One thing is for sure: Rockstar's latest piece of software breaks new ground! Unlike Grand Theft Auto IV or Red Dead Redemption, there is hardly any emphasis on action in the debut work of the Australian studio Team Bondi. On the contrary, in L.A. Noire you should preferably not kill yourself, but rather find the perpetrator of a crime without casualties – by investigating crime scenes, interrogating suspects, gathering information, and ultimately putting all the pieces of the puzzle together into a coherent whole to prove the perpetrator's guilt. Sounds interesting? It is! But does the concept also work in practice?
Operational area Los Angeles, 1940s: conspiracies, crimes, betrayals
"Cole Phelps, Badge 1247." – "How could I help, detective?"
A historical journey through time with old-fashioned technology?
Conclusion by Tim:
Cole Phelps won't stay in my memory as a brave star detective, but rather as a boring standard cop – too much cliché, too little personality is in the protagonist of Rockstar's L.A. Noire. Besides, its war story interests me precious little. This is one of the points where Team Bondi should have worked more on. The story narrative is also not mature, especially since there is no coherent story from the beginning to the end of the game. I won't even get started on the gameplay problems in terms of variety, game world and challenge. And yet L.A. Noire fun. There would have been much, much more possible if Los Angeles had been more lively and filled, if the story had been more gripping, if the dialogues had been more influenceable and if the gameplay had been more varied. L.A. Noire is a unique experience, but not quite well thought out in terms of gameplay. While it's a great time travel to 1940s Los Angeles – it's unfortunately as far away from a perfect game as 1940 is from 2011.
Realistic facial expressions, dense atmosphere, great dialogs: L.A. Noire is super staged, but in terms of gameplay it is as far away from a perfect game as the 40s are from the 21st century. Century. There could have been a lot more here, Team Bondi!
– refreshingly new game mechanics at first – very good facial expressions and animations, … – characters with backstories – great recreated Los Angeles of the 40s – soundtrack& Atmosphere atmospheric – over 20 hours of gameplay in total – Game mechanics wear out in the long run – … But rest of the technology average – sag in the middle of the game – Phelps remains pale, uninteresting story – routine in investigations and dialogs – way too big, unnecessarily open game world – nothing to do apart from the main story – dialogs not really influenceable Tim has L.A. Played Noire on the Xbox 360. The review copy was kindly provided by Rockstar Games.
Conclusion by Hardcora:
As a kid I always wanted to be a detective, which might explain my preference for adventure games a bit. L.A. Noire was often described as an adventure game with shooter elements, which naturally raised my expectations. In the end, L.A. Noire like an extended version of CSI adventures – search crime scene, interview witnesses, interrogate, catch perpetrator, evaluate. And each in different departments. Sounds a bit monotonous in the long run? Correct, somehow it is. Of all the departments, Homicide clearly stands out – the story of Black Dahlia is, after all, a mystery in itself even in real life. So while I'm drooling in Homicide waiting for the next case, I'm rather bored with all the other cases. Assembly line work – someone has to do it. The story of the game didn't really convince me in the end either. The idea to somehow tie up all the loose threads via the newspapers lying around is good, but the resolution is pathetic. When the side characters are more interesting than the main character of the game, something has gone wrong – unless you're going for a spin-off. Overall: Quite good, but somehow you are used to better things from Rockstar.
– interesting side characters – (at first) convincing facial expressions – music – homicide – b/w filter – 40s – gentlemen
– inconsequential main character – uninteresting street cases – partly strange dialog implementation – empty city – collecting cars
Hardcora has L.A. Played Noire on the Xbox 360.
Conclusion by Darius:
Team Bondi's debut game is finally here! The result is a game with an unsympathetic protagonist, a beautiful but unnecessary open-world city and always the same gameplay sequences. It's fun to drive through the city in old cars, if you don't feel like it, just let your partner drive you to the next crime scene. It's nice to see the old crime movie charm revived in each new mission and also a funny line dropped here and there. It's confusing that the core of the game is the widely touted motion technology, which however presents the suspects like open books and an interrogation becomes a mere facial expression check. It is disturbing when Cole yells at his counterpart at minimally differing answers as if he were a Norwegian mass murderer. And it's funny that Cole touches all the evidence, takes note but leaves it at the crime scene resp. Again neatly puts them in the victims' pockets. Overall, I found L.A. Noire was interesting and fun to play, mainly because of the production, but I don't really need more games of this kind, I'd rather play a classic point'n'click adventure game.
– The end
Darius has L.A. Noire played on Xbox 360.