The lights are on
This marks my first ever review. I will from now on be writing them for all new games I play, so feel free to follow me if you like this review. There's a lot of things about L.A. Noire that many people can say. Some good and some bad. I can say right now, as a lot of people have probably mentioned, that if you are a hardcore Rockstar fan and you're expecting a detective GTA then you will be very disappointed. L.A. Noire is its own game, and has little to no resemblance to its Rockstar predecessors and is very much its own unique game. The shooting, exploration, driving, and definitely the character interaction all have a very different feel, and for the large scale of 1940's Los Angeles, there is very little to do besides the somewhat tedious side missions and collecting. This is in no way a game for action/shooter lovers, and also not a game for those who game to relax and not think. L.A. Noire requires a large amount of problem solving. On a positive sounding not, Cole Phelps is a great character who's history and story was not something I expected in the least. The investigations were fantastic as was the interviewing, which is the games focus. Here is my breakdown:
Story: Each police desk you reach seems to get its own little story, and everything always seems to move on to something bigger than that one case, leaving you wondering and excited about what can be uncovered in the future. The story overall is very deep and thrilling, and it throws a few surprises at you here and there. The cherry on top is the fantastic and amazing character development for Cole and you've got yourself the best video game police story to date.
Graphics: The environments were beautiful, even though you couldn't interact with much, and the lighting effects were great. The cars and car damage were very realistic and enjoyable. The character models however are where this game shines its unique beautiful light. Never have I ever seen such incredible facial animations. I never actually forgotten, in any game, that i was actually looking at a game models face. I literally quite a lot saw a real person looking at me, and talking to me. It is perfection. The only downside to graphics to me is that some textures (such as suits and cars) sometimes looked a little bland. Other than that though the graphics were incredible.
Audio: The sounds of L.A. Noire gives it that last bit of authenticity you need to make it feel absolutely real. Voice acting compliments the incredible facial capture technology with perfection thanks to the superb acting (not just voice acting) from this cast. Weapon fire, vehicle noises, and jazzy 40's tunes all work perfectly with this game. The only problem I found was the repetitive passerby that sees Cole and says things like "isn't that the cop in the newspaper who did this?" or some random thing they may feel like saying at the moment, one of my favorites being "you know the good thing about egotists, they never talk about other people." The main problem with that is that they say these things sometimes when they are alone.
Gameplay: L.A. Noire was built around their investigation and interrogation mechanics, and I must guess thats why the other gameplay aspects of it fell just a tiny bit short. The gunplay felt as though it was a crudely recycled version of the GTA 4 style of combat. The cover system was a little messy and the aiming felt more like Splinter Cell Double Agent than GTA or Red Dead. Though its good enough that it didn't impair my enjoyment with this game too much. Driving is a mixed bag, on one hand it can get pretty exciting, on the other it can get pretty frustrating since you can't ever be the passenger/shooter and you also can't drive and shoot simultaneously. Again the game does it well enough though that I never really disliked these portions. Now the golden part of gameplay of course is the investigating/interrogating. A lot of people complain about clue finding in this game, but when you think about it, its difficult to imagine it being better than it already was. If you made the crime scenes to big, than a lot of people would miss to many clues. Make it to small, and it would be so easy it'd just be plain boring. I think they found the Goldilocks with this system. Interrogations are a masterpiece due to the facial capture. The way they did this was unbelievable, some people you interview are bad liars, when they lie their faces show it with abnormal movements and rapid shifty eyes and tells like neck rubbing. Some are good liars, these are the fun ones, you always have to look at the most subtle abnormal eye movement, the most subtle facial twitch, or the must subtle change in their voice. That for me was the most entertaining part of this game. Investigations do get really tricky, especially Ad Vice. When you have a dozen pieces of evidence with multiple pieces having to do with the lie you're accusing them of, it gets pretty difficult. Do not play this game if you don't like thinking.
Entertainment: If you're looking for something different than you're used to, or if you want you're problem solving skills tested, or if you plain just love a good mystery/detective story, than this game is for you. My recommendation for this is a rental because it has very little replayability after the main story. The fun of this game is solving crimes, and when you already know the outcome then it loses its value of entertainment. But it is a great story and a great game that first time around.
So this concludes my first ever game review. As I said, if you enjoyed this review, follow me and see what reviews I put out in the future. Please tell me what you thought of my review. :)
Cool story bro...just kidding. Good review. I agree about the replayability though, the story won't be surprising the second or third time around.