'L.A. Noire' Is an Insightful Game About Power, and a Product of Its Misuse

One of the key tenets of the noir genre is that the past is always going to come back to haunt you. The old business partner, the abandoned love of your life, or wartime decisions are always careening into the offices of noir protagonists, and shocking things are often revealed. Heinous acts and repressed memories reign in noir, and so it feels appropriate to look back to the biggest swing that blockbuster games have ever taken at the genre; Team Bondi’s L.A. Noire turns ten years old this week.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3aqb95/la-noire-retrospective-10-power-and-misuse
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As much as I do like LA Noire, it must always be stated that Brendan Macnamara is the Australian David Cage but somehow more gross and racist. Anybody remember Wh*re of the Orient? Fucking wow my dude.


extremely good article. I’ve been wondering how much of the violence is knowing subtextual critique vs unknowing usage of the tropes of the genre. i find one of the early wartime flashbacks interesting cause cole kinda defends japan’s reaction to the states in particular. the game iirc doesn’t address the war in asia but it’s kind of interesting how the facade crumbles in combat and how that pattern is reflected in his police career.