If it's crap ... We'll tell you
L.A. Noire is a game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar that is set in a re-created Los Angeles in 1947.
Before anybody plays this game, I suggest you go in the pause menu and turn on the visuals to black and white. It will give you the full noir experience that this game is drawing heavily from.
The player takes control of Cole Phelps, a LAPD officer/war hero. You start off as a patrol officer and then quickly rise through the ranks of traffic detective, homicide, vice, and finally arson investigator. Each rank has a set of cases and a different partner. Most, if not all, cases were taken from real newspaper and police reports from the 40's. The names have been changed and the outcomes are different on some of those cases because they weren't solved.
As for the gameplay, the focus is more on the investigation side than the action even though there's a fair amount of the latter. Investigations start off with Phelps going to a crime scene and looking for clues. The player walks around the crime scene and whenever they hear a chime and feel a vibration, they press a button and Phelps will look at a clue. Not all clues will be helpful and Phelps will let you know if it doesn't contribute to the case. After the player finds the clues, it usually follows up with questioning witnesses and suspects. The questioning part of the gameplay relies on the amazing technology MotionScan. MotionScan records an actor's face from all angles and then plasters it on the character in the game. When the player interviews someone, they have a notebook with the questions and the clues. After asking a question, you have three choices of Truth, Doubt, and Lie. Depending on how the person Phelps is questioning is reacting, you can pick Truth if you believe they are telling the truth, Doubt if you thinking they are holding something back, or Lie if they tell you something that contradicts a clue that you found. If you pick correctly, you can branch out your conversations and get more clues to help your case.
Usually, you would hear that the game has great voice acting but this is a game with great performances. There are about 300 actors that are in the game and thank god/buddha/holy spirit, whatever belief you have, that they are all great. I hope Robert Zemeckis is taking notes. If you are a member of spill.com and you haven't been in a coma for the past ten years, you will catch yourself saying, "Hey I know that guy" or "Where have I seen that women before?"
Now that I'm done kissing this game's ass, let me wipe my lips, and tell you some of my complaints with this game. The game does get a little repetitive. Every case has the same kind of structure which is to go to a crime scene, look for clues, and then interview suspects and persons of interest. There are car and foot chases sprinkled in and that's it. This is a minor complaint because, just as in movies, it's not about the structure but the substance. Each case has it's moments and it's rewarding when you can read a person and correctly call them on their bullshit. Another complaint I have is the ending. It's not a bad ending but compared to the actual story, it's weaker. I won't spoil it, but there's a flashback story that shows Phelps during the war and it kinda throws off the flow of the main story.
With DLC coming out soon with more cases, I'm definitely keeping this game for awhile.
Final Verdict: FULL PRICE BUY