you right the fuck off. Setting aside the usual complaints with a sandbox game like LA Noire (driving is hard, controlling the camera is impossible, I don't know where to go ... wah, wah, wah), the added extras that come packaged along with LA Noire's attempt to recreate the art of sleuthing are hit-and-miss, and create the only real stumbles for this otherwise excellent game.

I agree, people should react to the written review. But, more importantly, people should read it. I suggest you give reading a go. Who knows, you might enjoy it.

Cousin_IT:

second paragraph:
The only thing keeping me from polishing up my "Game of the Year" stamp for LA Noire, however, is the second thing you need to know about it: The gameplay will frequently piss you right the fuck off. Setting aside the usual complaints with a sandbox game like LA Noire (driving is hard, controlling the camera is impossible, I don't know where to go ... wah, wah, wah), the added extras that come packaged along with LA Noire's attempt to recreate the art of sleuthing are hit-and-miss, and create the only real stumbles for this otherwise excellent game.

I agree, people should react to the written review. But, more importantly, people should read it. I suggest you give reading a go. Who knows, you might enjoy it.

Hands-on gameplay and storytelling are woven together so nearly seamlessly that each seems to carry just enough of its own weight to make the combined whole feel like something better than either an interactive movie or an action game.

Getting behind the wheel of a post-war-era American-made tank-steel, rear wheel cruiser, hitting the wailer and blazing down the middle lane of a two lane road, blowing through red lights, holding the pedal down and pulling an emergency-brake-fishtail-hairpin turn is about as much fun as you can have in a game. I recommend doing it as much as you can.

Investigation mainly involves combing crime scenes for clues and then using those as leads for further investigation or in interrogations (more on those in a sec). [...] It's surprisingly fun, if tedious in the late game arson cases.

You can also sandbox the game via "Streets of L.A." mode, which allows you to ride around in a police car, being a policeman, unlocking hidden cars, film reels and the like, and responding to radio calls. This takes some of the angst away from following through the story linearly, knowing you can go back for the extras whenever you like. Completionists who also want to see how the story plays out (like me) will feel like they've got the best of both worlds.

Part of the fun when I played it was getting the questions wrong and carrying on. Using alternative methods to bring down some justice. I remember there was only one case I got a 1* rating on, and it was a nice touch having the Vice Squad captain shout at me for my incompetence at the end of it.

If I had a problem with the syntax, or needed to be sure of what the actual question and answer were, you can press start and check the chat-log.

I hate the foot chases so much. Seriously...And the fact the game kept acting like I charged one suspect, when I clearly chose the other. Made my choice moot. :[

Although, this is basically a serious Phoenix Wright. And anything like PW is good in my book!

Am i the only one that feels that the video review was a little... slow? lacking a bit of energy and though it fits the atmosphere i was yawning through the half of it, I know i know... the voice and mood was to fit the game, but please don't make it sound like you just wake up and need to do the review. Still looks like an interesting game.

de5gravity:
Nooooooooooooo not a half kitten!!!

:p

In all serioussness, I'm sad this is a console exclusive :(

Somehow, I doubt it will stay that way. If wanted enough - the PC may get a port with a few upgrades.

Russ Pitts:
L.A. Noire Review

As alluring and confounding as the rich genre that inspired it.

Read Full Article

I do have a question - why is it that most of the games that are Multi-Platform are reviewed on 360? Is it just because most of the Escapist has one? I always wondered :/

If you could get back to me with the answer that would be great.

Captain Placeholder:

de5gravity:
Nooooooooooooo not a half kitten!!!

:p

In all serioussness, I'm sad this is a console exclusive :(

Somehow, I doubt it will stay that way. If wanted enough - the PC may get a port with a few upgrades.

Russ Pitts:
L.A. Noire Review

As alluring and confounding as the rich genre that inspired it.

Read Full Article

I do have a question - why is it that most of the games that are Multi-Platform are reviewed on 360? Is it just because most of the Escapist has one? I always wondered :/

If you could get back to me with the answer that would be great.

They actually kind of address that in Podcast 003, you should give it a listen!

Captain Placeholder:
I do have a question - why is it that most of the games that are Multi-Platform are reviewed on 360? Is it just because most of the Escapist has one? I always wondered :/

If you could get back to me with the answer that would be great.

It varies by reviewer, but for me, I prefer to play a console version because I have a bad back and sitting at a PC all night and weekend after sitting at a PC all day is not fun :) And I tend to go to the 360 first because I'm more familiar with it. I will make exceptions for games that are PC exclusive or have some other compelling reason to be reviewed on PC or another console, but generally I like to review games on the platform I spend the most time with. It's not a grand conspiracy, just personal preference.

ed_zero:
Am i the only one that feels that the video review was a little... slow? lacking a bit of energy and though it fits the atmosphere i was yawning through the half of it, I know i know... the voice and mood was to fit the game, but please don't make it sound like you just wake up and need to do the review. Still looks like an interesting game.

We're in the process of moving offices and we'd already taken down a lot of the sound-proofing in the studio where we record our VOs. So I was intentionally trying not to in my usual overly-enthusiastic tones so as not to blast the room with echoes. probably went too far int he other direction, but there you have it. Life is never-ending struggle and strife ;)

-R

I really liked the interrogations, and i think the whole "well, you fucked up that case, on with the game!" thing is just a cunning ploy for replayability...

Also after playing the Phoenix Wright games judging which evidence to present was pretty easy in comparison.

Also also i love the whole
"YOU'RE LYING!!"

"WANNA PROVE THAT WITH EVIDENCE?!"

"Looks like i was mistaken"

It's fucking hilarious the way the interrogation just carries on after such an epic rage moment, Phoenix Wright could use some of those backing out powers

Cousin_IT:
So the game is great, except the gameplay? Sometimes I wonder if game critics wish they were reviewing movies as much as developers are accused of wishing they made them.

This is definitely one of those games that the users are going to be much harsher than the critics. It's fairly original and well-made, which is going to draw in the glowing reviews... but even those favorable reviews betray that game play can be needlessly frustrating.

I picked it up the other day and I hope I don't get too annoyed with the problems.

Jumplion:
See, about the audio and vibration queues when investigating, wouldn't those instances make the game easier overall? A game like L.A. Noire only has so much replayability, and while the interrogations may be easily screwed up on, if you find all the clues before and you want to replay through a case, you're just trying to find the clues as fast as you can until you get to the interrogations. Wouldn't you want to turn off those indicators so that when you're going back to the scene of the crime you can still find something new about it.

It would make sense if one of the design flaws of the game was that you don't have any sort of in game cues about where to find the clues. The first clue you find in the game is a murder weapon that's on top of a building, and which you find through a reflection. The game fails at giving you any sort of visual cue on where and how to look on most cases.

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