L.A. Noire can feel more like an interactive animation than a game. New cases start with a cutscene of an incident, followed by a cut scene of a briefing; you then have to drive to a crime scene to try to find all the clues with a minimal level of meaningful interaction. You interrogate your way through a conversation tree and so on, until you reach the end of the game. L.A. Noire is essentially a giant QuickTime Event; all you do is let it push you along the path it's laid out.
Video review of L.A. Noire crime game
Only occasionally do you really control protagonist Cole Phelps, chasing a criminal, through the streets or trying to drive someone off the road. It's fun while it lasts, but deviate too far or fail in your task, and you'll have to watch the intro video all over again; cut scenes are unskippable, accentuating the feeling that you're being force-fed someone else's fantasy.
L.A. Noire places a lot of locus on interaction with game characters who, thanks to the Motion Sense technology, look reasonably human. The technology isn't perfect, but it's definitely progress. However, as the Star Wars prequels show, driving a plot via sit- down or stand-up conversations is the most boring option available — L.A. Noire's conversation may have pretty faces, but they feel stilted and staid.
Interrogations, which supposedly form a critical part of the game, rely on this Motion Sense technology heavily. You watch a witness talk and try to decide whether or not they're telling the truth — are you trusting, doubtful or accusing? There's little consistency to this process; sometimes the clues are obvious, while at other times you have to guess. If you get it wrong, the victim will unrealistically clam up.
Accusations about lying are also tricky, as you must back up your claims with evidence that you've recorded in your notepad. This is an excellent concept, but sometimes the game doesn't recognize plausible evidence, while at other times there are two pieces that appear equally useful but the game is only aware of one. You might know that an item definitely condemns a character, but if the game logic says otherwise then there's no way to work around it — and no second chances to get it right.
Interviews aren't the snappy back-and-forth of Mass Effect either—you watch a conversation for what feels like five minutes before making your single interaction. More annoying is that it isn't obvious in which order you need to gather evidence; sometimes you're reprimanded for not going straight to the prime suspect, while at other times you need to potter around gathering evidence.
Not that any of this matters, as the game won't let you fail via a botched interview. We fluffed a final interrogation so badly that we had no idea how to close the case. The telephone icon appeared on the map, though, so we called it and were given the evidence for no discernable reason.
The aspirations of L.A. Noire are laudable: human- like interaction with NPCs and situations that require actual thought to solve. However, it focuses on the tedious parts of a police officer's job, with little or no room for meaningful expression or interaction. L.A. No ire's driving and chase sequences redeem it a Little, but you may be better off renting L.A. Confidential instead.
Walkthrough of L.A. Noire
Specifications of L.A. Noire
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Team Bondi
Pros of L.A. Noire
• The storyline in L.A. Noire is amazing having excellent writing and voice acting.
• MotionSense in the game is a step Forwards
• The world is large and detailed.
• Excellent facial detail
Cons of L.A. Noire
• Focuses on the tedious aspects of police work which is ultimately irrelevant
• Exploring large and detailed city takes a lot of time.
• The story can be boring sometimes.
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