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3.9 out of 5 stars311
3.9 out of 5 stars
Platform: Xbox 360Change
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2011
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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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2011
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
on 1 December 2011
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
Most people buy this game thinking it's going to be another Grand Theft Auto type game- it's not. LA Noire is all about being a detective and working for the LAPD. Anyone who complains about the lack of shooting, flying, free roaming (etc...) obviously have bought the wrong game, because this isn't that. So before buying this game, make sure you know what you're buying because it is very different to Grand Theft Auto.

Now that that's out of the way, LA Noire is a unique game with good graphics and I admire Rockstar for introducing new technology to their game. Every single case is different and the variety in them certainly keeps me amused. I enjoy being able to inspect a crime scene and use the information given to be able to interrogate people who may have been involved. I love how you can use clues against people and can choose whether or not they are telling the truth (even though at times it does get very difficult).

Although I have never felt the need to free roam in this as much as other open world games (purely because the storyline is too intense), the map is of good size and I love the fact that it is set in 1940's Hollywood as the cars and buildings are fascinating.

Driving could be slightly more realistic and perhaps a longer story would have been better (along with a much needed multiplayer in my opinion), however the above have clearly not been big enough issues to change my mind about what a brilliant game this is. On saying that, one of my main issues is the ending; not just the last mission, but certainly the last few missions building up to it. I will not spoil it for those who have not played it, however I found the ending quite disappointing and I felt as though it could've have ended much better and with much more effect.

Nevertheless, I am so glad that Rockstar have produced a work of art like this and I hope to see more games like it in the future.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2011
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2011
I remember hearing about this game in 2005. Did any of you know it was supposed to be released 5 years ago, but got held back?

Anyway this game was destined to be the hit of 2011. It was a brand new idea, the whole 40's LAPD cop thing, which in the end was a flop.

Why? Here are the reasons I believe:

- Incredibly repetitive campaign: Murder Scene: Drive there: Check for clues: Interview suspects: Have a very short chase: Get your rating
- They have completely screwed up the Driving Physics Engine, feels like Midtown Madness 3...
- Large map which you can explore: and do nothing else except find hidden cars and movie reels
- Interviews are frustrating beyond belief, you find yourself screaming at the game when they're obviously lying and you hear the piano tune that pressing Y was incorrect...
- Hardly any weapons and shootouts end quickly
- Clues are unrealistic, and searching for them proves to be tedious

I only got the game a week ago but it's stayed in the box for most of that week. LA Noire seems to be a mix of True Crime, GTA IV and Heavy Rain. Unfortunately the hybrid created was in truth not a very enjoyable game.

But the true reason why it isn't fun? Its about the Police. Policework is only made out to be fun and glamorous in films and games, and I actually respect Rockstar for more or less creating a semi-realistic Cop Game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2011
This is a very engaging and immersive game. It suffers from being a bit, what they call " on the rails" and there is less choice than one would hope but this is compensated in other ways, plus there is the ability for you to get cases wrong, something which affects the overall rating at the end of the case.The facial animation of all the characters is amazing to see and really is so important In making you feel like you are interrogating a real person with secrets to conceal, or not should your hunch be wrong. You will not be disappointed with the quality of the cases you will investigate, and the story line is compelling. The on the rails feel is felt only some of the time. I would recommend this to anyone looking for something different. I will definately Play through again in a few months and experience it all again. Rockstar has once again captured the era in which it is all set very well(1950s)

P.S I look forward to a sequel of this game, I'm sure there are things which the developer could build upon but you would not want to have missed out on the first installment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2011
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2011
Ive noticed a lot of people have bought this game having only watched trailers and not really reading much about it, and ultimately thinking "ooh Rockstar, it must be GTA 5". Its not, and as such should not be compared to the GTA franchise.

I have enjoyed my experience with LA Noire, i found the story compelling to follow. Its taken me a fair few days to complete the story, with some solid hours of gaming on and off, theres still more to explore in the way of collectables that the game never took me near. If im honest, i must say at times i felt the main thrust of the gameplay was a bit repetitive ie the process of visiting crime scenes, questioning suspects, but worth it for the story.

My advice would be if your unsure of buying this game, do not buy solely thinking its the next GTA, do some research, read some magazine reviews or online articles. This game will not be for everyone, if your after action, you will get it in small doses. If your after a compelling story come puzzle game, give it a try and see what you think
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