Kurtis? You may ask…why is LA NOIRE one of your favorite games? Well, give this review a read and I’ll walk you through why! Back in 2011, I was struggling with finding games to enjoy as I was going through some pretty tough life stuff, suddenly out of nowhere I remember seeing a trailer pop up for the game, a gritty Noire police investigation mystery game… released by Rockstar!? Sign me up.
What we got was in my opinion was a fantastic and awkward masterpiece. The story itself follows Cole Phelps in 1940s Los Angeles just after the end of World War 2 a full of himself but scarred from his past experiences (which you learn about throughout the game.) what unfolds is a game filled with mystery. Intrigue. And….well a lot of silly things.
The game tends to pan out with the department that Phelps is assigned to. First you begin as a beat cop on the streets and after solving a big case you get promoted to detective (I won’t spoil anything) but from here you tend to come across crime scenes and you have to search through the locations for clues or you have to speak with witnesses to piece together like a fine tapestry what occurred at the specific crime scenes.
Although… as much as I love this game, it is flawed. The writing isn’t amazing, and it doesn’t feel as if these people are properly fleshed out human beings. And I feel like the amazing technology used for the face capture hinders other areas in the game that could have used the attention. Also… tailing missions just need to die at this point. I’m terrible at them so that means they need to get gone for everyone else!
Speaking of the technology used, the game is known for being the first to use the then newly developed MotionScan technology developed by Depth Analysis. It uses 32 surrounding cameras to capture actors’ facial expressions from every angle. The technology is central to the game’s interrogation mechanic, as the player is required to use the suspects’ reactions to questioning to judge whether or not they are lying. apparently over twenty hours of voice work was recorded for LA Noire.
And this technology really helps the game, it makes the interrogation sections really engaging and nerve wracking as you actually have to read the expressions on the face of the person you are questioning otherwise you risk missing out on solving the case. Something else I’m a big fan of is the fist fighting mechanic which is rather simple admittedly and it’s also something else I wish they implemented more so (like a fight club style thing or boxing gyms) speaking of other things to do in the game, there are random street crimes you’ll get called on to help with during main missions, this happens over your car radio. And these are varied, they range from foot chases, car chases and more tactical careful cover-based shooting missions…. although saying that you can just open the boot of your car, grab a shotgun and clear them out that way.
Another great thing is the additional DLC missions they added. These are all a lot of fun. And they get seemingly added into the main quest line so you get more out of which ever department you are working for.
So once again we arrive at this part of the review…should you play it? Absolutely. It’s the best detective game of all time. I know there isn’t much to compare it too but the point stands! From the fantastic storytelling to the genuinely chin scratchingly worthy crime scene investigations, everything is just thrown together so well. Its depiction of the ugly side of policing is second to none, and its performances and story are better than some movies. Unfortunately, the studio (Team Bondi) would shut down just 6 months after the games release.
So again, to summarize. Play LA Noire You’ll thank me. No Doubt.