The Gleaming, Corrupted World of 'LA Noire'

In this episode of Guide to Games, we discuss L.A. Noire. Thanks to Geek Remix for game footage!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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I wish I had the same enthusiasm. I played it just last month and I really had to push myself through to finish it.

It’s rare to see a game so committed to never go off-rail. There is no curve at all, what you do at the beginning, you will do it exactly the same at the end. There’s no increased difficulty, no interrogations where you really have to think, no repercussions on what you do, and even Cole is deeply engaged into remaining a charmless brick.

I’d say the last part picked up because there was a hint of a story coming up together and Cole was really about to become something we could care for, but it never did, and when it was time to close it up, they just took the most cliché path out of a noir movie and called it a day. I think the most damning part is the war flashbacks told through snippets, they extended something that would have greatly benefited the game had it been told at the very beginning in its entirety.

I really wanted to like it. The music is fantastic, the facial animations and voice-acting is excellent, and for all its shortcomings, it is trying something that is very interesting ! Unfortunately the end result was a rockstar game-like without the content and a detective story without the charm.

I will remember that one part where this music played when Cole had to walk to an absurd crime scene that was right next to the precinct. At this moment I felt like nothing else mattered. It was Cole the detective going his way in a crime that happened right under his nose, ready to uncover another one of Hollywood’s shameless vice. This was a single glimpse of the true potential that L.A. Noire could have tapped, weaving every aspect of its incredible world recreation to an almost surreal experience between fiction and reality. Too bad.

I super love the game but it’s very flawed. The detail of the city is so over the top considering how empty it really is beyond collectibles. I’d love to have seen that city reused for other things somehow.

The great thing for us was that L.A. Noire was straight forward enough that both my wife and I could enjoy the game without getting bogged down in endless side quests. While the ending left a bit to be desired the interrogation stuff was a lot of fun!