Zero Punctuation: L.A. Noire

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I hate to be 'that guy', but Noire is the feminine form of the work, Noir being the masculine (he brought it up in the credit comments).

Sounds reasonable. But does it make sense in the game title? I thought it was supposed to be a reference to "film noir."

Not sure. I briefly thought it might have to do with the majority of the cases revolving around women (at least up to Vice, I haven't finished it yet).

I'm confused. He didn't complain too much about it but usually if he likes a game, he outright says so.

No, that's if he absolutely loves it.

If he just nitpicks but isn't too vicious, chances are he likes it, but is aware of the flaws.

Heh, that was the first review since Burnout Paradise that really made me laugh out loud, rather than snigger or chuckle throughout. He picks out everything that is "wrong" with the game while still not actively hating it.

And I think he had the same reaction as me when Greg Grunberg appeared. :D


Wait... a flamethrower?


Someone enlighten me here, does that actually happen or was that just a joke?

That actually happens.

It's even in the ESRB rating. "BEWARE! FLAMETHROWER VIOLENCE!"

There is a degree of logic in terms of the storyline though. There are a numerous references to a large heist of weapons from a ship bringing WW2 soldiers back home (indeed, it's one of the major focal points of the later missions), and they used flamethrowers during WW2 so it's conceivable that they would be amongst the weapons stolen, and the player finds it amongst a large stash of said weapons from said heist. It might be a bit of a stretch granted (why, after all, were they all down in the sewer to begin with - did they guy you were chasing after put them there?), but if it is the biggest stretch in the game, compared to the biggest stretches in most other games it's not as bad as you'd think.

I disagree with much of the critisicms. It was never hard to keep motivation in a case that will move on regardless of my decision. If anything it made think twice to make sure I'm doing the right thing. The notion that the case seems to go on with or without me is a huge point. It's like real life. Shit happens!
OK the ending is not great but I don't really find it absurd. A game is likely to end with a shooting showdown and flamethrower has a place in the story so why not?
There is also disapproval about repaired glasses claimed to be new issue. It is not entirely out of place when Phelps starts shouting and accuses the wife of being at the crime scene and not simply lying about the glasess. It isn't so mundane to be lying to a detecetive about a crime and get away with it. He may very well be just provoking her. Otherwise he is also aware that just because she lies about the glasses doesn't mean she was at the crime scene.
One critisicm I totally agree, however, is the same body models RockStar has been using since GTA3. "It's such a blatantly obvious and extremely distracting visual break" as StriderShinryu said.
And I didn't like the driving mechanism here just like i didn't like it in GTA IV. Same thing about shooting mechanism, especially with getting in and out of covers.

Uh spoiler alert? Thanks...

Anyway decent review it seems like you actually really liked it.

By the way Noire is spelt with an "e" for the game because it is play on words. "Noire" is the feminine form of "noir", so it's supposed to be like La Noire and L.A. Noire.

Please please let the next one be The Witcher 2.

Also nice review.

I'm honestly kind of excited for this game, but maybe that's because I love police-stuff. Either way, I think the investigative aspect is going to be fun to play, and it seems that, Yahtzee, in his own way, might have begrudgingly thought the same.

Are there tons of spoilers in this review? I plan on playing the game soon, but I really want my weekly dose of ZP.

I cant help but feel that Yahtzee will never find a game he loves... besides Saints Row 2...

Oh, he loves plenty of games: Portal; Prince of Persia; Psychonauts; Batman AA; & Bioshock. OK, not plenty, but they exist... games he loves.

OT: Yeesh, more than two pages in and I'm the first person to mention I loved his 'Tony Blair = LIAR' dig. The eyebrow was a nice touch too. Hyuk hyuk.

Worth it, despite the wait.


DragonLord Seth:
Now I need to watch a LP of it :/

From what I understand/have heard, Rockstar does not take to kindly to LPs because they think that if people watch the game, they are less likely to buy it. I could be wrong on that though.

OT: This did look like a fun game, so I think I may get it later. But that glasses thing? Funny as hell.

You're half right. Rockstar doesn't like LPs when the game still hasn't been released worldwide. Now that LA Noire is out everywhere then they're cool...On the other hand I heard Take2 have been flagging YouTubers for having game footage. But I'm doing an LA Noire playthrough and no problems so far *knocks wood*.

I can actually say that I agree with Yahtzee on this game for once. Don't get me wrong, I have been singing L.A. Noire's praises before it even came out, and I'm not finding myself eating my words, but I really agree with the acting/lying thing as well as the weird body motions, for if nothing else, making me laugh at the hilarious stilted arm animation movements. I laughed so damn hard.

Anyway, I agree in the end, although I haven't beat it, I feel a little bummed that the end of the entire game will really be a major shootout. It's a fun mechanic, but I actually like the case solving parts, really. Makes me long for the days I can wear a yellow hat and coat and speak "I'm On My Way" into my watch without any sense that people are staring at me like I escaped from a mental facility or something.

I actually found the review quite funny as he mentioned things that pissed me off as well (I also got yelled at for 123910238 hours because I chose the "wrong" guy), but I actually really, really liked Phelps. I'm surprised Yahtzee characterized him as a robot, because Phelps is a really interesting and unique character.

Point is, I loved the game, but the ZP of it was hilarious as well.

You know the hamsters powering the Escapist servers are having problems when Zero Punctuation is late.

But interesting to hear. And that REALLY better not be how it ends... sounds like it got a case of executive meddling there...

I'm really glad I'm not the only one who made that exact mistake. The freaking glasses are repaired, she says he got a new pair, but you're incorrect for point ing that out. It's really, REALLY weird.
Still, aside from that I freaking LOVE this game and I hope it encourages other developers to realize that we don't need to have our most significant interactions with other characters be down the barrel of a gun.

There could have been some simple fixes to the question issues. Simply add some text to lie. There were too many times he went way off from what the person was talking about, and go nuts accusing them of murder. Other times the person would make a vague statement that would in no way fit any clues I had, but if you choose lie it would go on a tangent and match up perfectly with one of my clues. Just do a Mass Effect like choice next to lie where you at least get the gist of the accusation about to be made. Instead you have to choose lie every time, then check evidence, and back out if it doesn't fit.

I too was frustrated with being forced to charge someone. Too many times I wanted to let everyone go, but I never got the chance. I know that is part of the deal, but you should be given the option to leave a case open with some consequences (like losing the ability to ask for help from a parter or some other problems within the police department).

Overall it's worth playing, but there are some huge holes in the game. the poor handling cars. I know it's mostly the Rockstar engine, but cars back then did handle like they had another car attached to them. So that is actually somewhat accurate.



But, it was a pretty cleverly hidden one. And now, of course, you'll deny it and I'll have to let everyone know I know your tell. Way to fuck up my poker game.

Well played, Mr. Crenshaw, well played indeed.

I would've been upset about the spoiler if I hadn't stopped caring about L.A. Noire the moment I got to Vice.

And I wouldn't say Cole Phelps is a robot; Afterall, robots are cool. I'd say he's more of a dead fish.

This was more positive than I expected. :/ Granted, I saw posters for L.A Noire on the train a couple weeks ago and promptly thought 'Oh god here we go again'. Though...I'm not sure why I thought that. I'm not familiar with nay other games like L.A Noire. But the principle of the thing is that I thought it looked /bad./

Yahtzee makes it sound like it might be worth checking out...? Maybe..?

As I recall, Sierra did an detective investigation game based on Bladerunner in the early/mid 1990's that basically ran into all of these issues as well, but was a cool game nonetheless. I am disappointed that the guys at Rockstar were unable to do better than a 20 year old game.

Westwood, not Sierra.

The old Blade Runner game was actually quite awesome for it's day, since it randomised who was a replicant to some degree, and did have quite a lot of branching outcomes (not just covering for you when you sucked, the whole course of the game could change)

And, of course, it was actually Noir, which L.A. Noire really isn't. It should really be called something like L.A. Pastels. None of the characteristics of film noir cinematography or storytelling are present, all there is is the setting.

I, *gasp*, agree with Yahtzee. The story is utter Rockstar bollocks that copies the best bits off L.A Confidential (a masterpiece), and fills the other stuff with the idiotic bits they do so well.

It is kind of hard to keep motivation in a case that will move on regardless of your decisions.

Please don't become a real detective then.

(Recaptcha was 'uzerep COPLAND'!)

I couldn't disagree more with Yatzhee on this one.

L.A. Noire is one of the best games I've layed in a veeeeeeeeery long time.

What exactly is the point of a largly story-based game founded on interrogations if the final climactic sequence is a shootout? You wouldn't see Phoenix Wright ending with a quicktime event or something.

And that's not to say you couldn't have a final shooting sequence, but can that come alongside a very difficult interrogation? Possibly right before or right after?

That's the problem with mixing gameplay styles like this. There's no way to satisfy fans of both because they may require completely different pacing, and if one is to be perfect the other might be found wanting.

Well he didnt rip the game a new one. which means he liked it. so yeah

Were we watching the same review? He gave it a passing grade at best.

Regardless of what he says I won't be bothering with this game either. Rockstar games are pretty boring and the "story" aspects of the games are pretty weak.

HOLY CRAP, A PUNCTUATION! The end is nigh!


It is kind of hard to keep motivation in a case that will move on regardless of your decisions.

Please don't become a real detective then.

(Recaptcha was 'uzerep COPLAND'!)

Don't worry, the paperwork is too much of a turn off for me to consider it anyway... and I'm not a people person.

got to say, the driving is supposed to feel like that, your not driving a ferrari, your driving a car from the mid 40's, plus you are walking and running in shoes and a suit, not trainers and a track suit.

other than that little gripe, good review, it even made me laugh a few times, which is rare.

cant wait for extra punctuation, no know where he says, it was a good game, but could have been better by doing this.

"No combs have to be combined with shoelaces to form makeshift grappling hooks.." Nice reference, right there, Yahtzee. :D

Thanks for ruining the end yahtzee! :(
Okay, really though, funny as always. I had the exact some response with the glasses, ah, silly game :D



It is kind of hard to keep motivation in a case that will move on regardless of your decisions.

Please don't become a real detective then.

(Recaptcha was 'uzerep COPLAND'!)

Don't worry, the paperwork is too much of a turn off for me to consider it anyway... and I'm not a people person.

That, and every case you encounter moves on regardless of your decisions and it's very hard to keep motivated as cases pile up.

okay, so its a fine game then thats all i needed to know.

After I saw "Brink" last week I knew it'll be L.A. Noire this one... but you're going to do Witcher 2 next week... right... right? It's not going to be some special E3 episode again? Or you're going to do both, amirite?

I doubt he'll do The Witcher 2.

A. It's a sequel.
B. He didn't even make it through the first one.

I did that EXACT same thing with the guy's broken old glasses and the wife saying he just got a new pair. So I hit lie and now Cole is saying she killed her husband. What?! At least you can back out of a lie accusation if Cole starts spouting off about something you didn't want (and like it says in the video, you do eventually learn to pick lie first every time just to see if the person you're talking to changes the subject to a piece of evidence he's sure you don't have but you do). But if he does it for doubt, you're screwed. And then sometimes you pick "truth" and he accuses them of not being completely honest anyway! Why even label the options as "truth", "doubt", and "lie" if Cole's reaction is just going to be whatever he feels like doing?

And yeah, those cases where you have enough evidence to say that two different suspects might have done it but you know they both probably didn't suck. But too was surprised when I got chewed out for picking the wrong one, especially since the "wrong" one had slightly stronger evidence against him even though you know neither guy did it, so it makes more sense to pick him and then you get chewed out. And then of course, you do find out later than you were right about neither of them doing it. Yay.

Good game, but certainly room for improvement if they make an LA Noire 2.

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