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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rockstar have done it once again
LA Noire is probably the most unique game I have ever played. Its set in 1940s Los Angeles where you play as former Marine now Detective, Cole Phelps. Phelps is a unique character for Rockstar to have as its protagonist, because he's not an immigrant trying to bury his past or an outlaw trying to go straight. The core of LA Noire itself is interrogations and crime scenes...
Published on 18 Jun 2011 by Robert Lilley

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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hype means nothing.....
It seems like telling people you are disappointed with a Rockstar game is much like John McClane's sandwich board experience in Die Hard 3. Someone is going to get upset, very upset and you are going to experience a fair degree of hostility. Which begs the question, how would this game have fared had it been produced by Reality Pump or Remedy? Fanboys get your flaming...
Published on 11 Jun 2011 by Marauder Shields


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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rockstar have done it once again, 18 Jun 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
LA Noire is probably the most unique game I have ever played. Its set in 1940s Los Angeles where you play as former Marine now Detective, Cole Phelps. Phelps is a unique character for Rockstar to have as its protagonist, because he's not an immigrant trying to bury his past or an outlaw trying to go straight. The core of LA Noire itself is interrogations and crime scenes. Sure theres shootings but these mainly occur later in the game. Interrogations are simply fantastic for me because theres nothing quite like sqeezing as much information out of the suspect as possible. But these are not a walk in the park. These are very challenging and I get annoyed with myself if I fail on a question. Interrogations vary as you progress to each desk. Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, Vice and Arson are the desks you'll be on and they all impressed me. Those after GTA in LA will be dissapointed however, as you can't simply wield your gun and start shooting. Causing havoc will also severly impact you, as you get less stars at the end of a case due to property damage. The plot is mainly divided amongst the desks you're working on, for example, you'll be invesingating the Black Dahlia murders on the Homicide desk and Army Morphine being sold on the streets on the Vice desk. Replay value is also surprisingly high, as you can replay old cases to get that 5 star rating and there are many collectibles scattered round LA, such as film reels and famous Hollywood landmarks. Overall LA Noire is a gorgeous game due to Team Bondis new facial animation and I would recommend it to anyone. Definetely a contender for Game of the Year.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hype means nothing....., 11 Jun 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
It seems like telling people you are disappointed with a Rockstar game is much like John McClane's sandwich board experience in Die Hard 3. Someone is going to get upset, very upset and you are going to experience a fair degree of hostility. Which begs the question, how would this game have fared had it been produced by Reality Pump or Remedy? Fanboys get your flaming kit out, I fear I'm in for a hammering.

L.A. Noire seems to have been talked about for eons, a big build up, fawning previews and intriguing set up had interest piqued for a long long time. Postwar LA is as attractive a setting for a game as you can imagine and Team Bondi have done exceptionally well in capturing the feeling of the era. The clothes, dialogue, cars, venues et al are superb it is as good an environment as any, as cliched as it may be you are certainly drawn in almost immediately.

Looks good, feels good, then you engage in conversation with an NPC and you realise something, something epic. Games in which you interact with NPCs can never be the same again, it is incredible. Never before have I felt so much for those people I'm engaging with, the mannerisms, the eyes, the voice acting, the fear, the cockiness, the anger. It's a major leap forward, nay a quantum leap forward. These are as close to real people as you have seen so far.

However, excitement and awe quickly gave way to another realisation, after about 6 cases it dawned on me that I had invested in a one trick pony. Get given a case, go to the scene, have a look around for clues, interview some suspects, maybe chase them, maybe have a shoot out then back to the station for more interviews. This is undeniably enjoyable at first and the homicide desk is without doubt the better period of the game but it's here you realise that that huge immersion you initially felt has fallen away. You're not playing this game, you're being led through it. You can't fail the cases, if you get stuck in an action sequence you can choose to skip it and you have no power to affect the direction of the protagonists career or personal life. You are playing a big cutscene, or perhaps more accurately a big tech demonstration. It's hard to elaborate without giving away spoilers, but you feel cheated at the direction the game goes toward the end, for all the steps forward in character performance, we should be demanding a degree of control and story arcs in the vein of Mass Effect and Dragon Age, not to be thrust in one linear direction to an inevitable conclusion.

L.A. Noire is a huge step forward in one sense, for a while it is an undeniably sublime experience, but as a game it falls short, from the sandbox kings you expect some degree of freedom, you have barely any, in the end whatever you do makes no difference and in a character driven experience, that is unforgiveable.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Treads a fine line - is it really a game?, 23 May 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Being someone that loves a great story in a game I was eagerly awaiting this release. I would rate Red Dead amongst the greats and as such was hoping for more of the same.

L.A. Noire did and did not disappoint in equal measure.

First of all, the graphics et al are a huge step forward. The much hyped facial expressions really lived up to expectations and the game has that lovely Rockstar gloss; the little things are always done very well. The story is good, the character development is good, the environment is superb (absolutely HUGE map), cut scene direction flows naturally, the driving is made all the more fun by a large selection of authentic 1940s cars and the script is a good one played out by professional actors - some of whom you may recognise as I did.

However, there are some problems. It is incredibly linear. You have this vast expanse of beautiful city and incredibly detailed characters, cars, etc. but you can't use them freely! Everything is done to the script - which is great if you were expecting a kind of interactive e-movie but I miss being able to go AWOL for a bit (as was possible in Red Dead or GTA). There are times when you are presented with a 'choice' but in reality both choices lead to the same eventuality way too quickly, so you can never really stray from the prescribed path - which has been Rockstar's forte in the past. The stages of the game themselves are interesting and original as a story, but a little boring to play because they are physically repetitive - again, playability loses out.

But maybe I'm being too harsh on this huge project. It is amazing to look at and engrossing to watch, but unfortunately playable fun loses out to a visually and emotionally engaging storyline in this game. A little freedom would have really given this game a whole other dimension which it seriously lacks.

Having said this, all in all I loved playing / watching it and would really recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the period or in CGI - also kinda cool to feel like you're a copy for a bit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative, interesting and fun!, 12 Aug 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Simply a brilliant game. The story line really sucks you in, and the cases are all strongly engaging with interesting twists and often difficult interrogations. The facial animations are also simply stunning, and the voice acting is top notch, rivaled only by other Rockstar games or Bioware games.

Literally the only criticisms I have of it are the infuriating 'tailing' sequences, which are joyless and difficult with entirely unpredictable and downright weird behaviour on the part of the suspects. My only other criticism is that the 'open' world often seems slightly pointless. After a while you just learn to let your partner drive everywhere, and whilst the 'street crimes' are often fun, there's pretty much nothing else to do, as the driving isn't particularly engaging, and unlike GTA or Red Dead Redemption, there is no open world combat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio.", 10 Mar 2013
By 
Annalise (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I will start this review by saying I've never been a gamer. Or, at least, I have played games but never considering gaming to be high in my priorities. I have previously played games like Grand Theft Auto on the Playstation 2 but I was never one for doing the missions, instead preferring to drive carefully around the streets of Vice City, stopping at all the traffic lights and sightseeing. Granted, I was 8 years old so I probably... most likely... definitely should not have been playing it at all. Alas, I have grown up in to a well adjusted adult and I assume that will be down to my obeying the traffic laws.

What does this have to do with L.A Noire you might be asking? Well, both nothing and a little bit. L.A Noire is made by Rockstar who are also behind the successful Grand Theft Auto franchise, except this time you are the law abiding protagonist Cole Phelps. My careful driving skill learned through GTA helps in this game solely because if you damage any part of the cities property or run people over you are penalised at the end of each case. I fully went in to this game not expecting to do any of the missions and just driving around like I did all those years ago and instead found myself engrossed in the storyline, not skipping anything and paying careful attention to everything said to me.

Graphically, the game is beautiful to look at. It's worth taking a few minutes just to drive around LA and seeing how the game tried to be as accurate as possible (with some limitations, of course.)

I read somewhere else that L.A Noire isn't a game you should get in to if you are new to gaming but I disagree. I found myself wanting to play more, to know more, not wanting to place the controller down for anything.

I'm not too sure I will play it again any time soon as the cases are still fresh on my mind, however I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in showing off their detective skills!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars L.A. Noire, 6 Dec 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Before you decide to purchase a copy of this game, there are two things you need to consider:

1. This is NOT GTA - more like the exact opposite. Just because it's made by Rockstar doesn't mean it has to be like their other releases.

2. This is NOT all about shooting, killing, and roaming around in a big open-world with a huge map.

For a busy person like me, this game is good for many reasons. For starters, it has linear game-play. I don't have time or patience to sit through huge maps on games like Skyrim. But does that mean those games are bad? No. Just because this game doesn't allow "freedom" that people are looking for doesn't mean it is poor. I quite enjoy using my analytical skills to solve cases and mysteries without dying every second. I don't have to worry about getting lost in the open world. The only game where I've enjoyed doing that was Assassin's Creed, but that's aside the point. All these qualities mean I can solve a case or two at night before I go to bed and still get enjoyment out of the game. The concept is very unique and original and I had a lot of fun driving around 1940s Los Angeles. If you're not into that kind of a thing and want a game where you're constantly doing something and irrelevant side-missions, please get yourself another game and don't bother picking this up. This one is for a mature audience. The only reason I am giving it four stars is because the driving and controls can be annoying. Other than that, I have quite enjoyed playing this game and recommend it for anyone who wants to relax and play a game for their own enjoyment and not because they want to get as many kills as possible for a good night's sleep.

Another thing I'd like to add is that my sister who is in her late 20s and has NEVER really played video games in her entire life, actually got sucked into the game watching me play and finds herself helping me out to solve the cases. Clearly, the game has done something right for a person who doesn't even know the first thing about video games to be attracted to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interactive movie, 1 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. S. Burgess "Steve" (Hereford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
People may remember there was a big push for interactive movies in the early days of laser disc. It didn't go anywhere. However, LA Noire picks up that original idea and delivers it brilliantly. At this stage I have to confess that I am a big fan of American crime fiction and James Ellroy in particular. I have to thank Rockstar for an impecable realisation of the world created by Ellroy in his LA Quartet.
Clearly some are frustrated by the straightjacket of the overall script. This wasn't an issue for me as I was focused on trying to pin down suspects and witness stories and found the pace of the unfolding story to be spot on in keeping my interest.
I contrast this with Red Dead Redemption which I wanted to like but have lost interest in due to its too open ended nature (aim to give it another go though).
LA Noire - great story, brilliant graphics and enjoyable game.

UPDATE: Had anpther go at Red Dead Redemption and have to say it is a work of genius. Must have been a bit slow first time round to miss the story line. On this basis, Rockstar have hit the bulls eye twice.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LA Noire - not like most games.. and better for it., 8 Jun 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
L.A. Noire is an epic game, in every sense of the word. There's a lot of it, and all of it is very good indeed.

LA Noire takes you through the career of a former soldier who starts out as a patrolman and rising through the ranks of various detective squads, solving cases along the way. It has a very well written story and the way the game draws you into the shoes of a detective is really very well done. It's a slow paced game - despite its initial appearance this ISN'T "Grand Theft Auto: the cop's story" and it rewards people who like to think and puzzle things out rather than those who rely on twitch reflexes and a full magazine.

There are some things to criticise in the game, but to be honest, it's so good overall that picking at the control system and suchlike would feel a bit like winning the lottery and complaining about having to pay tax on it.

Go ahead and try this game, I suspect you'll love it... providing you have the time to play it properly and you aren't expecting it to be something it isn't.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Day Adventure Game, 24 May 2011
By 
DustyShinigami (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Not meaning to compare this to GTA or Red Dead Redemption (as I knew this game was anything 'but' when it was announced), I do personally think the aforementioned Rockstar games are much better in terms of gameplay and fun-factor. However, that's not to say I don't think L.A. Noire is fun, because it IS, in my opinion; the game is unique and fun in its own way. This is basically a modern day adventure game along the lines of Police Quest and Phoenix Wright!

The detailed graphics, MotionScan technology, acting, sound effects, music (especially the atmospheric pieces that play when sleuthing around crime scenes and the dramatic pieces that play when chasing suspects), the case stories and the overarching storyline and the way it's told, the investigating gameplay involving: searching crime scenes for clues, interrogating suspects and watching their facial expressions closely - and either doubting them/accusing them of lying with evidence to backup your claims - going over your case notes to review what you've found, getting new information/locations to look into etc; the fighting/car chase gameplay, which tends to spice things up; you can do side missions/cases off the main path (unlike Mafia II), cars handle well, the game caters for both hardcore and casual gamers (thanks to different options you can adjust), making mistakes during interrogations can make the overall outcome of a case different, and therefore the game has replayability - you can redo cases and improve your ratings... It's simply great! And it's different compared to the usual games that come out. And Rockstar are fantastic when it comes to making entertaining, different, mature, and intelligent games in today's market!

However, there are a few gripes I have with it: there are some graphical/technical glitches - such as frame rate issues, the mouths of characters/actors (inside their mouths and around) tend to look blurry, and vehicles randomly disappear sometimes - such as a vehicle that you wish to commandeer that's behind you; gun fighting doesn't feel as good as Rockstar's previous games - they're too brief and tend to be choppy because of frame rate issues; I don't think the 40s music on the car radios are as good as the music in Mafia II; as detailed as 40s Los Angeles is in the game, I don't think it's as fun to traverse through as the open world environments of previous Rockstar games; missions do tend to feel repetitive, the ending is a little bit disappointing, and I just wish there were more side missions... I find the ones available are too easy and they're over too soon. At least the game HAS side missions, unlike Mafia II, but more of them would've made this game even longer, which is no bad thing at all. :P

Unlike Red Dead Redemption last year, I don't think this will be my 'Game of the Year', but it'll certainly be a strong contender!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great game, but not for the impatient, 21 May 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: L.A. Noire (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Truly a great game, great period setting and atmosphere, wonderful facing animation. Add a rich narrative and you have what is obsensibly as interactive LA Confidential.

The rinse and repeat of the games structure can be explained simply....thats what a detective presumably does, look for evidence, interview, chase down suspects. The structure of this is integral to the game. (People dont complain about Call of Duty as all you do is shoot people do they?)

Well worth investing, but buyer beware, this is an adult game, its not GTA. Its slow paced, thoughtful, has minimal action and much like the brilliant Red Dead Redemption, may bore some gamers after a fast paced action experience.
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