Reviews

Published on June 1st, 2011 | by Charlie

17

Review: L.A. Noire

Review: L.A. Noire Charlie
Story
Graphics
Gameplay

Summary: Charlie takes a look at L.A. Noire, is it any good? read the review to find out!

4.1


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
L.A. Noire had been in development for over 5 years and was originally meant to be a Sony exclusive game. Then things began to change and became an Xbox 360 and PS3 game. L.A. Noire is the first game developed by Team Bondi, and I must admit, it’s a great first game… but not perfect. Firstly, the story. At first it seemed like a story that could be followed easily, but there’s a problem. The more you play it, the more you get a little off tract from the story. Basically, you play as Cole Phelps, a war veteran trying to get a new life after the second world war. At first, he works as an L.A.P.D (That’s “Los Angeles Police Department”) officer, but his talents are recognised and soon becomes a detective. As you play through the game, some of the cases start to link together, and everything builds up to something more sinister. In the games story, you see flashbacks of Cole Phelps past. At first, you don’t really understand how it fits with the games story, but trust me… it does, so you’ll want to pay attention. The one big problem I had with the ending (Of course, I won’t spoil it) is that it’s not a hugely amazing one. It was a good one, but it was so predictable. L.A. Noire is an open world game, though not exactly a “sand-box” game.  The big major problem most gamers will recognise is that it’s not Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption. You are all forgetting this ISN’T a Rockstar developed game, so the way Team Bondi does things and the way Rockstar do things are completely different, and you should respect that. Sure… you don’t exactly receive as much freedom as either of those two games; and sure, you can’t exactly go around killing anybody you wish, but why should that be a problem? One thing I will critisize, however, is that you can’t always enter any random building you like. If that option was avaliable, then maybe the score would have been a bit higher. Another massive problem with the game is that you can’t choose when you want your mission. Once you’ve completed a mission, you instantly move onto the next mission, which to be honest, I like it when I have the freedom to receive my missions when I like. Let’s move onto what happens when you play missions. One thing you will also notice is the amount of characters in the game. There are SO many! In most games, you could just take a character, and they’d look completely different to the voice actor, and the voice actor could probably voice three or four of a games characters. In this game, every character is unique, as they are designed to look just like and sound just like the actor, so for every character is a completely different actor, which I must praise the game for its use of character variety. So when you arrive at a crime scene, you are to look for clues on the events that had occurred there, whether you are looking for files, murder weapons, footprints, identity, blood marks, trails and so forth. Once you have your clues, you may need to interview any witnesses, relatives or suspects of the case. You ask them questions based on clues you may have found. Once they give you their answer to the question, you need to look carefully at their body language and facial expressions, to tell if you believe they’re telling the Truth, whether you Doubt them, or if you think they are Lying. If you think they’re telling the truth, your response will usually be calmer, but the person you question may feel like they’ve got away with a question, resulting in you getting the question wrong. If you Doubt them, Cole will be a bit more forceful when trying to get out an answer, and the person he’s questioning will feel on the spot and may start to retaliate. If you believe they are lying, they will always ask for proof, in which case you must choose one of the clues you find. You need to be careful, as you may choose the wrong clue, or may not have found the clue in your initial search of evidence. Depending on how many questions you get right will depend on how much experience you earn. Experience goes towards the games ranking system, in which you can unlock Intuition points (which helps when questioning somebody), new suits and new vehicles. Another big problem with some missions is that there’s not a huge variety of what you may be required to do. There are 21 main missions in the game, and in each one of them, you will either be in a fire fight, be following a suspect in a car, be chasing after a suspect in a car, or be running after a fleeing suspect. See? Not much variety in gameplay. At the end of a mission, you’re progress is totalled up; so you see how many questions you got correct, how many available clues you found, vehicle costs, civilian injuries costs and city damage costs. One thing I would have liked to see is a consequence for those actions, rather than just the ending mission screen stating the costs, otherwise there’s really no point in telling us. When in fire fights, you are left guessing how many bullets are in your gun, as if you were a real police officer. However, what is good is that most enemies take one bullet before you die, which is great because in real life, people do die in one shot. There is one huge problem with the game too… the driving. Driving through L.A. is horrible. Not only do you feel uncomfortable when driving, but the A.I. driving is horrendous. If you did not already know, you are allowed to set a destination, and your partner will drive there for you, so you can be slightly lazy. Usually, the driving is skipped and you instantly end up at your destination, but sometimes there will be small dialogue scenes, and you’ll see your partners driving… do you know how many times my partner has just randomly crashed into a car? Many-a-time. One thing I do love, which I love seeing in every game that has them are collectables! I say this every time, that all games deserve some sort of collectable. In L.A. Noire, there are newspapers (which you’ll usually encounter in an area of a mission), vehicles, film reels and landmarks, all which need to be found in order for it to go towards your 100% progression. Next, we have one of the main things the game has been praised a lot about… the facial technology. I will admit that the facial technology is really good. At first, I didn’t think I could get used to it, but I managed to get used to the facial technology really well. From a distance, a person’s faces look like a normal everyday face. But when you look real close, their faces don’t look so impressive anymore, because it wipes away the facial illusion. Well it does for me in any case. One thing that just does not add up sometimes is the body motions. While the face works well, the body motion doesn’t always fit. It’s pretty difficult to explain, but I feel like everybody’s body motion was a little sloppy. One final bad thing… 3 disc game. Typical, eh? That’s not Rockstar’s fault of course, but it’s a shame a great game had to suffer from a 3-disc tragedy. You may be thinking to yourself: “Well Charlie’s given this game a lot of bad feedback”; it’s not a bad game. It’s a great game and there’s a good length of time in content on the game, but it’s not as brilliant as you would think. L.A. Noire is far off from Game of the Year in my opinion. I’m sorry Rockstar and Team Bondi, but you tried to be realistic in the game without realising that we are gamers. Not everybody likes realism in video games.  

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.



  • John11892

    Man, this is a really bad review. Not because of the score. It’s because you weren’t objective. You scored the game on what you wanted it to be, not what it is. First of all: “The big major problem most gamers will recognise is that it’s not Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption.” First of all, you write it recognize. Second, not every game that is open world has to be GTA. That’s like saying every FPS has to be Call of Duty. It’s stupid and it’s this industries biggest problem: No originality. Also, you went into this knowing that it’s a cop procedural game. You’re a cop. So why are you complaining about not having freedom or being able to kill people whenever you want to? First of all, just because you have a mission, it doesn’t mean you’re forced to drive to it. You can go elsewhere if you wish. Also, if you’re a cop, how can the game justify if it had given you the chance to kill people on the street?! And finally, taking off points for it being on 3 disks. That in no way affects gameplay. It just shows how lazy you are that you complain because you had to change disks. Poorly written and poorly structured, also filled with gramatical errors. This site will fail with reviewers like this.

    • Charlie Murray

      I’m just going to clear a few things up. First of all, Im not complaining that its not GTA or RDR. I’m writing as if im talking to a person, because so many people expect it to be GTA or RDR and i’m clearly stating its not. Second, I never said that in this game, it would have been great if we could randomly kill people. I never supported nor badmouthed the game. I’m just comparing it to other rockstar games which allows you to do that. People seem to think because its a rockstar game, you will get that freedom, and im stating that because its a Team Bondi game, you dont get that freedom. And I know you can go anywhere you wish. As long as it’s outside. You cant go into any buildings as long as its your objective. And the fact that it’s three discs does kind of prove the Xbox 360’s disc format. It is not filled with gramatical errors as that’s just me. And I can structure it how I like. There was no need to be rude about what you said either. You obviously took the review the wrong way.

      • John11892

        Like I said, you could’ve scored it a 5/10 and as long as you’re writing supported this score with objective claims, I wouldn’t have cared. First of all, it’s not a Rockstar game, it’s from Team Bondi. Rockstar published it, they didn’t develop it. You wrote it as if it was a problem with the game, check your writing. You even wrote “Less freedom than most Rockstar games”. You are aware that games don’t have to be the same as games that came before it right? And also, you couldn’t go into every single building in GTA except apartments and stores and the ones in missions. My point is, you reviewed the game by comparing it to others, when a review is a critical analysis of what a game offers, not what you want it to offer based on other games of the same genre. And what I meant with the structure is that you’ve gotta pay attention to the order in which you write because sometimes it’s a mess. If we could structure everything however we liked, there would be no need to take grammar classes during school. Learn to accept criticism.

        • Charlie Murray

          Look, all im going to say is that we all have different interps of any game. You will probably go and defend this game thick and thin, which is fine with me. I’m just pointing out its pro’s and flaws. All you’re doing is pointing out what I hated and not what I enjoyed, which is rather unfair of you.

          • John11892

            You still don’t get it Charlie. I understand what you didn’t like! I also thought it was a bit repetitive and that the AI driving sucked. What I’m saying is that you took off points based on 2 things that shouldn’t be considered in a review. One, you shouldn’t penalize them for the disc format since that’s obviously Microsoft’s fault. And two, just because it has Rockstar’s name on it doesn’t mean it has to be like other Rockstar games.

          • Charlie Murray

            Ill fix that then, because you obviously took those points the wrong way and they weren’t meant to be taken the way you took them.

            I still dont like the fact that you deemed me an unworthy reviewer. I’ve been reviewing for over a year now and have barely encountered problems like what you said.

      • John11892

        Also, you said it yourself. “Kind of proves the Xbox 360’s disc format” Did Team Bondi or Rockstar make the Xbox? So how is it their fault that they had to use 3 disks to fit the game? Maybe you would’ve preferred if they cut out content to make it fit in 1 disk. It’s Microsoft’s fault that they need 3 disks, not theirs. So that shouldn’t even factor into the review.

  • Tom

    What a bad review, it’s GTA and we know that, the story is gripping throughout and what game out there isn’t repetitive in some kind of way. For me this game could be game of the year, shore, it’s not perfect but what game is? Also I love the driving mechanics in this game, it’s different but very fun to use in chases. Sorry but I don’t agree with you on parts of your review.

    • Tom

      Sorry ment to say it’s not GTA, my bad.

      • Charlie Murray

        “The big major problem most gamers will recognise is that it’s not Grand
        Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption. You are all forgetting this ISN’T a
        Rockstar developed game, so the way Team Bondi does things and the way
        Rockstar do things are completely different, and you should respect
        that.”

        I never said it was a problem that it wasnt GTA… I honestly got lost on the story after a while and had no clue what was going on afterwards. And Assassin’s Creed II wasnt repetitive the first time you played it, but L.A. Noire is like extreme repetitive. And the AI driving is horrendous because they dont know how to drive.

        • John11892

          Your inability to follow the story doesn’t make it a bad one. How did you not have a clue of what was going on? Can’t blame the game because of your own failings as a gamer.

  • Lol at you guys ;P

    Rather hilarious comments 😛 
    And to attempt to be the voice of reason I’m going to say John obviously has some weird fetish for the game and criticising people or he works for Team Bondi. Charlie, your not a rubbish reviewer, but this one does come across a bit … meh. I don’t agree with your score, i think you should boost it up a bit because it is a great innovative sparkle that the game industry has been lacking this year, yes it has flaws but the pros out do the cons which makes it a step that many thought gaming couldn’t take because we all thought it was about as good as it gets. Anyway I digress, your not terrible but this review was one of your crappy ones 😛

    • Charlie Murray

      This is either Craig, Cryss or Daniel 😉

      • Who ever it is, i agree with the comment

        • Charlie Murray

          Will you go away seb? Your point isnt valid cause you’re a rockstar fanboy 😉

      • Lol at you guys ;P

        This isn’t Craige, Cryss or Daniel …. whoever they are ;P

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