By George Ware
In 2011 Rockstar Games, in tandem with Team Bondi, released L.A Noire, a third person noir detective thriller that let the player step in to the shoes of a post war detective on the glamorous streets of Hollywood. The game received great reviews and many hoped for a sequel. While a sequel may not have been released, fans will finally be able to relive L.A Noire in its 2017 remaster for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
L.A Noire is a great game for an alternative style of gameplay. Rockstar fans will be used to the style of gameplay from their other, more mainstream, titles such as Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto series with their third person perspective running and gunning action. While L.A Noire does have a good amount of moments like this, the main aspect of L.A Noire’s gameplay is much more thoughtful. As a detective, you must visit crime scenes, interview witnesses, look for clues, and charge suspects. It requires a keen eye and patience, a far cry from the usual games of today, pardon the pun. It is a difficult game to master, especially when interviewing witnesses and suspects. The actor’s facial expressions and clues from your investigation are giveaways to tell if their telling the truth or lying and getting anything wrong can have a substantial effect on the outcome of the case. L.A Noire is a difficult game, no question, but is ultimately rewarding and offers you a sense of distinction if you solve the case. The game manages to strike a fine balance between thrilling action and challenging detective work, an experience unmatched by any other game.
The game takes great inspiration from noir fiction and real life. “Set against the backdrop of 1940’s Los Angeles… on a desperate search for truth in a city where everyone has something to hide”, L.A Noire uses real crimes and cases as the basis for the storyline while playing out as a genuine noir hardboiled detective movie. L.A Noire perfectly captures the tone of the genre and offers a story that could easily make a great TV series. A word of warning, the game tackles some seriously adult themes. These include gruesome murders while you work your way through the Homicide division and sinister drug cases while you work in Vice.
One sticking point from this 2017 remaster is the graphics. While the game is detailed, the graphics aren’t mind-blowing. The game was first released in 2011 and still looks like a 2011 standard game. The game also lacks for side activities. Outside of cases, there isn’t much to do, not like there is in Grand Theft Auto. This means that there isn’t much to do when you want a break from serious detective work. While you do a have a magnitude of real cars from the era to collect and random street crimes to respond to, that’s it. You do get the feeling that Rockstar could have added some new extra content.
Overall, L.A Noire is a fantastic game. The gameplay is captivating while also challenging and the setting is one to fall in love with. The genre is criminally underused and L.A Noire is perfect for anyone wanting to quench their noir thirst. The game does have its flaws but you can forgive this when you consider how much of a novelty this game is and how there is virtually no alternative for a game like this and of this calibre. The remaster is a great game to see Rockstar fans through to the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 which is expected in the not so distant future.