L.A. Noire – It’s great, but how is the game actually played?

L.A. Noire is a work of art.  While I haven’t had a chance to delve that deeply into L.A. Noire’s 3 disks of content (on the 360, not brave enough to log into PSN), I can tell you this.  The game does things that have NEVER been done in a game before. If you’ve ever seen a procedural cop-drama you’ve seen how it all plays out.  Check out our quick look at how the game is played.  Full review coming soon.

  • You get a call – A homicide has occurred: Crimes range from hit and run traffic accidents to terrible blood soaked mega mysteries.
  • You and your partner drive to the scene: Yes, you can actually “drive” GTA style.
  • While you’re en route you may receive a call on your radio – These are the game’s side missions and can be used to advance your level.
  • You examine the scene of the crime for evidence: Pick up the dead body, check his/her pockets, look through drawers.  There is a lot to do at a crime scene, and finding all of the clues can be a real challenge.  It’s slow paced, but also a lot of fun.
  • Talk to witnesses: Talk to people that may or may not be involved with the crime.  The voice acting and facial animation is spectacular.  In order to do well during questioning you actually have to listen to a characters tone of voice and inflection.. spooky real.  Ask the wrong questions and you could end up losing some valuable evidence.
  • Unravel the crime:You now have to put all the pieces together – On occasion you’ll have to drive around town to another witnesses’ home, a seedy bar, or whatever else the story calls for.  The whole city is at your disposal and travel is quick and simple.
  • Some Action: It’s not all talking and searching, there are action elements as well.  Specifically, running, shooting, and driving.
  • Interrogation: Some cases require you to interrogate the witness. During these intense interrogation sequences you must use all of the evidence you’ve gathered to force a confession out of your suspect.  It’s totally unique and very dramatic.

BTW: You really need to be playing this game in black and white mode, it’s amazing. Full review as soon as the game has been completed.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Ryan

    I’ve already had to restart due to not paying attention. I’m going to be entering FULL ON NERD MODE ™ this evening and keeping an ACTUAL notepad next to me while I play… so sad.

    The one thing I was disappointed to read was that no matter how poorly your interrogations go, you’ll always get the right guy. Clearly this is a necessity to keep some kind of narrative going, but I eagerly await the day that a bad decision can either completely screw your chances of “beating” a game, or splinter you off into some new, un-thought-of story arc to explore.

  2. Ash

    Ryan! I was going to do the notepad as well! Even though you have a digital notepad that keeps track of most important things, I think there are some little hints and details that an ol’ analog book would do quite well to capture. Glad you’re liking it.

    1. Ryan

      Yeah, I’m really early in and I’m already paranoid that I’ve missed something crucial. I’m also horrible with remembering names, which led to good times in Assassin’s Creed, so I’m thinking writing them down might help.

      I would love to hear what my 20 year old self would have said if I told him he would one day be taking notes while playing a video game.

  3. Scott

    “but I eagerly await the day that a bad decision can either completely screw your chances of “beating” a game, or splinter you off into some new, un-thought-of story arc to explore”

    *I think the game you might be looking for is Heavy Rain

    1. Ryan

      I’m thinking more of a game with literally infinite possibilities, which won’t happen until we have actual AI; not so much a game where you can screw yourself from winning.

      Also, I’m not buying a PS3 🙂

      1. Scott

        I think the game you’re looking for is “real life”.

        A “game” where literally anything can happen has no rules, which, by definition, breaks the very premise of what makes a game a game — rules, feedback, goals, etc.

        If there were no rules for Golf, for example, then I would just walk up to the hole and put the ball in by hand. Hole in One every time… or maybe I’d just hoverboard off the golf course, grab a smoothie, then nap on my couch in the middle of the day. I don’t see how this would make for compelling gameplay.

        1. Ryan

          Thanks, Morpheus (JK!)

          I still like the rules and whatnot in a game, but I’m thinking along the lines of if you screw up Case A, you get a new AI generated Case B (this is not going to happen for 100s of years); or for a more specific example, if you present the wrong piece of evidence to a suspect in LA Noire, but you have the correct piece, you should be able to show them that too. I dunno.

          Also, I would rather be a cop in a video game than in real life.

  4. Cohen

    When it comes to mission based games I tend to try and complete every mission…does that seem like a possibility with this game? It sounds like if I venture off on a side mission I may miss content somewhere else.

  5. Ash

    Cohen – The game is actually pretty linear. While you can drive around the city and see the sights there is very little reason to do so. You can actually only do one “case” at a time which means, unlike GTA, you never get overwhelmed as to what you’re supposed to do next.

    linear open world.

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