Customer Review

60 of 66 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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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Nov 2011 23:47:08 GMT
Having just finished the game, this represents my feelings about it very accurately. I lost interest at the same point and I just kept playing to watch the scenes, I thought it became interesting again towards the end though.

Posted on 7 Dec 2011 21:18:45 GMT
Sarah Larsen says:
I have to agree with you, after a few cases I realised that no matter how bad you mess up you inevitably succeed. If I want to get the achievement for 5 starring every case I have to sit through the whole game again, which is mostly dialogue, and it was boring enough the first time round.

Posted on 4 Jan 2012 21:35:24 GMT
MISS ZJK says:
Although I gave this game 4 stars, I see where you're coming from. I started playing the game and was immediately sucked into it. Driving around 1940s Los Angeles alone was so much fun, that the game didn't leave my console for a while. Get this...my sister who hates video games was actually sucked into it too...helping me solve cases. But towards the end, I felt like the story could have turned out slightly better and that ending should have depended on the course we take during the game. One thing, though...I actually liked the fact that I could skip a sequence I was stuck on. I'm a busy person and it can get really annoying if I'm stuck on something that's not crucial in the game. So I did end up skipping some sequences. I like some degree of a linear game-play too, so that's definitely not my gripe with the game either. But the degree of control and the ability to alter a bit of the story was a bit of a downfall. I would have liked an alternative ending, depending on MY choices.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2012 21:37:58 GMT
Terramax says:
I agree with Miss Khan. I'm not really sure the game should be rated less for not being a sandbox game. I for one don't enjoy games offering so called 'freedom' and 'choice' because they tend to be less focused and, when it comes down to it, offering hardly any more in a way of variety or entertainment.

It does appear however that this game drags at the end. Perhaps this game should've been cut shorter. But again, with the advent of sandbox games, people feel short changed unless they're offered 100+ hours of gameplay.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2012 22:18:43 GMT
MISS ZJK says:
You are spot on, Terramax. I am one of the very few people who has not purchased Skyrim. Whether the game is great or not, I don't like spending a lifetime on one game. Working and studying means I can hardly spend a couple of hours each week. So games like that means I am spending 1 year on them. LA Noire took me one month!! In old days, we had them short and sweet and people still loved them. Now a days it's all about NOT having a straight story, rather doing irrelevant side-missions.

Posted on 27 Dec 2012 10:30:38 GMT
Chris Baker says:
Couldn't agree with you more... Looks amazing, it could have been brilliant! If only they let you have some more freedom! It would have improved it no end if only the free roam had a few weapons that could be used. Everyone knows American cops have weapons all the time anyway. The open world map was nicely detailed but somehow you couldnt be bothered to explore it as there was basically nothing to do. I was expecting gta 1930s from a cops perspective. Instead it felt like it was a technical excerisise and we were the test subjects, only we had to pay to be tested on. I felt very robbed!
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