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L.A. Noire Review

Daniel Weissenberger's picture

I Think it's Spelled "Noir"

L.A. Noire Screenshot

HIGH Sprinting after crooks through the uncannily-rendered alleys and culverts of L.A.

LOW Trying to figure out which piece of evidence the game wants me to present.

WTF The distracting yet funny Mad Men cameos.

L.A. Noire is a Grand Theft Auto clone that replaces random violence with languidly-paced investigation as the main thrust of the gameplay, while maintaining the shooting, car chases, and huge open maps to explore that make the genre so popular. Set in a surprisingly rose-coloured version of 1947 Los Angeles where the police never beat confessions out of anyone or send random black guys to death row when they can't find the real killer, the game makes a valiant attempt to raise the bar in video game storytelling and cinematic presentation. Sadly, a host of poor choices and flat-out failures in design and plotting keep it from achieving anything beyond technical brilliance.

...It is technically brilliant, though.

In addition to the picture-perfect recreation of post-war Los Angeles, Rockstar's driving and shooting have been tuned and polished since Grand Theft Auto IV. Cars handle like a dream, and the now fully-integrated cover system ensures that shooting sequences are never a chore. Fistfighting has also been massively retooled into a simple dodge/counter affair, and is better for it. The big new addition are foot chase sequences, which might have felt like chores if it weren't for the incredible sense of place created by the ultra-realistic backyards, rooftops, and alleyways the player will find themselves sprinting through.

The only problems that remain when it comes to the third-person action sequences are the car chases and general character movement. In the former, the game's AI so thoroughly cheats physics to keep the quarry vehicle on its predetermined course that at times it feels like trying to run a slot car off the road. In the latter, characters have a lumbering slowness to their movements. Dodging into cover and popping out work great, but simply starting to walk in a direction is oddly creaky, and turning around seems to take forever. One would think cops should be a little more spry.

The action I've just described is only a small part of the L.A. Noire experience, though—the crime-solving detective sequences which are the game's big hook make up 90 percent of the content.

L.A. Noire Screenshot

These segments  are a simple two-part affair. First, the player is presented with an area to scour for evidence. Audio and vibratory cues are offered to let them know when they're close to a clue. This may sound like excessive handholding, but the environments are so richly detailed that without the assists there are almost no visual cues letting the player know what is or isn't important. Once the player feels they've found enough clues, they can question people involved in the case, which invariably leads to new locations and persons of interest.

Those interrogation scenes are where the game essentially falls apart.

The idea (as outlined in the manual and training mission) is that the player will be able to tell via physical cues how truthful their subject is being when responding to one of the questions the player can ask from a list. This sounds more complicated than it actually is—all of the actors were obviously asked to play "reluctant to answer" as broadly as possible, so every time limbs start flailing and eyes dart about (which is most of the time) they're hiding something.

At that point, the only thing the player has to do is figure out whether they're actually lying, or simply not telling the whole story—whether to select X to "press for more info" or Y to "accuse them of lying". This becomes problematic when vague dialogue meets redundant evidence. Nearly every time a character is lying there are at least two pieces of evidence in the player's notebook that could be seen as revealing the lie, but the game can only ever see one solution to every problem. Choosing wrong means closing off an area of inquiry forever, and possibly making the correct solution to a case unreachable.

This sticking point brings me to the real problem with this mechanic—every question is pass-fail. Unlike actual detective work—or even video game detective work—the player can only ask each question once, and present a single theory of the crime. Couple this with the fact that the game doesn't offer manual saving, and a slipped finger during an interrogation can sabotage an entire case and require up to 45 minutes of game be replayed if the player wants to get the "correct" ending. The one upside is that making these mistakes doesn't actually affect the game very much. Yes, if I screw up a case, the dialogue in subsequent cases will mention it, but those dialogue changes are the only real impact. The master plot will march right along, and since the last case in each grouping (homicide, traffic, vice, and arson) is always a combat-heavy affair, the main character will invariably nab his promotion to the next tier by shooting an acceptably large number of people.

L.A. Noire Screenshot

Simply giving players more than one chance to ask a failed question would have both solved the bizarre difficulty spike in interviews, as well as made the whole thing a little more realistic. This kind of gigantic design mistake would be understandable if Team Bondi were blazing a trail with this a new investigative mechanic, but that's simply not the case. The core dynamic—asking questions, then choosing to either A) accept the story, B) press for more information, or C) present evidence to catch in a lie—is exactly the same as the one that Phoenix Wright games have been using for half a decade now. If Team Bondi had simply looked at another game that was already succeeding at what they were trying to do, they could have avoided this huge problem at L.A. Noire's core.

Now that the investigation mechanics have been discussed, the only aspect left to cover is the game's story, and it's about as much of a mixed bag as one can get.

While the dialogue and characterizations are largely well-done, the plotting ranges from lazy to outright baffling. The overarching conspiracy storyline works, but the individual smaller cases are almost without exception misfires. I can't go into what makes the game's plot so questionable without delving deep into spoiler territory, so I've written three additional articles for anyone who's already played the game or doesn't mind having it completely ruined for them.  However, I can say that a bizarre dramatic choice has both rendered most of the mysteries considerably less than mysterious and ensured that a full six of the game's missions—all of the whodunits—feel almost offensively repetitive. Add to that the dullest main character outside of an FPS, and Team Bondi has created an alternately stupid and forgettable tale to hang their game on. For a story-based title like L.A. Noire, this is an unforgivable sin.

In closing, L.A. Noire's ambitions far outstrip its abilities, and it's a frustrating failure most of the running time. That being said, the shooting is exceptional, the occasional fistfighting is functional, and the foot chases are endearingly dynamic. The tragedy at L.A. Noire's core is that technical mastery can be bought, but good design and compelling dramatic choices can't. The ending of the game leaves the table set for a sequel, but I hope that next time a little more care is put into the elements that are supposed to separate it from all the other third-person open-world shooting games out there. Right now, the very things that should be making L.A. Noire special are exactly what hold it back from being the most impressive Grand Theft Auto clone yet. Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

Disclosures: This game was obtained via retail store and reviewed on the Xbox 360. Approximately 22 hours of play was devoted to single-player modes (completed 1 time).

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game contains blood and gore, nudity, sexual themes strong language, use of drugs, violence. This game is not for your children. In addition to the variety of naked, mutilated corpses, the rapes, the people being burned alive, and the surprisingly large number of references to child molestation, everything else about the game is inappropriate as well. Every third character is on morphine, the other two drink to excess, and while, anachronistically, no one ever uses the N-word, literally every other popular racial slur is uttered. I can't stress this strongly enough. This is not for children.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: While the subtitles and minimap make navigating the story and combat sections of the game a breeze, there is one major problem for the hearing-impaired. When investigating crime scenes music plays while you walk around, then cuts out once all of the clues have been discovered. Without this vital cue, you'll have no idea when you can stop searching, and be forced to guess—which probably won't go very well.

Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   PS3  
Developer(s): Team Bondi  
Publisher: Rockstar  
Series: L.A. Noire  
Genre(s): Open World  
ESRB Rating: Mature (17+)  
Articles: Game Reviews  

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L.A. Noire review

Good review. I pretty much agree with all of your comments, except those regarding the shooting/cover system, which I find barely passable.

Like you pointed out, the story was handled very poorly, especially the B.D. cases as a whole and the last third of the game.

Also, Cole Phelps is one of the most worthless, uninteresting main character I've played as for a while. Therefore, some key revelations and his unavoidable fall from grace have no dramatic impact whatsoever.

I'm eager to read your next article and see if our views match up.

I think you give far too

I think you give far too much praise to the combat in the game, since I honestly think it is awful (all modern Rockstar games have awful combat, to be frank) and although I consider LA Noire better for tone, setting, and narrative, Mafia II blows it away as far as combat goes. Also, technically the game is also rather disappointing, again like Rockstar games usually are. Coming from the PC version of Mafia II it felt like I literally went back a console generation when I started LA Noire.

All that said...

"Nearly every time a character is lying there are at least two pieces of evidence in the player's notebook that could be seen as revealing the lie, but the game can only ever see one solution to every problem."

"This sticking point brings me to the real problem with this mechanic—every question is pass-fail."

Absolutely and completely agree here. I'm glad you highlighted this since most other reviewers don't seem to acknowledge this issue and so I thought maybe I was the only one. I've had to turn the game off several times in frustration due to what you've highlighted, and it's a shame since I really do love playing it.

The game tries to encourage you to use logic and react to interrogations realistically, but in actual reality you have to conform with the linear structure of what the game wants you to do, and that's a big difference for me. And like you said, should you get it wrong then that's it, and you literally have to restart to do it "right". This needs improving for sequels above anything else (even combat).

Anyway, in all, another good review from you Mr. Weissenberger. I think the score is justified.

well said

I have exactly the same thoughts and feelings about this one. I find choosing the right piece of evidence in order to fish out a lie to be frustrating at times and downright illogical at others.

The plot is weak and not held together well enough by the individual missions that build up to the finale. Indeed the ONLY thing that builds up to the finale are the newspapers - the individual missions during traffic and homicide and to a certain extent vice, bear no significance to the over-arching plot and it leaves most of the game somewhat disjointed.

All in all, the biggest disappointment is finishing the game feeling that the developers have missed a great opportunity to create a gaming classic here. It seems they fell back too often on the tried-and-tested GTA formula (with tweaks) and were too afraid to push the boat out fully with the story-baed investigative angle.

Even with it's flaws, LA Noire is still a good game however. Technically brilliant (amazing soundtrack, and 1947 LA is rendered beautifully) as you say and fun for the most part.

But it could have been so much more. Here's hoping lessons learnt for next installment....

LA Noire mashes together so many old elements

LA Noire mashes together so many old elements to create something new that I'm not sure how to review it. The ambition, sense of place, and feeling of accomplishment are all superb.

But it got me thinking - how much of Red Dead Redemption's most famous and affecting material has ANYTHING to do with the first 90% of that game? Marston's wife is one of my favorite characters ever, but she has, what, maybe twenty minutes of proper "screen time"?

Much in the same way, I like the idea of LA Noire sprinkling episodic cases with occasional bits of an on-going plot. But somewhere along the line, it gets jumbled and lost.

Mostly though, I just REALLY, REALLY hate the homicide cases. They kill the pace, are repetitive and bland, and end up invalidating most everything that happened before.

Strange review

Praising LA Noire primarily for the shooting gameplay is similar to praising Mario Kart DS primarily for its emblem editor. It's so far beyond the point it's kind of crazy. But I wonder about your criticisms of the interrogations and what they reveal about how you played the game.

First and most strangely of all, you say the system is too harsh but completely ignore the intuition hint system. It's too hard to get the right answer when the game gives you the chance to ask the audience or use a 50/50 lifeline, really?? I think this is far more generous than your recommended two chances system.

Second, you say you have to replay the entire case if you get a question wrong. That's ridiculously untrue. If you flub a question, you can hit pause, select quit, select resume from the main menu and INSTANTLY be back at the start of the interrogation because it AUTOSAVES right before but NOT DURING the thing. It's so abusable anyone complaining about "harsh punishments for failure" is kind of off their nut.

And third, "choosing the right evidence." Once again, hyperbole filled and untrue. Example, of this. I want to prove a man didn't go "right home" and instead was out in the rain. I have found wet boots and also a wet jacket. Guess which evidence is right? That's right, both of these are acceptable. Saying LA Noire only has one right choice (like Phoenix Wright, your so-called good example) is a bold faced lie. Between Truth, Doubt, and Lie you have to get 100% right, but that's a rather major distinction, wouldn't you say?

I won't deny the game is imperfect, but these criticisms are even more so.

I usually enjoy very much

I usually enjoy very much GameCritics' reviews mainly because they rarely fail to expose some otherwise not-much-discussed problems of certain gaims (the Mass Effect 2 review comes to mind). In L.A. Noire's case, however, I don't think that I could agree with the praise given to all the action sequences. While introducing them is a nice change of pace, neither shotoing nor foot chases are well implemented. Combat works but is so generic it almost feels painful. The cover mechanic barely works and there is virtually no variation in guns. And yes, car physics of enemy automobiles is really impossible - it almost reminds me of the near-perfect AI in Midnight Club: LA.

But the biggest problem to me are the so-called side mission. I know that this being a Rockstar-published game, has made developers to include some optional missions simply because people would expect them but they are really plain stupid. In most cases it actually takes you more time to get to the location than to complete the mission itself. And most of the missions are a very simple shooting sequences, anyway.

So action is definitely the weakest point of the game. Should it have been excluded altogether so that L.A. Noire is a real brain-teaser? Probably not as the game needs some change of pace but not in that poorely executed fashion.

Still, I think we as a gamers have to appreciate L.A. Noire for its ambition and what it aims to bring. Lets hope that many more titles will embrace the good bits of the gameplay - and there definitely are some - and will further develop and improve them in future titles.

Fighting/driving engine

I'm confused about why you mention GTAIV's driving/fighting engines; did Team Bondi somehow get access to Rockstar's code for this project? I thought Rockstar just published this game.

RAGE

the game was given supplemental development support by rockstar and they used rockstar's RAGE engine (used for RDR and gta4) - look at the credits and you'll see a section for the RAGE team.

i agree... the action

i agree... the action sequences felt a little tacked on, though they worked as palate cleansers.

Um...

Have you ever seen any actual interrogation work before??

People shut down completely when they are accused of something they didn't do. Detectives don't get second chances most of the time. Sometimes the person being questioned shuts everyone out when accused of something they did do.

We are lucky they usually gave us the chance to ask more questions if we screw up the first one. And saying there weren't multiple ways of proving someone was lying is just not true. You only had trouble because you rushed through. If you took your time and made sure you had all the facts straight, then you would have enjoyed it more.

Ah

I see, thanks.

I think I would like this game better if it was an onfoot racing game. Parkour in 1947 LA.

2nd opinion

"Set in a surprisingly rose-coloured version of 1947 Los Angeles where the police never beat confessions out of anyone or send random black guys to death row when they can't find the real killer"

The game implies that the torturing of suspects to get confessions is not only common, but tacitly approved of by "the brass". One feels that Cole Phelps with his reluctance to beat on suspects in the Interview Room is the exception, and not the norm. As for sending innocents to jail, the game does not shy away from this topic at all.

Finally, regarding systemic racism in the LAPD of 1947, several interactions between cops and Black and Latino civilians is dripping in animosity. It's not "Do the Right Thing", but I don't think it's really fair to call it "rose-coloured".

"Choosing wrong means closing off an area of inquiry forever, and possibly making the correct solution to a case unreachable."

I do agree with the main criticism of the clunkiness of the design of the interview process but I don't think that guessing wrong ever actually hurts the player in any gamebreaking way. To the contrary, I think it was the designers' intent to have purposefully ambiguous moments in the game in which the player has seemingly solid evidence only to find out that they're unable to make the case stick anyway, and to have things draw to a close despite these dead ends.

I think that the attempt to inject some ambiguity into a game involving crime solving is actually quite laudable, even though the execution is flawed. Such a goal would perhaps have been better served if they could have done it in a way that didn't make you feel you were "losing" at every "wrong" answer as this sort of thing tends to irritate us gamers, trained as we are to try to do everything perfectly and to quit, load, and retry when we do not.

Perhaps they should have done away with exp. points and rank and "correct" and "incorrect" sound prompts. This might have allowed the game to unfold more organically without the player feeling he'd been screwed by an unfair system.

The way it's designed, if you think a suspect is being deceptive, the correct play is to pick "lie", wait to hear what specifically the suspect denies, and then scour your evidence for any relevant clues. If none exist you are to back out of the accusation and try "doubt" instead. This is admittedly a pretty clunky way of doing things. The player has no idea what specifically Cole is going to accuse the suspect of ahead of time.

Not sure what I'd do to improve it beyond the above ideas or something closer to the system the reviewer mentions, but at the end of the day, I personally found it compelling enough to look past, while hoping they redesign it for future games, should be we lucky enough to see them.

My advice for people on the fence about the game: Don't obsess over getting a perfect score in every case, at least on your initial play through. Relax. Play using your best instincts. If you "fail", resist the urge to quit and reload. See where the game takes you. The game has some built in replay value for those who fight the gamer urge to be completionists on the first playthrough.

Obviously your mileage may vary, but I'm a bit suprised this reviewer would be so non-plussed by what I consider to be some of the most interesting writing you're ever going to see in a console release of such magnitude.

IMO the writing, while not perfect, is way way above the industry average. It's not "The Wire" but the game does touch on many interesting areas and ideas, from the nature of courage to the effect that war can have on vets returning home to the unspoken true nature of the War on Drugs and the the role of law enforcement in general.

I think short shrift is being paid to the game's production values as well. It cannot be over emphasized what a joy it was, for me at least, to make my way through Bondi/R*'s Los Angeles, from modest boarding houses to bullet riddled nightclubs to churchlike city buildings. So much throwaway detail is lavished on the world of the game, so much care is taken to make every apartment and house feel lived in, to make every examined wallet feel like it actually belongs to someone, to make every pothole feel unique. Nobody is anywhere near R* when it comes to this stuff and if you're like me, exploring the world is one of the reasons you are a sucker for R* releases. It doesn't disappoint on this front.

Finally, I think the "e" is because Los Angeles is perhaps a feminine noun in French :)

I talk too much.

Just to add to my tl;dr previous post:

I guess that overall I felt that for me personally, the things it did well way overshadowed the flaws during my time with the game. I mean, I had a blast with it, didn't want it to end, and picked it right back up and started over when it did.

This may sound like sort of a backhanded complement, but I just don't see other games too often that attempt to do anything near this level either naratively or production value-wise. When it comes to games, ultimately, I guess I tend to grade on a curve somewhat. Sure, the game is full of the clumsy controls and somewhat goofy minigames and design decisions that R* is known for, but then again, compared to IV, the story is as tight as a damn drum, the missions are all interesting (no bowling with your cousin) and compared to most other big deal releases, the writing is fucking Citizen Kane.

Any disapointment I felt with say, a failed interview or a clumsy bit of exposition or leap in logic during an interrogation was immediately pushed aside by the next charming bit of partner banter or 3rd man inspired sewer chase.

Let's not forget that the pulp detective stories from which this game draws inspiration were just that: pulp. They weren't all masterpieces, but they were more often than not one hell of a stylish ride.

I think L.A. Noire does them justice in spades.

Baby, I'd really like to score

forgive me but I can't stands it no longer...

gentlemen, I'm a long time reader of your reviews as I generally find them to be a reliable barometer of my own gaming priorities and tastes, and although I fully agree that a 'number out of ten' is practically valueless next to the actual text of a review I must admit to some frustration when another reader posts a comment that says something like " dude, I like totally agree with your score". Erm, where may one find the score exactly?

oh, and Daniel, "Noire" is an acceptable variation although given that they were shooting for a "film noir" context I agree that they ought to have used that spelling. No doubt the decision was made by someone in marketing and one must remember that marketing folk are usually drunk.

Thanks for the excellent review. My favorite movie OF ALL TIME is "The Big Sleep" - the prospect of an open world, mature and technically accomplished game set in 40's LA had me salivating... while fully aware of the possible pitfalls. It would appear that the developers did indeed fall into the most crucial of them... maybe I'll pick it up when it's cheap.

I have decided to bestow a score of 8.754 on your review. Please don't flame me with your sense of righteous indignation... if you're really pissed I'm perfectly happy to round it up to a solid 8.8

One more point, about motionscan

There are games that become widely regarded as "important". These are games that do something new, something that goes on to influence the way other games are designed.

Pac-man. Doom. Zork. King's Quest. Sim City. The Legend of Zelda. Super Mario 64. Golden Eye. Half-life 2. GTA 3.

I think L.A. Noire has the potential to possibly earn a mention on this list.

The reason why is simple. Play a few cases in L.A. Noire. Then pop out the disk and put in some other game. Watch as the previously charismatic Nathan Drake seems to have been kidnapped and replaced with a lifeless automaton that's doing it's muppet best to flap it's mouth open in sinc with the voice actor's dialog.

I don't expect many devs to adopt motionscan or similar tech in their games, at least not initially. It's wildly more expensive than traditional animation. You need to hire actors, you need to license the tech, you need to spend time capturing everything, and fitting the animations on your character models, you need to pay for likenesses, and finally, you need to fit it all on your disc.

But I really think there's something to this tech. There's really no going back once you've seen it.

Each of us in our lives spends a lot of time reading faces. We use them to help us gage emotion and intent. It's a big deal to us and Noire is one of the first games to recognize this importance and to try to implement it in game design in a meaningful way.

The characters have character. And at the end of the day, isn't that a big part of the appeal of Dashiell Hammett stories and other "noir" work? The plot is usually a mcguffin; an excuse to have colorful characters exchange words. L.A. Noire is similarly entertaining.

Mell0n wrote: gentlemen,

Mell0n wrote:

gentlemen, I'm a long time reader of your reviews as I generally find them to be a reliable barometer of my own gaming priorities and tastes, and although I fully agree that a 'number out of ten' is practically valueless next to the actual text of a review I must admit to some frustration when another reader posts a comment that says something like " dude, I like totally agree with your score". Erm, where may one find the score exactly?

I assume you're referring to me here? I've likely been reading this site equally as long as you have, if not longer, so to to assume I'm one of those guys who only looks at scores based on my comment is pretty naive of you, to say the least.

Also, I assume the last sentence must be a joke (hard to tell when based on text and lacking the usual smiley), but if not the score is concealed in every review. Use your left-click and drag to highlight the score, and you will see.

The Good Doctor wrote:

Still, I think we as a gamers have to appreciate L.A. Noire for its ambition and what it aims to bring. Lets hope that many more titles will embrace the good bits of the gameplay - and there definitely are some - and will further develop and improve them in future titles.

Absolutely agree with you 100%. Even though I fully accept Daniel's review and score, as an idea, and as a risk, the game should be congratulated and celebrated. It's not often we have much to positively highlight in Western territories, with FPSs smothering the charts constantly, and developers too scared to try anything new, intelligent or mature (and I mean mature, not having over-the-top gore and titties), but LA Noire is something we as gamers should be proud of.

Hidden rating

Mell0n wrote:

gentlemen, I'm a long time reader of your reviews as I generally find them to be a reliable barometer of my own gaming priorities and tastes, and although I fully agree that a 'number out of ten' is practically valueless next to the actual text of a review I must admit to some frustration when another reader posts a comment that says something like " dude, I like totally agree with your score". Erm, where may one find the score exactly?

Mell0n,

At the end of our reviews the rating is hidden.

Take this L.A. Noire review. The last sentence of the review is "Right now, the very things that should be making L.A. Noire special are exactly what hold it back from being the most impressive Grand Theft Auto clone yet." If you click and hold down the mouse on the last sentence or last word on that sentence and drag the mouse down, all text will then be highlighted and any hidden text will be visible.

You can also just hit Crtl-A and when you look at the end of review the rating will show up. If you do either of these two things then you should see "Rating: 6.5 out of 10."

As an FYI to everyone, we get this a lot. And it's not like we are trying to make it particularly difficult for someone to find the rating or that we are trying to be smart-asses about it, but we have been trying to do our part to downplay video game ratings for the last couple of years and better emphasize the writing in our reviews. We figured that with GameRankings and Metacritic posting our ratings that people seeking only scores would be content to just go there and salivate over the the numbers. Everyone else we thought would be thankful to not have a rating to distract them.

aah, mystery solved then...

Hey, thanks Dale. As a Renaissance Man I am far too cultured to care about something as vulgar as a score when I'm consuming my Game Criticism, but it's nice to have my confusion alleviated nonetheless.

6.5 seems a little low though. The Metacritic score is 8.9. Hmmmm, maybe this site really does deliberately lowball scores to generate traffic. I guess the only way to find out for sure is to check the score of a game that is universally agreed upon as a masterpiece. Now, let's see...what score did Daniel give to Halo 3?

...ok, left-click and drag as per instructed...

what the...?

Are you fu*king kidding me?!

A 7.0?!

WHAT THE FU*K IS WRONG WITH YOU WEISSENBERGER?!

You Sir, are guilty of nothing less than libel! Libel, I say!

I would certainly contend that this is irrefutable proof of the lowballing theory, except for the existence of one review that contradicts this by inexplicably highballing a score...

Gallaway! I challenge you to justify your scandalously inflated score of 2.5 for Dragon Age 2!

Admit it. You were paid off by BioWare, weren't you? Scoundrel.

I tend to agree with most of

I tend to agree with most of the criticisms. In fact, I am more than disappointed by the interrogation and adventure game mechanics. I though that looking through the evidence would/could get interesting but it never really did. Then when I played a side mission of a "jumper" and the game did not even bother with a classic dialog to convince the jumper not to jump. The mission just ended once you reached him. Such a missed opportunity.

I didn't trust the music

I didn't trust the music cues enough to be sure I'd found all the evidence. Instead, I'd go to my notebook and to the intuition points. If you can't select the option to show all clues, then you've found them all.

this is why i visit

this is why i visit gamecritics - to read the opinions of cooler heads that prevail after the flurry of praise this game received in its first week of reviewing. a mediocre game in a pretty package - i thought as much. thanks daniel :)

I have to say..

I haven't played the game yet, I have been watching the Yogscast "Hannah Plays" just cause I'd rather get a feel for a game before I buy it (and yogscast is pretty funny) then once again get burned by a "great" game.

Just going by what I've SEEN it doesn't seem like R* has actually made realistic car physics especially when you see a car hit a slope then bounce around like the Rover in Mass Effect. The pedestrian AI seems typical R* "Oh a police car is flying by let me turn into it's way". The faces look good but the textures looked muddy and all the women kinda look the same.

My biggest gripe, it's not really Noir. Noir heroes are what would be equated today as the Anti-hero. Cole, well he's a bi polar psychopath boy scout who's questionable acts are only forced on him cause thats what R* makes you do. Like you said in your blog you only finger the wrong person cause thats what the game makes you do. It's not a moral decision and Cole thinks he's got the right person. He's kind of the polar opposite of a Noir "hero". The city is too clean to be considered classic Noir which is the time period of the game.

R* has a Noir "hero" Max Payne, The style (sans the bullet time) and characters were more fitting of Noir then LA Noire. Perhaps thats the difference between Noir and Noire?

My only other gripe is (and sorry I'm babbling) the detective work seems to be sloppy and "on rails". There's a part where you find a box of tissues and a pack of smokes 5 ft from a body. Cole figures thats not odd or out of place at all. Naw couldn't be the killers who may have been laying in wait, an accomplice or even a witness could have used those. Nope apparently in "noire" trees get off by watching murders then need a smoke...nothing odd here.

ahh but thats just IMO take it for what it's worth...nothing

I will agree it's an ambitious game but I think it's a tad over hyped I'd prefer they remade Deja vu which looks (like I said I only watched a play through) like a much better Noir detecive game then this.

How is this the only review

How is this the only review that gave this game bad marks? An uninteresting protagonist whose fate at the conclusion of the game is laughable. A disjointed story that takes twists and turns that NO ONE could see coming. Clunky controls and obnoxiously obvious game time padding with driving across the city, back and forth, to do 'street crime' missions. An inconsistent, frustrating and near guessing-game 'interrogation' system.

I can't see this game getting anything better than a 7/10, I'd give it a 6/10. If it weren't for the exceptional motion capture technology and solid performances from the notable actors in the game, no one would have played this one, period. Overall, pretty disappointed in how it turned out.

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