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List Price: $39.99
May 17, 2011
Used Games Include game, cover art, and case. Bonus downloadable or
promotional content may have already been redeemed. Cleaning and repair was done as required.
Game data from previous use may be present, but can be overwritten or deleted.
L.A. Noire casts you in the role of a rookie officer working his way through the ranks of 1947's Los Angeles Police Department while dealing with corruption, politics, and scandal. Protagonist Cole Phelps will start his career working as a beat cop, patrolling the streets on foot, before eventually finding his way to the department's traffic, homicide, vice, and arson divisions. Instead of missions, you'll have to solve cases.
To crack each case, you'll need to visit the crime scenes, gather evidence, talk to witnesses, follow persons of interest, interrogate suspects, and when the need arises, engage in shootouts or brawls with the criminal element. Inspired by the hardboiled style of movies like Naked City, Chinatown, and L.A. Confidential, L.A. Noire features authentic clothing, cars, and items from the turbulent time period and more than 100 interior and exterior locales to visit.
The developer's MotionScan technology, designed specifically for the game, captures subtle movement and gestures from the faces of professional actors. This technology plays a key role during the questioning process, where you'll need to study the suspects' faces and behavior along with their statements to sort out the lies from the truth. In total, more than 50 hours of dialogue were recorded for the game.
ON FOOT CONTROLS
Left Stick = movement/manipulate clue
Right Stick = rotate camera
Triangle Button = enter/exit vehicle
Triangle Button (Hold) = make partner rive
Circle Button = leave clues analysis/reload
X Button = interact/investigate clue
Square Button = talk/interrogate/ask partner for help
R1 Button = enter/exit cover
R2 Button = run/shoot
R3 Button = look behind
L1 Button = discard found weapon
L2 Button = aim weapon
Select Button = bring up notebook/exit notebook
Directional Buttons = navigate notebook options
Right Button = call partner
Down Button = zoom out mini map
Start Button = pause
Left Stick = steering
Right Stick = rotate camera
Up Button = change camera
X Button = respond to dispatch call
R1 Button = handbrake
R2 Button = accelerate
R3 Button = look behind
L2 Button = brake
L3 Button = siren/horn
X Button = select truth
Square Button = select doubt
Triangle Button = select lie
Select Button = view notebook
L1 Button = use intuition point
X Button = punch
Square Button = dodge
Square Button (Hold) = block
Triangle Button = grapple moves
L2 Button = lock onto target
Circle Button = finishing moves
Similar in concept to such early adventure games as Police Quest, L.A. Noire has you thinking and acting like a detective in a meticulously detailed 1947 Los Angeles. Throughout the game's 21 cases, which will see your character work in multiple departments in the LAPD, you will need to survey crime scenes, pick up and examine items, and interview persons of interest to obtain new leads.
The interviewing segments are the main focus of the game, requiring you to use the evidence or clues you've collected to determine if a suspect is telling the truth, hiding some information, or outright lying to you. The facial scanning technology developed for the game is astonishing. Not only is the lip synching the most accurate of any title yet released, but subtle facial expressions come into play as well. You'll see brows furrowing, lips clenching, eyes darting, and similar tells that influence how you should respond.
Unfortunately, there are no dialogue choices in L.A. Noire, so you never know what your character is going to say to each witness, or the tone he's going to take, which leads to some frustration. You can only ask questions from a list of topics gathered from the clues you've discovered, then decide whether to believe, doubt, or disregard the suspect's answer. Lies require a specific piece of evidence to support, and wrong guesses will cause a witness to clam up, removing potential topics of conversation or leads from your investigation.
The clue finding part of the game is almost exactly like the point-and-click "pixel hunting" in graphic adventure games. You'll slowly walk around bars, apartments, parks, houses, alleys, and other areas to pick up photos, knives, wallets, receipts, and similar objects that may or may not be pertinent to the case. To help you locate the clues, a musical chime sounds whenever you are standing near them. Then it's a simple matter of tapping a button and looking closely at the object. When you've found all the clues in a particular scene, the background music will stop playing, so you don't waste time picking up every empty bottle or pack of cigarettes on the ground.
Apart from the clue collecting and interrogating, L.A. Noire also includes some action elements, but they are essentially limited to three things: on-foot chases after some surprisingly agile suspects, cover-based shootouts with criminals, and reckless vehicle chases. There are also some Assassin's Creed-like acrobatics, like leaping from platforms or scaling buildings, but this is kept to a minimum. Because you'll be doing the same things for each case, some will find the game's structure extremely repetitive.
The developers tried to get around this by introducing new partners, departments, and areas of the city to work from, but the cases aren't as diverse as they could be, and you'll be doing nearly identical tasks for each one. Fortunately, the story is strong, and the enormous cast of recognizable film and television actors, coupled with the extraordinary face capturing technology, will keep you glued to the screen for the roughly 20 hours it takes to complete the cases.
It should also be noted that the city itself is fantastic -- an amazing amount of work has gone into creating the clothes, billboards, cars, buildings, and landmarks that bring 1947's Los Angeles to life. Yet, sadly, the city is almost too detailed for this style of game. Aside from driving from location to location, which can be skipped if you want, there's not much to do outside of responding to some extremely short, scripted street crimes. It almost seems like the city is unnecessary, that the game could have been done in a level-based format with smaller set pieces instead of one sprawling environment.
For those who yearn for a return to classic adventure games, L.A. Noire will be a welcome treat. For those expecting an open-world sandbox game like the publisher's Grand Theft Auto IV or Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire's linear, interactive movie-like approach will be a turn off. Yet the game is worth experiencing for the story and setting alone, which is enhanced by some remarkable technology. L.A. Noire isn't quite the blockbuster game that many might have expected, but its high production values and distinctive atmosphere make it a must play title, if not a must own one. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide