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This review is from: L.A. Noire (PS3) (Video Game)
It's safe to say that Rockstar were out of their comfort zone with LA Noire. For a company whose best known games are the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption it's not surprising if this angle is approached with caution. But, if anyone would be up to the challenge, it really would be Rockstar.
The story has you playing as Cole Phelps, a bright World War two veteran now working in the police force. Prior to the beginning of every case there's a flashback to his service in World War two, which gives more a back story of the situation and also highlights why Cole, as well as others, behave the way they do. The general narrative and voice acting are very well done, and the story doesn't disappoint.
The first thing everyone is going to notice will obviously be the facial animations. By using the MotionScan technology every facial expression is noted for and it really does look incredible. The character models, city and cars also look fantastic. The presentation on a whole is very well done.
Every case works on a similar basis. There's a cut-scene briefing the case, evidence searching at the crime scene/s and questioning people of interest. There's also occasional puzzle solving.
Searching for evidence generally isn't as hard as it's made out to be, since the default settings of the game make your controller vibrate as soon as anything interesting is walked past. In addition, when every clue is found the music dies down. These settings can be turned off, but they do tend to make the game gratuitously easy, and crime scenes can be done in a few minutes by just running around and consistently pressing the X button.
Questioning people, on the other hand, tends to vary quite a lot. You get the choice of Truth, Doubt and Lie every time a Person of Interest speaks, and far too many times it either becomes too easy to detect or too hard. There's not that much of a balance here and it can get quite noticeable as the game goes on. That said, it's still enjoyable regardless.
As you level up you gain new outfits, new cars and Intuition points. Intuition points exist to help you during the game, such as showing you all the clues in a location, or removing an option during a questioning sequence.
In way of additional content you can drive around the city to discover landmarks, find film reels, locate new cars and deal with street crime. The first three are all done on a basis of finding, whereas Street crimes are a general collection of incidents that take place around the city on all the
You also work on different crime desks as the story progresses. These are Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, Vice and Arson. All provide you with a different partner and a different set of street crimes to deal with.
A noticeable gripe within the game is how linear it feels. While the game does work well on a whole it always feels as if the game is telling you what to do, how to do it, and where, rather than you being in control, which is what it should feel like. The few action sequences in the game tend to be predictable and, for example, whenever you have multiple suspects in a case you have to pick the one the game tells you to, otherwise it would destroy your case rating, despite the evidence stacking up against all suspects. This hinders immersion which ends up costing the game.
On a final note, the game has great presentation, a great story, and good enough gameplay to be worth a purchase. There are some drawbacks, but it still manages to scrape four stars.