Tuesday, September 4, 2012

LA Noire You Better Start Talking

LA Noire JBLivin

LA Noire

Detective gamermonkey: video game investigator. You're probably wondering why I brought you here. I'll level with you, kiddo. Word around town is you haven't gone out and bought a certain game . A certain game you should own, see? You wouldn't happen to know what game I'm talking about, would you? LA Noire? No? Shut your mouth! I know you know that I know you haven't bought this game yet! Your story is full of holes and I'm gonna beat your @ss if you don't start talking! So what's it gonna be? Come clean and I'll put in a good word with the DA about extenuating circumstances.

LA Noire Bottom Line

Let's cut to the chase. LA Noire is a dark and violent crime thriller set in the 1940's in the city of Los Angeles. Duh. This game nails the atmosphere of the 40's. It will immerse you completely into the role of detective. But be forewarned, the pace is slow, methodical, logical, and sinks you into searching for clues. And the decisions that you make in the game have weight during the investigation and even in the interrogations.

Traffic Homicide Vice Arson

There are four main categories of detective work. Traffic, homicide, vice, and arson. My personal favorites are homicide and vice, but to each their own. Each category has its own merits and just because homicide and vice happen to be my favorites, doesn't mean traffic and arson have nothing to them.

LA Noire Trailer Youtube by RockStar Games

Mature Content

While we're at this, let's get something else very important out of the way before you consider checking this game out. This is an especially big caution for any parents reading this review and thinking of picking it up for your little gamer. LA Noire is an adult game. It violent, graphic, and you see everything. And yes, everything means everything. Especially homicide, you'll see gunshot c\victims, bludgeoned  raped, you name it. And it's your job to get in close and personal and figure everything out. I don't think little Timmy is mature enough for a naked dead lady. But it's your call as the parent.

Motion Scan in LA Noire

One of the best things about LA Noire is Motion Scan. What it does essentially is capture the facial expressions of the voice actors as they speak their lines. By setting up cameras all around the actor, every little twitch, tick, flaw, and any other facial subtlety you can think of is captured and can be seen in-game. Motion Scan creates some of the most realistic and believable acting, yes, real acting, as they provide more than just the voices. the performances are top notch, and as far as i could see, they were all executed very well, in some cases some of the best acting I've seen in a video game.

LA Noire Interrogations an Art and a Science

In LA Noire you even read the faces of those you interrogate to detect whether or not someone is lying straight to your face, or telling the truth. And don't go thinking that's easy. There were so many times I was thrown off. It's just like real life. Maybe the poor guy is just nervous he's even a suspect to begin with and it's making him edgy as he doesn't want to be blamed for something he knows he didn't do. Or, maybe they are guilty of killing a business partner, rival, enemy, or spouse, but they have the appearance, confidence, and charisma of an angle.

LA Noire Gameplay Trailer Youtube by RockStar Games

LA Noire Details

Environments in LA Noire are incredibly detailed. As you search around, you can pick up and inspect different items of interest to look for clues. The level of care and attention to detail is inspired and a prime example of what other realistic video games should aim for.

Help with LA Noire

While LA Noire requires a fair amount of attention to detail on your part, those of you who are thinking you don't have time to inspect and go over every little detail are in luck. Players can ask their partner for advice on what to look for, what kind of questions to ask and so on. Or, you can use Intuition Points as you level up to help you eliminate the wrong or dead-end questions, and see what the community asked, said, accused, decided, etc. And there will be times when this will be tempting. But if you're like me, it's a matter of pride. I did my very best to resist this at all costs. But for those in a bit of a rush, it's a convenient option.

How is there Nothing To Do in LA?

There are some things that get in the way of this fantastic game. Although it's not this huge and alive open world experience like Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, or Grand Theft Auto, I couldn't help but feel all that trouble to recreate the LA of the 1940's was somehow wasted as the look is there, but there's not much to do in the city itself. Players can collect cars and find monuments but beyond that there is very little incentive to search about the city. .

Some Repetitive Problems

Some parts of the LA Noire can be a bit repetitive. and if you played for several hours straight like me, you will notice it, absolutely. there are definitely some patterns to many cases, many of which are far too similar in my opinion, some even identical, only a different case.

LA Noire JBLivin

A Bit Too Much of a Linear Experience?

And while your actions and the corresponding consequences are diverse for the most part,  there were still times when I felt there could have been more branches to how the case could go; and the resulting consequences, good or bad, could have been more varied or corresponded more depending on your performance. There were even times when I performed poorly and still pushed through the case like it was almost no big deal.

LA Noire Final Verdict

LA Noire is an outstanding game, galling just short of excellence. In my opinion, players will even love or hate it. If you're into  crime-solving movies and T.V. shows involving detective work, you will probably love this game. Whereas players who like a bit more instant gratification in what they do may want to steer clear. For its unique and outstanding gameplay, exceptional visuals, and perfect atmosphere with relatively few hiccups to speak up, LA Noire earns an 8 out of 10.


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