Monday, June 20, 2011

LA Noire Game Review

 Team Bondi and Rockstar Games team up to bring gamers an epic experience that truly goes where no game has gone before.

 Set in Los Angeles 1947, the player takes control of war veteran-turned-cop Cole Phelps as he works his way up from on-the-beat street cop to Detective. The game takes an artistic focus on 1940/50s film ‘noire’ styles with characters, plots and environments drawing largely upon themes such as sex, drugs, glamour, fame, crime, gangsters and more.

The ESPV lowdown: with much anticipation we rushed out to play this game and even now, three weeks later we’re playing it as slow as possible so we don’t finish it too soon! Unless you’re strictly a fan of fast paced online multiplayer FPS games, LA Noire will almost certainly intrigue you and keep you wanting more. 

It’s fun to finally play a game as a cop. Not just any cop either, but one living in the 40s in LA with plenty of dark and dirty cases to solve. Whilst this game’s storyline is epically long and there’s plenty to keep you entertained throughout - it’s the style in which you go about solving cases that is truly impressive, definitely nothing I had experienced before. 

 Each crime scene (some of them very bloody) has clues scattered about that you must search for and document. Then when interrogating a suspect you must decide on which question to ask, whether they are telling the truth, and which clue is evidence you can use against them.

 Using Lightsprint’s RT Global Illumination Technology and MotionScan’s Depth Analysis, Bondi used real actors and 32 different cameras to capture real facial expressions of characters. This comes into play mostly when the player interrogates or interviews suspects of crimes… it’s up to you to watch the suspect’s face closely and determine if they are nervous, angry, upset, truthful, lying, or hiding something. This is what makes the game interesting. If you ask them a question and they seem like they are hiding something you can push them further or get shirty with them - but the results you get are not always the same.

 From petty cop to Vice Squad Detective there are a wide range of cases to solve including: fraud, theft, murder, serial killings, rape, drug trafficking, racketeering, arson and more.

 Overall the gameplay style is similar to a mix between GTA free roaming environments and a third person exploration game, like Tomb Raider or Assassin’s Creed.

With only minimal glitches we found little to be disappointed with. Getting around in the open free roam environment with your old school cars was fun at first but got a little boring towards the end as there is not much on street level to keep you amused such as in games like GTA4. Whilst some cases felt repetitive, overall I was always tested on every case and left wanting more.. in a good way.

Gameplay 9/10
Graphics 10/10
Storyline 9/10
Characters 10/10
Game life 8/10
Overall 10/10

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