Time to grab your detective’s hat and that notebook, LA Noire has arrived and your crime scene solving skills are needed. LA Noire is set post World War II, when hollywood’s golden age is in full swing and the city is in the midst of a massive economic boom. It’s all glitz and glamour on the surface, however underneath lies a gritty underworld of corruption, deceit and murder. What would you expect from Rockstar? Did you want a family friendly game? Well, if that’s the case, you came to the wrong place. Rockstar and Team Bondi’s thriller is an ambitious open-world title set in La-La Land full of nasty murderers and the like trying anything to get to the top.
You play the part of Cole Phelps, a model cop who thinks for himself and is a bit of a rouge, he likes to see cases right to the end. Returning from the war a decorated war hero, Phelps, looking to re-evaluate his life, decides to join the LAPD, where he’s soon acknowledged for his potential and fast-tracked for promotion. Working his way from the Patrol desk, through to Traffic, Arson and Homicide cases, Phelps will plumb the depths of L.A.’s criminal underworld.
Now, to start with, you might be thinking “Oh no, not another typical Rockstar open-world game. Is that all they do, just keep making GTA clones?” Well you would be wrong. Although yeah, it does have that GTA get to a marker on the map and follow the storyline feel to it, it has been souped up dramatically. The controls are very easy to use and don’t take long at all to master. The graphics are gobsmacking, and the storyline and side missions are great fun as a bonus to the main storyline you follow to progress to the nice homicide, cases (I mean grizzly). No seriously, they have done a great job and I was pleasantly surprised by the way the game feels.
The game starts with the brief story of how L.A.’s economy is growing and everyone is excited about their much loved city’s future. Then wham, you are placed straight in the shoes of Cole Phelps and find your self being radioed in for a shooting in an alleyway. You quickly start to feel like a cop, looking for clues with the hope of finding some evidence to prove this was not just a normal shooting. I was expecting the usual 15 minute intro video that these games seem to normally entail, and had my tea and Jaffa cake’s all ready, the suddenly, I find myself in control within five minutes. It was a pleasant surprise, as when you get a new game you really just want to get stuck in. I was expecting a game with more of a point and click style adventure, however, I was mistaken; this is a very good game. One of the best I have seen for a while.
The gameplay is very easy to get used too. You control your character’s movements almost identical to GTA-style gameplay. One great feature is as you walk around the various locations looking for clues, you can move the view around the items you pick up using the right analogue stick and the movement feels like you are really holding them, mimicking your wrist movements. This is a small feature, but one I found really cool. I am easily pleased I guess. As you progress, finding clues for a case you also have to interview suspects and the like. This is done by guessing if the person is either telling the truth, if its doubtful they are telling the truth or lying. You try and work out which path to go down using your own intuition and also looking for body language. It is quite hard at times. You want to gain as many correct answers as you can so you rank up quicker. If you really mess some interviews up, you are given the chance to retry. Many of the cases are based on actual real life crimes from the past. They have put a lot of effort into researching things and not just made them up.
To wrap it all up, this game is a nice surprise. I would recommend it to anyone that likes adventure type games with a bit of shooting and lots of nasty murders. Rockstar has actually managed to get a game out that feels unique. I for one cant wait for the DLC, which will no doubt have extra crimes to solve. Now where is my pipe? I have more crimes to solve. Watson, grab my jacket!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - /10
Graphics - /10
Sound - /10
Replay Value - /10