Points: 5
Cover Story: It Came From Outer Space!


L.A. Noire Review


Blurs the line between video game and CG movie with a strong narrative, spot-on voice acting, and cinematic presentation.

L.A. Noire is almost everything I hoped it would be, and very little of what I thought it was. Judging by trailers and gameplay footage alone, I expected it to be a Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game wrapped within Grand Theft Auto IV's game engine, with some femme fatales and fedora-wearing gangsters thrown in to fulfill the "noire" element. In actuality, this has very little to do with the GTA games, and is probably more closely related to graphic adventure games and movies. The relative lack of free-form gameplay and driving-over-prostitutes is most certainly going to turn off some gamers -- the real draw here is the story, and how the game forms the mechanics around that.

You star as Cole Phelps, a decorated Marine and veteran of the Pacific campaign in World War II, and now a rising star in the Los Angeles Police Department. When the game starts, Phelps is a rookie cop working the beat on the streets of L.A. By the time the game ends, Phelps will have worked cases involving arson, stolen drugs, and of course murder. Investigating these crimes represents the bulk of what you do.

Click the image above to check out all L.A. Noire screens.

The start of nearly every case means you'll walk around a crime scene. Some of the evidence gets clearly marked for you by officers that were first on the scene and by the coroner, if the case involved a murder. Other pieces of evidence -- often crucial to your investigation -- remain in hiding somewhere nearby. Aiding you in your search are the game's musical cues, which let you know when you're near something you can examine. Inspecting evidence requires you to look at every inch of an object, or scan all the parts of a document -- basically, you need to be thorough with anything you get your hands on.

After you finish collecting evidence, you then start the interview process. Witnesses, suspects, and POIs (Persons of Interest) all must be questioned if Phelps is to get to the truth. Here's where the MotionScan (the game's much-hyped facial animation technology) really comes into play: As a person is answering your questions, it's up to you to decide whether or not they're lying. A quick moment of broken eye contact, a subtle smile, or a nervous twitch of the neck can give away a person's true intent. The core of the game lies in observing how people behave during interrogation, connecting the dots with what you know, and then use the evidence you've gathered to expose a possible lie.

Click the image above to check out all L.A. Noire screens.

It's astonishing what this technology can do to the experience of a game like this. If I don't have the proper evidence that proves someone is lying to me, then I assume they're telling the truth (as naive as that may be). However, a careful study of the other person's body language can reveal a wealth of information. When doubt sets in, you have to change your line of questioning to something with a more suspicious tone. That can lead to the interviewee giving up a little more information, which then leads to a whole new set of questions, suspects, and evidence. The case that I once think as "open and shut" can change into something bigger and probably more dangerous. And this all can happen simply because I'm suspicious of how the other person glanced away, only for the briefest second, when I ask a specific question.

However, just because a person can't look you straight in the eye doesn't always mean he or she is lying. There's one case early on where I had to question a young girl whose mother was been murdered. Even though she was looking at the floor or around the room during the session, I paused and thought, "if this were real, she probably would be too distraught to give me straight answers anyway." In the end, by following this reasoning, I successfully judge all of her answers correctly. For the rest of the game, I don't just look at whether or not a person is looking me in the eye; I actually think about the circumstances that are occurring in-game, and if the person is in the proper state of mind to be answering any questions.

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Comments (112)

  • nelly_k
  • Fun Game

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  nelly_k

    I'm really enjoying this game, probably because I had no expectations going in. It can be repetitive at times (foot chases immediately come to mind), but I'm so pleased with the overall package that I don't care. It's obvious the developers put a lot of effort into making LA Noire an authentic film noir experience. Would love to see a prohibition-era Chicago game using this face tech.

  • shane1108
  • Pretty good game, but the facial scan technology is the real winner

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  shane1108

    the game was pretty good, although i felt the ending was kind of strange and rushed, but the best thing to come out of this by far is the new facial scanning technology that hopefully Rockstar will implement this into all of the games they do from here on out. I know that the use of the technology is expensive, but i doubt that after all of the money that this Red Dead, and GTA  have brought them that a budget probably isn't much of an issue

  • Hypnotic87
  • Very Pleased!

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Hypnotic87

    Picked up the game recently and i can tell you right now its worth every penny. It has enough action, with rpg elements. This is one of those games you can play with your spouse watching (my fiancee actually tries to assist me with telling if someone is lying or not). Must own game!

  • Survival_Horror_Aficionado
  • Before I had no interest...

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Survival_Horror_Aficionado

    When I first heard of the game, I knew nothing about it. I critizied it to be another GTA type game. But a month before it's release I read more on it and got excited for it. Then a day after it came out I bought it and it was even better then I thought. I'm really glad I gave this game a chance.

  • AStrangeDisease
  • Sounds good.

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  AStrangeDisease

    I had no interest in another GTA, but after reading this review, I'll definitely be trying this game.

  • n0gar
  • Did Not Buy Yet

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  n0gar

    As of late, I buy games and never finish them.  I bought Resident Evil 5, Red Dead Redemption and Dead Rising 2 - played them all once and never went back.  I will finish DR2 because I waited for that one to come out.  It could be because I am older now, but I used to have to be the first to finish!


  • uldread_rifad101
  • Marvellous work by Rockstar

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  uldread_rifad101

    I've seen its trailer many years ago,at that moment i thought this is gonna be good because it's rockstar whose making the game.


  • Hemiriffic
  • Look's Cool

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Hemiriffic

    Will Buy It when I get Money

  • Cruxciable
  • neat

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Cruxciable

    this looks pretty interesting i may check it out after a price drop

  • FightMiyagi
  • Funny

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  FightMiyagi

    I still think this looks like Thumb Wars lol. Regardless, I'll be picking this up at some point. 

  • e_baybee
  • Cool game, but I wouldn't give it an A

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  e_baybee

    I'll admit, this game caught my interest for quite a while, but I feel I am the only one that thinks it's too repetitive: you go to a crime scene, find evidence, inspect it, ask questions, chase someone on foot or in a car, capture or kill them, rinse, repeat. I love the facial animations and the overall mood of the game, but it really didn't range very far in terms of gameplay. It seems to me this facial animation breakthrough forced Team Bondi/Rockstar to pump out something quick and formulated before anyone else got their hands on that type of technology. You walk around a crime scene and wait for the controller to vibrate to let you know that you are walking near or on evidence. Then you investigate that evidence by awkwardly and slowly rotating it in your hand (half the time it vibrates for useless things, like kitchenware or empty cigarette cartons), then you try to use that evidence against someone in an interrogation. It's, again, formulated. This formula is used again and again in the game and never changes. I understand that it is supposed to be the life of a cop, but a little mixing and matching would have spiced it up a bit.


    This game is good, but not great. The facial animations serve to distract people from its major flaws. If you look at the big picture, this game is really bland and nowhere near any "best of" lists. I would give it a B at best.

    • venkman
    • Could Not Have Put It Better Myself

      Posted: 05/31/2011 by  venkman

      Thank you!  I completely agree, you hit all of my gripes dead on.  I was really excited about this game, I love noire films and I love Rockstar, where's the risk? I know Rockstar only produced it, but I loved Red Dead Revolver back on the original XBox.  Same deal there.

      What I got with LAN was a mediocre experience: one that looked great, but lacked the diverse gameplay that I was expecting.  It became completely repetitive (especially those retarded side missions that never failed to be on the exact opposite end the map from me), anticlimactic (I couldn't believe that ending), and above all else, the story was weak.

      It seemed to me that it couldn't decide if it was going for a cinematic, noire film-esque characature of the life of a cop or a more realistic approach.  The homicide desk started to feel like it had figured out it's style, but the end was so cheezy it was obvious that they had no clue what they were going for.

      I think even a B is being gracious.

  • Starknight
  • Awesome game but...

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Starknight

    ... after those reports claiming that some consoles get overheated when playing it, I think either Rockstar, Sony or Microsoft should at least evauate the current status of this negative situation. Maybe a second version/revision of the game or a new patch for the consoles would come in handy? I'm just guessing here.

    The game really deserves it since it is already being touted as a breakthough in graphic technology, probably used in other games from now on.

  • Halo4@e32011XBOX720
  • Cool story

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Halo4@e32011XBOX720

    just not my cup of tea, wake me when a new GTA gets a trailer.

  • mrangryface
  • Yeah well....

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  mrangryface

    I'd argue that the weakest parts of LA Noire happen when actual gameplay butts in. Mafia II is a better game imo- too bad Rockstar didnt develop it :*(

    That said, the facial stuff is neat- even if the main character is about as interesting as unbuttered toast

  • Glassjaw_Matt
  • L.A. Noire - A Fresh Idea With Familiar Mechanics.

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Glassjaw_Matt

    L.A. Noire Review – Matthew Helfrich

    Cole Phelps is conflicted - an ex-marine turned cop whose past haunts him as he makes his way through the seedy underworld of 1940's L.A. You'll find your police career spanning five desks: Patrol (the tutorial), Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and Arson. Each desk offers new cases spanning a missing boxer, stolen morphine, a string of familiar murders, and a shady real estate tycoon. The cinematic presentation, interrogations, and investigations are the central focus of L.A. Noire while basic gameplay mechanics help remind you that you are, in fact, still playing a game. 


    The highest point of L.A. Noire is it's ability to suck you in, making you forget that you are playing game and instead make you feel like you are following a T.V. series. Cole Phelps is likeable, although a little too all-American for my taste. The city is a living, breathing world that oozes authenticity, while some may find the setting a little boring, you must remember that this game is shooting for realism and it pulls it off with landmark locations spread across L.A. Graphics are finely done when considering the sheer scope of the game, some lack of polish can be overlooked when considered just how big the city really is. The facial expressions are, of course, the greatest thing about the graphics and truly show what can be done in video games.

    The story is a wild ride that can feel disjointed at times and in retrospect, should feel that way considering how you move across four desks, all with different partners and crimes to investigate. Each desk has a main antagonist that is slowly realized as you solve cases, and by the end you can see small connections between the bigger characters. Phelps backstory doesn't really come to light until the last desk, but this interesting move helps keep the player interested in what the flashbacks (given to us via newspapers spread around the world) really mean and who the characters in the newspaper really are. The ending is satisfying, although some may be disappointed if they don't realize this game is rooted in Noir (a film often having a bleak theme or conclusion). The finely built city, great character animations, and involving story really helps make the game stand out as more then another sandbox game. 

    Game Mechanics

    L.A. Noire offers several different gameplay mechanics to keep things fresh, although many of them are copied and pasted from other sandbox games. The interrogation and investigations help raise the bar for interaction in a video game, although things like intuition points and confusing facial expressions remind you at times you're still playing a game. Once you get investigating down, you'll realize right away how to use musical cues and obvious clue placement to find every bit of evidence, which in turns sucks you out of the game. Of course, investigating crime scenes is always entertaining considering how they all vary in shape and form. Interrogating suspects is something you can’t really get down, because it isn’t as easy as “shifting eyes = lies”. You have to actually think if the person has a motive, what type of character he/she is, or what their relationship is to the victim. They break it down into three categories: Truth, when you believe a suspect, Doubt, when you believe that they are lying but lack evidence, or Lie, where you know that they are lying because you have specific evidence. With the more complex characters I found myself quitting out if I messed up a tough interrogation, not because I thought it was cheap, but because I wanted to know every bit of detail about the suspect or I realized a mistake in my approach.


    Without spoiling an important case, I will say that your typical case will span shootouts, car chases, investigating, and interrogating. This makes it so each case lasts around 45 minutes to an hour and really makes you focus while you play. The shooting mechanics/cover system is a little wonky, similar to Mafia II but a little slower. It works well for the game, although I often felt like there should be more of them. The only real intense shoot out happening within the last few cases. Obviously this game isn't meant to be action packed, but this is a missed opportunity in my opinion. The car chase scenes were my favorite, although your car isn't the fastest (it is 1940's after all), I found myself thoroughly enjoying crashing into enemy cars or having my partner shoot out their tires. The chase scenes on foot are a little messier considering your character runs like he is overweight and the controls can be a bit clunky. I never found them displeasing of course and always was excited to start a chase. There are also fighting mechanics or "fisty cuffs" as I call them and these are hit and miss (get it?). The hit detection is a little off but it was entertaining to grapple an opponent and throw them into a table or trashcan. The fighting was probably the lowest point of the game, although it was never frustrating or unfair. Their are also some scenes where you have to tail a suspect - these were surprisingly fun considering you can go incognito and press yourself against walls. The tailing was the only thing frustrating about the game because the suspect can spot you from very far away, even if you believe you are hidden.


    What you’re left with in L.A. Noire is a very compelling game wrapped around familiar game mechanics. The shooting, driving, fighting, and sneaking are something you have done before – but here, they are all done right. The investigating and interrogating are extremely well done and are the main draw for the game. You might get a little bored with chase scenes, but you surely won’t get tired of playing cop for the 20 or so hours the main story spans.


    Replay Value


    This game is worth the $60 price tag for a variety of reasons. The main story itself spans nearly 20 hours, plus there are several side missions to absorb yourself in. Collecting the 50 Golden Film Reels, Completing the 40 Side Missions (which are little stories in their own), unlocking Achievements/Trophies (the pacing for achievements and the list are quite interesting and offer more replay value), finding all the Landmarks, Hidden Cars, and other small side things will have you coming back for more – if not just to get a perfect 5 star on every case or find which clues you missed/questions you judged incorrectly. While most single player only games offer around 15 hours of gameplay, after you take into consideration the sheer amount of side missions you can participate in, L.A. Noire will end up spanning around 30 + hours of gameplay. This game is worth the price tag, but once you 100% it, you may not find yourself playing it again anytime soon.


    Final Score


    L.A. Noire is a fresh take on the sandbox game-genre, surrounding itself with familiar game mechanics and introducing new ideas into a video game. The presentation is fantastic and the mechanics are solid – although a little under exciting at times. The story is deep and fully fleshed out and Cole Phelps is intriguing in his own way. Pick this game up and explore the seedy underworld of Los Angeles. You won’t be disappointed.


    9 out of 10 

    • billlytheporpouse
    • 1,000,000 characters or less please

      Posted: 05/26/2011 by  billlytheporpouse

      cmon, man.. theres a link right up there that u can click to write a review. we dont wanna see that on the message boards. have some muffukin respek for all tther people that wanna leave a comment.

    • Glassjaw_Matt
    • nah

      Posted: 05/28/2011 by  Glassjaw_Matt

      I think i'll post what I want, thank you : ) 


    • AStrangeDisease
    • Nice Review

      Posted: 06/01/2011 by  AStrangeDisease

      It's cool to see another person's opinion.

      billy above me must have a hard time with his reading abilities. Don't worry porpouse, there are plenty of single sentence comments for you to read. And they are "comments", not message boards.

  • SpaceManiac
  • Looks good...

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  SpaceManiac

    ... omight get it when it drops the price a little bit, cuz here in brazil games are 5 times more expensive, so i have to wait til it drops to 40 bucks, then i dont have to pa taxes!!!!

  • charredfields
  • this game is so good

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  charredfields

    This game has been one of the most enjoyable games i have played in years. I'm loving it.

  • PlaYstaTion_3PuNk
  • Departure from GTA

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  PlaYstaTion_3PuNk

    Kudos to Rockstar for changing the way their are made.  One would definitly be suprised that they created a police drama with a real world setting and from what I saw the most realistic facial expressions ever.

  • bwells88
  • comparisons

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  bwells88

    I haven't played it yet but i was just wondering if it can be compared to heavy rain. obviously its a longer game but as far as story and gameplay.

  • Kelz85
  • Low Def PS3 version :(

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Kelz85

    Just hate that the ps3 version shows in 720p definition and not 1080p.

    • gamer989
    • Hmmmm.....

      Posted: 05/18/2011 by  gamer989

      Maybe they had to in order to get it all on 1 disc?  I clearly don't know for sure.  Just guessing.

    • Next2Heaven
    • Nope...not true.

      Posted: 05/18/2011 by  Next2Heaven

      There are very few games that are 1080.  The big games like this usually have 1080p on the back but it's just 720p stretched to 1080p.  Drake's Fortune, Call of Duty, Metal Gear Solid all do that.

    • littleman00
    • I could be mistaken, but...

      Posted: 05/18/2011 by  littleman00

      The Xbox 360 version might also be 720p. And just like what Next2Heaven said, most games aren't mastered in 1080p. That said, the game looks great either way.

    • king_mob
    • 720p

      Posted: 05/22/2011 by  king_mob

      720p is the optimal setting for HD performance on the PS3 and 360. Both systems can output in 1080p but more complicated games need to run in 720p for optimal performances. I read that GTAIV on PS3, only runs at about the graphical equivalent of 600p. I'm not sure which games run natively in 1080p, if any at all. We probably won't see 1080p as the norm until the next generation of consoles arrives.

    • zelmo73
    • Nah

      Posted: 05/22/2011 by  zelmo73

      Blu ray trumps DVD in terms of storage space, that's all. This is why I decided on the PS3 version because I didn't want to juggle three discs. When you turn the PS3 Smoothing on in your settings, there's not much difference between that and the 360's 1080p graphics at all. 

  • henrys_awsomest
  • people need to realize

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  henrys_awsomest

    that this is an entirely new game, its not 1947 gta from a policemans view, its a story driven game, la noire is its own thing, sure it has action, but i liken this more to heavy rain than to gta where its interaction with the world rather than blowing it up to finish that story.

    • Pordiogamer
    • The real question; honkyjesusdouchebag

      Posted: 05/19/2011 by  Pordiogamer

      have you at least played the game??? or are you full of $#!T?

  • jman241986
  • Can't Wait

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  jman241986

    Picking this game up here in about 30 minutes. Hope the stores around town aren't sold out. Pretty stoked to play this. Heavy Rain is one of my recent favorite games/ agent 'narrman' Jayden was badass.

  • Glassjaw_Matt
  • On the 3rd Disc

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Glassjaw_Matt

    I'm three cases into the Vice Desk and I have to say that Team Bondi / Rockstar created a fine game. I'll say that the investigating/interogating lived up to my expectations and the driving/shooting were exactly what I thought they would be. The focus IS on the story and this isn't really a game you stay up and play for hours on end, rather it's a game where you pop in and play a case or two and absorb everything it has to offer. It's like playing a very well written tv show. The shootouts are realistic, but often a little clunky with its cover system. The graphics are great considering the sheer amount of game available. this is a perfect recreation of 8 square miles of 1940's LA. Each desk feels unique in the way that you will be investigating true-to-the-desk crimes. Traffic was a great way to open up the game, connecting murder, kidnapping, and fraud within a desk. Homocide falls a little short in the way that the game tries to pull it all together in the end, but its impact isn't as effective as it should have been. regardless, the cases are all interesting and unique, even if homocide will feel slightly similar. Vice so far has been my favorite, investigating morphene and a missing boxer, it seems to offer a wider mix then Homocide did. The gameplay is very straight forward, some stealth segments where you trail a suspect, action packed chase scenes, and standard shootouts. This isn't saying they are bad, but they are something we have all seen before. The game seems to be heading into a much bigger picture/overarching theme but I haven't gotten that far yet. This game is a true achievement for what video games can accomplish and I hope that more games take this route in bridging video games and movies. I'll write up a full review in my blog soon, but as for now this game receives a 9 out of 10. Pick this one up now!

  • McLaren311
  • this game is sick

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  McLaren311

    been playin it for hours. The combat is actually very realistic. So I guess that could be called clunky. Its almost like a combo of red dead and gta4. Its a way more focused story though. But whats just so great about this game is the details. Rockstar puts so much care into the world and little details with characters and of course the facial animations. I found myself immersed in this world just mapping out how I think this homicide went down. Its a pretty badass feeling and its something I haven't felt in a video game before. Thanks Rockstar for making a cool fucking game. I can't wait for gta5. Now that will be perfect. La Noire= amost perfect

    • Urethra_Alfredo
    • Both the Shooting and the Brawling are...

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  Urethra_Alfredo

      ...really clunky and stiff.


      Luckily, that's not the reason I was so psyched for L.A. Noire. 


      I came for the investigations and the interrogations, both of which are absolutely stellar.  I'm not too far in, but this feels less like a noir film and more like a noir television series...or even a collection of short stories by Raymornd Chandler, or something.  It's told in a series of little vignettes that have their own unique flavor.


      And am I the only person who's playing the game in black and white?  I tried playing in color, but it just felt...off. 


      Noir just ain't noir if it ain't in grayscale.

  • ntrudr_800

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  ntrudr_800

    LAN is cool... but it ain'tthe action game that is GTA. It's mainly about looking at sh1t and figuring out what happened. With some action in-between. It plays slow and's for a mature audience. It's good, but so far it ain't no perfect 10. I would give it a 9--so far. Yall come back now ya'hear? LOL

    • henrys_awsomest
    • well....

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  henrys_awsomest

      thats because its not an action game, its a story driven game, its not supposed to be 1947 gta from a policemans side, its an entirely different thing going on.

  • wiseman4380
  • Sounds interesting

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  wiseman4380

    Im not a fan of the whole GTA type genre, so im glad it is different from them. Might have to check this one out

  • AlphaNerd
  • thanks for this!

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  AlphaNerd

    I've been waiting to see if L.A. Noire was what I was hoping it would be, and it sounds like it is, for the most part. Really enjoyed your review, and thanks for not spending half of it comparing this to Rockstar's other games.

  • jonnyjones72
  • games as art

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  jonnyjones72

    I had a tough time with Heavy Rain, all four hours of it.  Great story, but absolutely no game whatsoever.  From this review, I'm not too enthused about L.A. Noire.  I play the open world games and enjoy walking around by myself in Fallout 3 or GTA and just existing.  So far, story based games in the modern era have barely reached their infancy, and combining them with an actual game has yet to happen.  I paid 60 dollars for Heavy Rain, which was basically a movie that should only cost 15 dollars at the cinema, or more likely for me, nothing at all as a torrent file. 

    I doubt I'll be playing L.A. Noire.  I'd rather just hop in a car and enjoy the sites of the city, or climb the Guardian Peak in Fallout: New Vegas and stare at the Colorado River and the sunset.  Japanese games have started to follow the open world format like Demon's Souls and Shadow of the Colossus, the main example of a video game as art.  Until people make good games and good stories at the same time, not in separate endeavors, then games will never trully be considered art.

    • ScatPants
    • Yeah

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  ScatPants

      Those are different types of games than this. It's also not like Madden

    • wiseman4380
    • Oh god

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  wiseman4380

      enough with the "games as art" stuff! Please! My eyes are bleeding. Look, games are meant to be played and enjoyed as entertainment--thats it. If you find that you feel some are artistic, great. If not, thats fine too. I think theres been enough discussion on both sides that we can lay the topic to rest.

    • ReadymadePlague360
    • I guess..

      Posted: 05/18/2011 by  ReadymadePlague360

      It doesnt matter that open world games get boring after you beat the story. GTA is the epitome of this. Sure, every once in a while, ill pop it in and terrorize hookers, hobos, and thousands of dock workers, but that doesnt change the fact that after I was done with the story that it only touches my 360 for online MP or the occasional senseless violence. Fallout NV was just fine for an open world FPS. Of course it felt just like Fallout 3, and I dont spend time looking at useless vistas that show off its awesome 5 color palette. So thats... something...


      BTW, this

          "Until people make good games and good stories at the same time, not in separate endeavors, then games will never trully be considered art."

      is complete Bullshit. Total and utter Bullshit. Your standards for games are unbelievably high. I dont know what your criteria is for a "good game" but I'm willing to bet that any gamer would tell you that a "good game" is based around story. Of course graphics are a close second. To me, anyway.

       So why dont you do yourself a favor, stop trying to be different, jump off your high horse and try L.A. Noire. It has a good story and has the innovative technology to push the industry further which is pretty much all we can really ask for.

  • nipsen
  • Question..

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  nipsen

    ..what's the plot about? If there is any.

    • littleman00
    • Yes, there's a plot

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  littleman00

      Check the second page, 3rd paragraph from the bottom.

    • nipsen
    • right... see it now..

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  nipsen

      "Is the new rash of murders copycat killings, or is the real murderer still on the loose? And if so, what about all the people you've been locking up? The story evolves from individual cases to something akin to an episodic television procedural with an overall arc like Southland."

      So.. everything's connected, I guess. What I wanted to know is things like this: does the outcome of the cases give you clues to discover new links on your own. Is that what is meant by evolving narrative, or is that just a blurb picked up on the press-event? Do you always find another link outside of the cases you solve? Is it something you're thrown at half-way through the game as you solve another case? Or is it something you discover and push for more or less overtly during your investigation? Will this create a neat duality for your character's drama? Is that the noir angle here..? Or do you just grow more powerful and get more intuition points until you solve everything, etc.

      The plot.. I wanted to know how it's told. What sort of filmatic style they go for. They obviously wanted to make a film noir reference of some sort. Is it a contemporary style set in 1940's LA, or is it a more conscious classic look and feel about the presentation and the plot as well? Do the facial expressions in the game have a purpose for driving the narrative - and in what way? Do we have the angles and the exaggerated dramatic moments in film noir, or is it more polished and natural - and if so, does that do anything useful for the game? Does it become a crime-drama in 1940 LA instead, or..?

      Is it something completely different they're really going for? Is it fun and slapstick with references to film noir archtypes, of the same kind of thing Rockstar did with the western theme in Red Dead? 

      I'm just saying we don't really have much to go on here.

      Didn't have to be some kind of huge film-buff analysis either - I'm just missing something in any of the early reviews that.. I don't know.. suggest that people actually played the game and seen what Team Bondi is going for.. you know... What it's like. 

      Because what the game sounds like is a Metal Gear Solid game, just without the sneaking. A long bunch of somewhat interactive cutscenes, with a shooting game on top that... kind of isn't very strong. *shrug*

  • chscott9525
  • great review

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  chscott9525

    great review, and nice touch on the last sentence, nothing like a Casablanca reference.

    • littleman00
    • Why, thank you

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  littleman00

      I toyed with the idea of writing the entire review all noir-like. Thought it might get old after a paragraph or two, so I decided against it.

  • RevanGabriel
  • "shortly the start of the game"

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  RevanGabriel

    "unsolved murder that occurred shortly the start of the game"


    God, dosen't 1up spell check their work?

    • sokpupet
    • "God, dosen't 1up spell check their work?"

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  sokpupet

      For the love of- doesn't RevanGabriel spell check his work!?

    • Wolfe
    • Hah.

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Wolfe


      Gotta love a critique from a guy who can't figure out which of his favorite characters he's trying to be.

    • chinpokoman
    • no spelling errors found

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  chinpokoman

      just grammar issues. 


      and, uh, you need to check your spelling DOESN'T

    • p-spiddy
    • missing the point

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  p-spiddy

      absolute shit review. dude is paid to write about video games. at least be a professional. 

    • sokpupet
    • That's not the point we're making.

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  sokpupet

      The point we're making is that a person shouldn't be critical of someone else's writing when theirs ain't no looker.

    • Zombu47
    • I'm a huge nerd

      Posted: 05/24/2011 by  Zombu47

      I just put the sentence in Word, removed the word 'before' and ran the spelling and grammar check. No errors. So there you go.


      Also @p-spiddy, really? One or two spelling errors turns a review into "absolute shit"? Dear god have you ever read a book and enjoyed it?

  • ngamer-90
  • Awesome

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  ngamer-90

    Glad I had hope it would do well, now I'm hoping to get it tomorrow.

  • Deivos
  • Waiting time almost over

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Deivos

    Really looking forward to playing this. One of my most anticipated games of 2011, along with Skyrim and Battlefield 3.

  • Jonnycox001
  • PC Port... would be awesome

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Jonnycox001

    Would love to see a good PC port of this (by that, I mean a better port than Rockstar did with GTA4)


    It's be GREAT to play a game that is actually fresh and original with it's gameplay. Awesome

    • RideZeLitenin
    • Ayup

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  RideZeLitenin

      I would totally legitamately buy this for PC.

  • BananaJane
  • Meh

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  BananaJane

    I couldn't care less about this game.

    • Wolfe
    • Hem

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Wolfe

      Yet you care enough to complain to the people who were paid to review it.

    • Wolfe
    • A-hem

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Wolfe

      It's starting to look like you, oh false messiah,  might be on someone else's payroll. Perhaps one that released another high-profile game that didn't do as well.

    • c.Lake
    • If You Believe That's True...

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  c.Lake

      ...Then why are you here, reading about a game from reviewers that you believe were paid to give this game a positive review, does that make any sense at all? Wouldn't you blog on another site that wasn't so "bias". Hmm....? Or do you simply need something to toll about? That game is good, why are you complaining? Go out and buy it, and play it, and shut up. 


    • SpaceManiac
    • I dont blame you...

      Posted: 05/19/2011 by  SpaceManiac

      ..for not liking the game. I mean, you dont have to like somenthing just because everybody likes it. Besides,i dont think he was paid to do this review like the others said.

  • Cragnogoo
  • I think i just became a fan of rockstar?

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Cragnogoo

    Always played the GTA games and played red dead, always had fun but for the first time I think Im actually gonna give a damn about these guys. Nice review there, can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

    • AndElectTheDead
    • After

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  AndElectTheDead

      Playing their other two amazing games? That are, in all likelyhood, better than this one?

    • TheMoronMike
    • Rockstar Published LA Noire

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  TheMoronMike

      The game itself was designed by Team Bondi.

    • littleman00
    • Just to clarify

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  littleman00

      Rockstar did not make this game. They're the publisher. Team Bondi did is the developer.

  • Pordiogamer
  • nice review man, but ......

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Pordiogamer

    -How many hours did it take you to complete the campaign?
    -Is free roam allowed?
    -Are there any multiplayer/online components?
    -I've been hearing some weird "online pass" babble, what's that all about??

    • littleman00
    • To answer your questions

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  littleman00

      -There's no in-game timer, so I don't know exactly how long it took me, but I'd estimage anywhere from 15-20 hours. Average for a game like this. Remember, it's heavy on plot, so expect a chunk of that time watching cutscenes.

      -Free roam is allowed, but aside from the "side quests" where you answer police calls, look for hidden cars, and find Golden Film Reels, there isn't a whole lot to do.

      -Multiplayer/online consists of the Rockstar Social Club connection. Refer to previews of this game to find out what exactly that means for this game.

      -Online pass is something I can't confirm, because my review copy had no mention of that. I'm assuming it's similar to the EA thing that forces you to buy a pass if you buy a used copy of the game.

    • SuperSledge
    • yeah

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  SuperSledge

      This is sounding more and more like a game I'm going to buy on the cheap. Definitely not the 40's L.A. Noire/Red Dead Redemption/GTAIV I was hoping for

  • nastyn800
  • pretty much what I expected

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  nastyn800

    I'm dissappointed to hear that the combat is somewhat clunky, but that's not what has me excited for this game. I really hope this game is successful, I think it has the potential to make non-gamers view the industry in a different light.

    • Ssnake
    • agree

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Ssnake

      Games like this and Heavy Rain and hell even Uncharted help give the gaming industry more credibility for the people that see gaming as a no good waste of time and whatever else negative they think of it. Games like this are evolving the industry, hopefully in the near future through games like this, gaming can become an accepted form of entertainment to all.

  • DarkSideSol
  • this is a mystery game - I didnt expect combat to be heavy handed

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  DarkSideSol

    So I am not all that surprised by the review.


    This is 3 dvds on the 360 - might have to opt for the ps3 on this one

  • lokey013
  • So amazed at the facial tech....

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  lokey013

    I really am intrigued in playing this....hope other game companies use this technology in the future...

  • Merodach
  • Dear Bioware

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Merodach

    Mass Effect 3 looks outdated before it even gets released. Use the mo cap technology from this game ASAP. 

    • RitsukoReturns
    • how?

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  RitsukoReturns

      their has ben no video of Mass Effect 3 real-time gameplay! only a few screenshots! now you look FOOLISH!!

    • pandasnyper723
    • Who knows?

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  pandasnyper723

      They may be using it, Ubi is using it on AC Revo, and that's coming out in half a year.

    • elite180360
    • I might be wrong but

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  elite180360

      didn't ME2, use the ME3 engine on the ps3? Maybe thats what he's bassing is opinion on. I'm guessing it would look like that but only a little more brighter? (couldn't find the word I was looking for)

  • darthvigoda
  • Thanks a lot...

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  darthvigoda

    now I'm gonna have to buy an Xbox 360 again

  • JonThom
  • Exactly what I thought it was,

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  JonThom

    with a few disappointments.

  • Hellslinger1
  • I'm so excited.

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Hellslinger1

    I've already seen people bitch about combat looking crappy but I don't come into this game expecting amazing combat. I go in basically everything that was said in the review.

  • Pacario
  • Games as Art

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Pacario

    You have to love Rockstar.  While I'm not as obsessed with the company as some are, I do respect how it is constantly experimenting with new themes and play mechanics, thus driving the video gaming medium forward in new, ambitious directions.  It's this kind of philosophy that will make gaming a legitimate art form on the level of film, and that's a happy thought.

    • Reigel_Seven
    • I agree!

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Reigel_Seven

      All Rockstar games have people and places in them. That makes them all the same game!

    • elite180360
    • I didn't know

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  elite180360

      that this was another GTA? I (among others) thought that this was LA Noire, a completely different game, and experience from GTA, although it does share some of it's characterisitics. That might be just because it is made by the same company. We all must be wrong and you, honkyjesuseternal must be right, right?

    • Reebokanonymous
    • To the kid with the weird username.

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Reebokanonymous

      @honkyjesuseternal First of all, you have a weird username.

      Now I would like to address your comment. Have you even played Red Dead Redemption? It is quite different from GTA. Sure, it's a third person shooter, but so are lots of other games. It's in an open world, but that is sort of what Rockstar does best, and people such as me love that. The gameplay is similar, but what you do with the gameplay is wildly different than what you do in GTA.

      Play the game. You'll be doing yourself a favor.

      As for "Grand Theft Facial Expressions," I'm going to assume you neither read the review nor played the game.

    • Pordiogamer
    • @honkyjesuseternal

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Pordiogamer

      "I don't think making the same game over and over is too ambitious, actually isn't the opposite of ambitious?"   ...sounds very stupid since you mentioned Brink as an example of a game that should've gotten a better grade than this one. You're not a fan, we get it. Now you're just embarrasing yourself, dude. Gotta go sleep it off.

    • Pordiogamer
    • My point, sir...

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Pordiogamer

      .... is that you keep criticizing Rockstar games because of their lack of originality but you keep trying to make your point by comparing them to yet another, run-of-the-mill, team based shooter such as Brink (my humble opinion).

       I get your point, you don't like these games, and that's fine. Maybe Bioshock seems better to you, maybe you liked the setting, or the story, or would like to get penetrated by giant monsters with drills for hands, you name it.... but to me, after the initial amazement for the setting faded, I felt it was YET ANOTHER DAMN FPS (to me, anyway) and after several hours of play I wasn't really interested at all...

      So, I'm thinking, either you have never played a FPS before, or you're just unwilling to apply your originality "logic" to the stuff you actually like, which just makes you an hypocrite.

    • Hellslinger1
    • I just keep laughing at honkyjesuseternal

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Hellslinger1

      For time and time again calling it a Rockstar game when it isn't. They published it.

    • Pacario
    • Surprised. . .

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  Pacario

      . . .my comment set off such a backlash here.  But like Rockstar or not, they do release ambitious and, usually quality, products.  GTA 4, Red Dead Redemption, and now L.A. Noire all tell intelligent, mature stories mixed with sophisticated gameplay, and these are the aspects that will help games become accepted as a serious form of expression.

      Games don't have to be "pretty" or "surreal" to be considered art.  Not all games need to be Ico, Psychonauts, or Rez.  In fact, it's actually games such as Bioshock and Hidden Rain that help the medium gain acceptance as art, and I think Rockstar's ambitious products also inch the medium forward towards this goal.  Certainly more than a Kinect Sports or Wii Fit, anyway.

    • wallblues
    • Directed @ honkyjesuseternal

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  wallblues

      If you have such a disgust playing the same game from Rockstar, you could always, you know, just NOT play it. Or talk about it, for that matter. I mean, by your logic, you're clearly not missing out on anything.

      You say you like Bioshock, Dead Space and Brink, then by all means, play those. Play your Oblivion Underwater, Gears of Space, and Team Fortress Bland, and let us lowly mortals figure it out on our own.

      Cheers, mate. Cheers

    • Pordiogamer
    • @honkyjesuseternal

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  Pordiogamer

      Oh, you're so clever, Mr. Troll! Say it again

    • zelmo73
    • It seems that all some people do is bitch about video games...

      Posted: 05/17/2011 by  zelmo73

      ...to the point where you wonder why they even play them at all. I'm sure that this whitejesus guy first got started bitching about different variations of the same video-gaming theme when the Pac-Man and Donkey Kong games came out. "Oh gosh, Ms. Pac-Man plays just like Pac-Man! Donkey Kong Jr. plays just like Donkey Kong!"

      You know, I felt the exact same way when Stargate came out; I felt like I was just playing a souped-up version of Defender. What a rip off! And what about those movies; Empire Strikes Back was just like Star Wars only bigger. It had the exact same characters but with a few new ones thrown in. Rip off!

      You see where this is going, folks.

    • cgkraz
    • Wow @honkeyjesuseternal

      Posted: 05/28/2011 by  cgkraz

      They aren't the same, honestly. I'm beginning to doubt you have played a Rockstar game that isn't GTA. LA Noire is a different kind of game, RDR is a different kind of game, and GTA is a different kind of game. They are all unique. Just because they have similarities doesn't mean they all rip off of GTA.

  • EKGTrooper
  • Awesome

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  EKGTrooper

    Too bad I am probably going to have to just rent it, since they have not revealed what their Online Pass is going to do, and I can not support companies or games that attack gamers for buying Used.

  • vebalmedal
  • Can't Wait

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  vebalmedal

    I can't wait for gamestop to open up tomorrow, so I can't get this game.

  • a7xch4
  • Can't Wait

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  a7xch4

    I loved the story telling in Heavy Rain and this looks like this will be even better.  Can't wait to play it once my pre-order comes in.

  • Hedgepig
  • I hate to be that guy.

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  Hedgepig

    But all I read was the 'A'. I'm getting this.

  • littleman00
  • Bonus points to your film cred

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  littleman00

    If you can guess the reference in that last line. Laughing

    • greyfox280
    • Porky's II!!

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  greyfox280

      Nah, j/k I love Casablanca!




  • bmb619
  • Kmart

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  bmb619

    has a pretty good deal on it. buy the game tomorrow, get a $20 gaming coupon + a free $19.99 game at the store. U just have 2 sign up for their free membership card.

    • littleman00
    • Not a bad deal

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  littleman00

      Consider their membership card is free, that's not a bad deal, as long as there are no restrictions on what $20 game you can get for free.

    • bmb619
    • definitely a great deal...

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  bmb619

      'From Tuesday, May 17th through the 21st, Shop Your Way Reward members will receive a $20 gaming coupon good towards a future purchase of gaming products at Kmart. The bonus offer is that you can also receive any one $19.99 or less game free with every in-store purchase of L.A. Noire for $59.99 (Xbox 360, PS3) as well.'


      *i've also read that Amazon will have a similar deal, and Best Buy will match it if U bring in an ad.


    • a7xch4
    • Amazon...

      Posted: 05/16/2011 by  a7xch4

      I pre-ordered it through Amazon and they give you a $15 credit to use on the site.

  • steelerzfan101
  • This game looks amazing!

    Posted: userComment.createdDate by  steelerzfan101

    I was pretty much interested in it from the day it was on the cover of Gameinformer a while back!  I am glad it did so well!

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L.A. Noire
PS3, 360, PC
Rockstar Games
Team Bondi
ESRB Rating:
Release Date:
Also Known As:

1UP Editor Score: A

Average Community Score: A

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Based on last 7 days of Raptr player activity.

Based on 1UP traffic, this game is:
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