Wednesday, 15 June 2011

L.A Noire - review

When peaceful negotiatons fail...
L.A Noire is a game that feels and looks more like a film from beginning to end. Rockstar's latest title sees you serving lady law by taking on the role of Cole Phelps, a war  hero who is adapting to life as a beat cop on the streets of Los Angeles.

You are assigned a partner and quickly introduced to the key elements of the job: investigating crime scenes, interviewing witnesses, interrogations, high speed car chases and shootouts. The former of these may sound a little boring but searching for clues and determining a liar with a false alibi, purely on the nuances of their facial expressions soon becomes deeply rewarding.

Once you have learned the ropes you will begin to ascend the ranks of the force starting off in Traffic, then Homicide, then Vice - each department having specific cases assigned to it. As well as this, you will also be investigating an ongoing subplot focusing on the subterfuge and corruption of L.A's politically elite.

Each department also has 10 (or so) 'Street Crimes' to complete. These are miniature cases that vary in difficulty and can be completed at any time during your career.

Many games in the past have given the illusion of a cinematic and engaging narrative in the past. So what is it that enables L.A Noire to triumph where others have failed? 
Some credit has to be given to the new MotionScan technology, which is used to create some of the most realistic facial features that we have seen to date. Top quaity voice acting also plays a vital role with Aaron Staton as Cole Phelps and the likes of Michael McGrady, Adam Harrington and Sean McGowan. Mainly though, it is the fiendish attention to detail and sense of style that Rockstar games like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption are famous for. 

First to blink buys the doughnuts!
What this game lacks in the multiplayer department, it more than makes up for with its engaging narrative and complex characters. The completionists among you will also find replayability through collectibles, exploration, revisiting old cases and a wealth of dlc.

With a varied and vibrant soundtrack coupled with a wonderful recreation of 1947 Los Angeles, Rockstar and Team Bondi have truly created a masterpiece here.  

My Top Tip: When interviewing a witness or suspect, pay close attention to the eyes. Those telling fibs will find it hard to look you in the eye. The eyes never lie.

My Score: 9/10

Game Reviewed On: XBOX 360

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