La Noire Review

La Noire Review

LA Noire is a game that I have recently played the remaster on the PS4. The game was first released in 2011, developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games. It was a game very well received by critics, especially for its facial animation technology. In this review, I am going to explain why I feel this game is great but not a masterpiece.

A fresh take on storytelling

The story follows Cole Phelps, a returned soldier from the war living with his family in Los Angeles California who becomes a patrol officer and throughout the story we see as Cole is promoted throughout the game to different divisions. We play as Cole solving cases in each desk and as you play through the cases you start to see the dark side of Los Angeles and you see more of the story unravel. There are flashbacks after each case that we see Cole’s time in the war, his rise to the commander of a unit but how he was disliked by his fellow soldiers and especially a soldier named Jack Kelso. While you are solving cases you can see another story that you become involved in later on in the game through newspapers that are scattered around the city that you can find through doing the cases. The story follows Courtney Sheldon, another fellow soldier who returned home from war. Courtney convinced his fellow soldiers to steal the morphine from the army ships and to sell it to gangster Micky Cohen to make a lot of money, however, there plans to sell the morphine didn’t go according to plan and through the newspapers, we start to see what went wrong and how it unfolds.

Almost perfect gameplay

The gameplay in this game is mostly based on the interrogation scenes throughout the cases. The game was the first to use Motion Scan, software created by Team Bondi sister company Depth Analysis. They used 32 different cameras to capture facial expression, resulting in a highly realistic face animation that’s used for players to decide whether the person they were interrogating was telling the truth, telling half the truth or flat out lying. The game also requires you to look around the area for clues of a dead body or the house of a person who you intend to interrogate, where a little sound when near an object you can look at for further evidence. Where the game has weakness in its game is its gameplay, as its shooting mechanics in this game is pretty weak compared to other previous Rockstar titles.

A stunning open-world

To me where this game really shines is its beautiful design of 1947 Los Angeles California. They did a wonderful job of recreating of Los Angeles in 1947, a time when the war was just over and America was entering a new time.They did this by modelling the city using an aerial photograph taken by photographer Robert Spence to create traffic patterns and public transports routes as well as the location and conditions of buildings. They also used a distinctive colour pallet for this game to give a distinctive feel of the city. I believe in my opinion that they did a tremendous job and deserve a lot of credit for the open world they built.

The main weakness

The main weakness of this game is its side content. There are some street crimes in this game, about forty of them. These crimes require you to either chase down a person by foot or by car or are involved in a shootout, these crimes are fine but not much else can be said. The other side content is pretty boring and whether or not you’re a completionist, you will find these missions pretty boring. The content involves you to find fifty film reels all around the city, find twenty police badges, landmark locations and find hidden vehicles. This is content I feel shouldn’t be there because sometimes less is better and it brings the game score down.

Conclusion

Overall I think L.A. Noire is a great game. It has a story creatively well told, very good cases and interrogation scenes and a fantastic open world, what brings the game down, however, is its shooting mechanics and its poor side content, stopping this game from becoming a masterpiece.

 

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