Review - L.A. Noire
Off the back of the LA Noire dev news, I thought I might as well supply with my review off the game.
Thought it’s there was something missing as I was playing it to stop it being my favourite game. I couldn’t place what it was until I read of the conditions that it was created under and I believe it was the love for games, that geeky pathetic dwelling inside gamers, that was missing. A game like Uncharted 2 is made under an atmosphere surrounded by games passionate about games. LittleBigPlanet is made by people passionate about games, it’s clear to see in their interviews. Gears of War is made by people who want to make a ‘bad ass game’ and the result is what American’s crave, so works, but works because there’s some form off passion and I think that’s what’s missing from this game.
Originally a PS3 exclusive, information about the game was scarce for ages with rumours popping up about how the developers were looking up genuine case files from the 1940’s. It sort of lived up to that however I don’t think the cases are factual, more used as a basis.
The game won’t win any awards for it’s over arching story (or if it does, I’m going to spit at SPIKE awards yet a-fucking-gain..) however what works is the fact it’s more of a series of mini stories based off the cases, this helps create characters you can believe. Well most of them, which sadly doesn’t include the lead character who the developers, for reasons beyond me, decide to *spoiler alert* fuck over and create some sort of dark image for him that just leaves the player, me, thinking “wait what the actual fuck, why..”. On top of that, the ending *if you’re still reading and don’t want spoilers, fuck off t’ next paragraph* is shit. Killing him off needlessly. It feels to me like developers just can’t seem to get a jist of how to end a game no matter if it’s awesome throughout (infact this usually makes the effect worse) For example Uncharted was amazing and then through zombies into the mix out of nowhere… Condemned 2 was the best horror game I had played, the gameplay was awesome and the story was interesting… up until the point when the writers had to explain all the stuff they’d built up.. only for them to fail miserably at it and introduced a retarded ability.
The characters are pretty awesome, due to the badass tech behind it, the faces are usually spot on, with some convincing acting most of the time though can sometimes be exaggerated. Unfortunately, this can highlight how robotic alot of the body movement is.
Having Rockstar slapped on the box can make it hard not to pick up this game and try to run people over and blast old ladies away with shotguns. This however is restrained in the game by having pedestrians who are scarily ninja and avoid cars faster than a Jew avoids charity buckets and you can only use guns in limited parts of the game and even then you sometimes get told off for shooting old ladies. It took me a second play through to learn that the reticule with a filling circular bar that displays when hovering over a fleeing suspect isn’t actually a time limit that you have to shoot away their spine within, but actually a time that you have to keep hovered over until it fills where you can then fire a ‘warning shot’ which was a relief after I racked my brains trying to work out how to fire a warning shot. Apparently sacrificing someone’s dearest gran to show I mean fucking business isn’t the encouraged form of a warning shot.
While running people is a challenge, the driving itself is very convincing, it feels like you’re in a 1940’s car where you can’t go a ridiculous speed, but man is it fun trying. I do miss cars blowing up but it feels satisfying when you land a crazy jump only for your car to struggle to hold itself together.
Shooting when it comes about is fun, I found out it’s possible to disarm a suspect by landing a clean shot on his weapon hand and instead of sending him in the coroner car, an ambulance is called. This however only happened once, shooting them in the head’s much more satisfying, and while Cole doesn’t have a satisfied smirk as the bodies being wheeled away, I do it for him.
The cases do a good job of trying to avoid being repeats, and while it would be easy to moan that they’re just a combo of chases, interviews, inspections and shootouts, in actual fact the game manages what no other game has really managed and the actual detail of each of the sequences manage to keep it constantly engaging. Not least the fact that working out if a suspect is lying or telling the truth is harder than one would originally believe. However, the interviews aren’t flawless, there are many times when there’s evidence that you’ve gathered, such as a statement, which doesn’t appear and would have been hard evidence and you instead have to go with their answer, or even worse, you accuse them of lying, then they laugh and as for evidence, you then show them evidence that proves they’re lying, but the game doesn’t believe it to be evidence and instead slams you as in the wrong. This can make it frustrating at times, however thankfully no matter the outcome of an interview, you’ll eventually solve the case.
There are a surprisingly large amount of cases, I believe 21 in total, and they’re usually quite long and strung out making for a game worth the money. On top of that there’s a few more cases being released as DLC.
Not the best in the industry, but it has some strong points. The map’s fucking huge and the detail that has gone into it is staggering, there are a multitude of building that you can go in, not to mention the amount of highly detailed objects slapped onto crime scenes to be inspected. While overall it’s not as pretty as some recent games, the foliage is surprisingly amazing, not only convincing in appearance, it also reacts believably to contact, and it’s not sectioned to a particular plant, most plants have this.
Running people over is hard, and so is getting run over (I know, sucks right!?) but when you manage it, it’s a laugh thanks to the ragdoll physics employed, similar to what was used in GTA IV. The use of hats in this game are the icing, I love being in a gun fight, having my hat shot of, killing the son of a bitch culprit, then casually placing the hat back on my head. A small but neat addition.
overall, the game looks really good, not least as it’s an open world game, a type of game that doesn’t usually set standards in visuals.
It’s one of the best games I’ve played in a while, in my opinion (and that’s what this blog’s for, if you don’t like it, fuck off) it’s well worth the asking price as there’s a long amount of gameplay to be had from it (and it doesn’t even have multiplayer in it - thank Christ!… more on that at a later date) and doesn’t force them hours from you by holding them off for a certain amount of time… I’m looking at you “Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2”