L.A. Noire

Alright, I can’t help myself. Here’s another one, published on the 26th of May, 2011. This was from my old Blogger. Yeah, Blogger. Madness. I was reluctant to bring these over, as they are worse quality in most aspects than my more recent reviews, contained images that I have since removed and actually used scoring systems at the end of them. I’m not a fan of giving something a score unless it’s necessary, so it’s unlikely they’ll be back anytime soon. That said, in the end, I thought it was best to just throw it on here. If you look at it as a historical document, it’s not so bad. There are several places where I have added notes, but other than that, this is the old review in all its…glory. Without any further ado, L.A. Noire.

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Alright. This is the epic one. This is the early nomination for game of the year. The culmination of a hell of a lot of work on the part of Team Bondi and Rockstar. I’ve waited until I finished it (a few days ago now) and I’m going to give it to you straight and get it out of the way now as I won’t be able to keep it from you for long. This is a masterpiece.

Alright, instead of my usual style of jumping about everywhere, on this I’m going to go into detail on the sections that I rate at the end. First up is the audio. It’s a lot of jazz on the soundtrack, but this isn’t what the audio of this game is about. The dialogue is just incredible. A whole host of fantastic actors put this game together (Cole Phelps is portrayed by Mad Men’s Aaron Staton) and the MotionScan technology just brings it to life incredibly. There are genuinely points where you forget it is a game. I just can’t help thinking it’s not just a game, it’s more than that. It is as close to a movie as you’re going to get. From what I’ve heard, movie offers are actually coming in, that’s proof enough for this being more than a movie to me. There’s a ready made cast and all, just make it happen!

[Note: I had originally embedded a photo of Stefan Bekowski here. Unfortunately, this was before I really had any idea about copyright, so it was removed after, and is too here, until I  can replace it with one I have taken myself]

This is one of your partners throughout the game. I may well be wrong, but I believe that this is Stefan Bekowski who you originally meet on the Traffic desk. I had accidentally put this as a picture claiming it was Phelps. I do apologise for that mistake, I’m pretty ashamed in all honesty. Trying to keep it profession, that was amateur hour. It won’t happen again!

Alright, the visuals. This is where the game truly comes into it’s element, for the casual audience at least. The graphics are one of the best, if not the best, most realistic graphics I have ever seen on a console. It’s truly lifelike, this MotionScan technology is incredible. It’s been said that it is still developing into full body scanning, so the next one* is going to be even better with regards to the graphics.

*Yes I said next one. Take-Two Interactive CEO, Strauss Zelnick said that L.A. Noire was “a very successful release” and “we have every reason to believe that L.A. Noire is another strong franchise for this company.” I took that from Wikipedia but it was sourced (although the source didn’t actually work, I have no reason to believe this was a troll) so take it for what it is. I just hope it’s right.

[Note 2: Same as the above]

Phelps is the man. You will learn to respect this guy when you play the game. If you haven’t played it, then go and get it now. Forget my review, just experience this. Before anyone says anything, yes, these pictures are from IGN. My thanks go to them. This one actually is Phelps too.

Alright, so now it’s the playability of the game. This game is so close to perfection in this aspect. Let me put it this way, in about four days I put in roughly 18 hours as I just didn’t want to stop. When it got to the end, I was devastated. That sounds so sad, but I don’t care at all. I’m contemplating buying another DLC from eBay at grossly inflated prices, such is my need to keep going with this game. For anyone wanting GTA 1947, you’re out of luck. You cannot shoot unless fired upon, you’ll have a hard time hurting people in a car, you don’t even start street fights. But there’s no need to want to. There’s so much to keep you occupied, you don’t have to be the bad guy here. There are multiple different sections to the cases. You go to a scene of the crime, question people and search for clues. This gives you leads to the perpetrator of the crime (with a fair few red herrings thrown in for good measure) which will lead to a shootout, car chase or my personal favourite, running away from a bulldozer. It doesn’t sound right, but when you get to it, it’ll make sense! Of course, the quality is top notch, the aiming is tight whilst shooting, driving is the best I’ve seen from a free roam game like this (aside from actual driving games like Burnout I guess) and you can spend hours walking around, shooting the breeze with your partner. When you get to free roam you can search for landmarks, hidden cars and golden film reels scattered throughout California.

I can bundle the delivery and achievements in here. The story is incredible. I love it. I want to play it again. I’m going to play it again to five star all the cases (I need that achievement!) That’s truly rare for me. Just read what I write in the delivery and achievement sections below if you need any more convincing. This game is fantastic.

[Note 3: This video is mine. Well, my brother recorded it, and has allowed me to use it anyway, as good as mine! At least something went right!]

I do apologise for the lack of audio. Not sure what went wrong there. Perhaps you can listen to Ride of the Valkyries? How about some old-school Eminem. Hell, you can even have your own choice of music! That said, you still have to give it a watch. At least you get to see the incredible graphics!

Audio: As far as I can tell, the jazz soundtrack is entirely faithful to the 40s, so definitely fitting. While it’s not what I normally listen to, as I pre-ordered it from Play.com, I got the OST and have actually listened to it. What’s more, I like it a lot! 95/100

Visuals: Absolutely incredible. This is what got the game noticed originally in my opinion, and it doesn’t disappoint. Sure, there are issues, as the game is so huge the frame rate can drop and there’s some slight clipping.That said, it’s nothing major and, in my opinion, by the next generation of consoles, this sort of technology will just be incredible.  95/100

Playability: Just fantastic. I’m not sure how you can’t be impressed. Gameplay that keeps you engrossed to be certain! One minute you’re scanning a gory crime scene searching for clues, the next you’re chasing a car across Hollywood. There’s something here for everyone! 100/100

Delivery: This is just what every game should be. A fantastic story, great graphics, audio, it just sucks you in and you don’t want it to stop. I’ve tried to avoid all spoilers, as you have to play through the story without knowing what to expect. You have to play this. Have to. Definitely the best story I’ve played through for years. 95/100

Achievements: An expertly crafted list. Not perfect, there’s a lot of replaying necessary if you want the full 1000 (actually, it was a 1200 on release with the DLC available) but there’s a lot of fun to be had with these, that’s for sure. 90/100

Overall: Honestly, if one game was to get the perfect score from me, this will be it. I’m just so reluctant to call any game perfect, as (I hope) a follow up is on the way, and that can just keep this momentum going. Please Team Bondi. Please Rockstar. Don’t let the story end here. I’m giving this game 96/100!

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