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L.A. Noire

Developer: Team Bondi Publisher: Rockstar Games
17 May 2011
L.A. Noire - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.51 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
1,069 Ratings / 7 Reviews
#851 All-time
#23 for 2011
L. A. Noire is an action videogame that combines elements typical of the open world with other visual novels. It presents a faithful recreation of Los Angeles in 1947 (including references to black cinema and jazz music) and also a great care of the faces and the animation of the characters... thanks to motion capture, among them the protagonist, Cole Phelps, detective of the police department of the city.
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Set in 1947 Los Angeles, L.A. Noire follows the career of 27-year-old police officer and war veteran Cole Phelps. Starting from the bottom of the LAPD as a humble beat cop, Phelps rose up the ranks to an ace detective where his investigative skills will be put to the test against the shadiest characters of Los Angeles ranging from petty crooks to mobster bosses and corrupt politicians.
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3xDVD
XNA 7 10425 39803 2
Blu-ray
XNA 7 10425 37804 1 BLUS-30554
2011 Team Bondi Rockstar  
Blu-ray
CA 7 10425 37807 2 BLUS 30554
Show all 17 releases
2011 Team Bondi Rockstar  
Blu-ray
GB 5 026555 400374
2011 Team Bondi Rockstar  
Blu-ray
FR 5 026555 400381 BLES-00933
L.A. Noire The Complete Edition
2011 Team Bondi Rockstar  
4xDVD
XNA 7 10425 49094 1
2017 Team Bondi Virtuos  
Blu-ray
XNA 7 10425 47961 8 CUSA 09084
Game card
XNA 7 10425 45963 4 LA-H-AFQMA-USA
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2017 Team Bondi Rockstar  
Game card
GB 5 026555 066976 LA-H-AFQMA-UKV
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XNA 7 10425 49962 3
L.A. Noire The Complete Edition
Blu-ray
XNA 7 10425 47093 6 BLUS-30898
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Title
There are plenty of things that make me feel seriously old these days, but one that stands out a lot as a gamer is remembering a time when the number of hours a game took was an important selling point. Final Fantasy [ファイナルファンタジー] games, Baldur's Gate, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Civilization, Football Manager - back when I was about 14-15, it felt like just about the only thing I judged a game on was how long I could play it. But of course, things change - you get a job, get a girlfriend, have to actually make an effort to keep in touch with your family rather than just see them at dinner time every day, and suddenly a game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim looks almost hilariously unappealing to the 27 year old me, considering that it was literally exactly the kind of game the 14 year old me wanted.

So I guess it says a hell of a lot about L.A. Noire that it's the only game I've played in 10 years that I actively wish was longer. A lot longer. Even with all the DLC added, L.A. Noire feels too short, a trip into a fantastically fully-realized world that cries out for sequel after sequel after sequel. Sequels that, thanks to the well-documented issues between Team Bondi and Rockstar, we'll probably never get.

The first thing you'll notice about this game, and the first thing any discussion about it really has to start with, is that it looks absolutely phenomenal. That Team Bondi managed to get a game to look like this in 2011, a whole console generation before it even makes sense for anything to look like that, is incredible - and better yet, the graphics are completely integral to the gameplay. Because so much of the game is spent interviewing people, looking for their tells, being able to cast doubt on what they're telling you, it simply wouldn't work without the level of detail in the character's facial work that L.A. Noire brings to the table. Thanks to that, playing this for the first time carried with it a childish, giddy thrill, a sense of disbelief that it even exists, that you're even playing it. For somebody in their twenties that remembers how incredible some PS1-era cutscenes looked at the time, L.A. Noire is a real 'started from the bottom, now we here' moment. Christ, I owned a ZX Spectrum when I was 6. Imagine if music had ever advanced this much in 21 years.

It's a magnificent period piece, too. The game is very careful to tell you that it takes place in 1947 (to the point where one of the trophies is unlocked by driving 194.7 miles), and it's clear that they carefully considered pinning it down to that year - it allows the game to take place during Hollywood's Golden Age, with all the misty-eyed glamour that entails, but also in the aftermath of World War II, with a whole slew of characters trying to rebuild their lives after serving their time in the marines. The research that went into building the world up from those two ideas is almost as impressive as the graphics - there are references to contemporary films and news events all over the place, and half the crimes you investigate are crimes that actually took place in LA during the '40s (most notably the Black Dahlia murder, which you solve and are then given a reason never to reveal the murderer's identity - nice touch). The architecture, the cars, the fashion; this is, frankly, as perfectly realized as gaming gets.

You can understand, then, why it was the first film ever to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival; and yet, it's the more film-y elements that hold the game back a little. While the world and the presentation (including the soundtrack, incidentally) are absolutely fantastic, everything else is good rather than great - the storyline is interesting without being as provocative or gripping as it might be, and the characters are appropriate without being especially empathetic. The gameplay elements, too, are at times ridiculously easy. I like that, because it allows you to enjoy the world and soak it all up without becoming frustrated and constantly being reminded that you're playing a game, but it means that the sporadic action sections - car chases, shootouts, and the like - are fairly repetitive and not very compelling to watch rather than play. It certainly can't stand up to many other triple-A titles of recent years on that count. It's refreshing when viewed as a game, in the sense that it gives you a gun but gives you a responsibility to only use it when necessary, but seen in cinematic terms, it falls a little flat. L.A. Noire feels like it's encouraging you to view it as a film a lot of the time, but that's just about the worst way you could possibly look at it.

It stills ranks as a hell of an achievement, though. Right now, in 2013, L.A. Noire feels like it's ahead of its time, and it might well be three or four years into the lifecycle of the PS4 and XBox One before we start seeing a regular stream of games that match up to it at the things it does best. It's flawed, sure, but I'd still feel that anybody who owns a console capable of playing it would be missing out in something special if they skipped it. I guess that's what makes it so galling that we're unlikely to ever see a true sequel for it; if somebody ironed out the flaws from this game (and they're pretty easy flaws to fix) without damaging its strengths, we'd surely be looking at one of the greatest video games ever made.
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Iai 2016-04-11T15:32:21Z
2016-04-11T15:32:21Z
3.9
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Things I've Learned
- I am dumb. no matter how much I pay attention to something, I still won’t be able to comprehend and decipher everything. it’s not the game’s fault that I struggle with remembering who everyone is, and that actually makes the game more enjoyable for me as a result.

- I LOVE the ability to have my partner drive to skip driving to the location, but may have used it too frequently. it’s nice to keep the game moving, but I’m sure I missed out on a bit. then again, I feel the game could have not been open-world and still retained the same feeling.

- the dialogue choices are too vague. it took me a bit to get used to the difference between Truth and Doubt and the difference between Doubt and Lie. I learned it’s always helpful to choose Lie if you’re suspicious about someone as it could potentially reveal a more obvious decision the game wants you to make, and you can always back out of it as well. on the other hand, the correct/incorrect chimes are a bit too obvious. I think it would have been so much more interesting if the game didn’t give me immediate, concrete feedback on how I was doing, and instead let events play out how I handled them.

- too much of this game felt meaningless. initially, my choices felt very validated with how actions progressed. as soon as I realized that the story wouldn’t have progressed any differently had I gotten everything correct or everything wrong, I didn’t feel as attached to the whole scope of the game anymore. the story itself is fantastic, but feels too linear when I think about the possibility of multiple endings based on how well I solved cases.

- I haven’t had a lot of gaming experiences, but this will definitely remain as one of the most unique ones for a long time. never before have I wanted to be a 1940’s detective; investigating crime scenes, conducting interviews, shooting out car tires, all while spouting now-outdated vernacular and trying to appreciate that new “bebop” music.

- bit clunky both in gameplay and the incredibly impressive facial animations making everything else look a bit lifeless. still enjoyable enough as a game, but can sometimes feel a bit more like a semi-interactive movie.
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GalacticHole 2022-04-20T17:22:03Z
2022-04-20T17:22:03Z
3.5
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I used to be a marine
It was already a masterpiece before the memes but I'm grateful to have this game consume a not-negligible part of my entire personality.
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delphinethedumpsterqueen 2022-01-11T20:31:05Z
2022-01-11T20:31:05Z
4.5
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This is definitely one of the best detective games you can buy. The crimes in the game feels gritty and realistic as they were based on real cases in 1940s Los Angeles. The facial motion capture is amazing, not just for the interrogation but the acting in cutscenes, making them really captivating to watch. The gameplay is quite linear, however the game provide you with enough freedom to make you feel like you are a detective, while not making the game too frustrating to play. There are also many cases where there are multiple endings and you have to decide who is the criminal upon interrogation. The interrogation in this game is amazing especially with the facial capture. While sometimes the actors exaggerated their facial movements, many times it is very hard to tell and you will have to review the evidence to decide whether they are lying, especially in the DLC cases. The investigation gameplay in this game is very satisfying as by collecting all the clues and making good decisions during interrogation will not only provide you with more clues but also make you more aware of the motives and the suspects, making subsequent interrogations more fun as you feel like you know what you are doing. This sense of progression make investigation feel very rewarding. The game story and characters are also very well written and keep you playing.

However if you think this game is like GTA, you won't enjoy it. The open world, while faithfully recapture Los Angeles, is lifeless and boring with nothing to do beside the repetitive Street Crimes. Most of the times you will have your partner driving for you since the map is way too oversized for a game like this. If you want a detective game, this is great.
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quanhoang0412 2021-10-09T16:28:19Z
2021-10-09T16:28:19Z
3.5
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Absolutely unplayable on PSVR. Controls are wonky and clues prompts won't trigger even by bumping your head on them. The cases are not even interesting, you just find clues (when they are not bugged) and try interrogations until you get them right.
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manicure 2021-09-28T11:13:47Z
2021-09-28T11:13:47Z
15
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Pedophilia, Falling platforms, Corruption on the force, Exploding barrels, PTSD, Headshoot achievements, Fraud, using a flamethrower...
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IanCandido 2020-04-05T19:20:39Z
2020-04-05T19:20:39Z
3.0
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Catalog

getlostdave L.A. Noire 2022-09-28T01:37:15Z
2022-09-28T01:37:15Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
soulless_ L.A. Noire 2022-09-28T01:03:32Z
Xbox One
2022-09-28T01:03:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mierdonardo L.A. Noire 2022-09-27T02:54:54Z
2022-09-27T02:54:54Z
4.0
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Trexx L.A. Noire 2022-09-26T03:17:48Z
2022-09-26T03:17:48Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PashaAlex L.A. Noire 2022-09-25T00:45:43Z
2022-09-25T00:45:43Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PoopMan78 L.A. Noire 2022-09-23T16:59:25Z
2022-09-23T16:59:25Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zero_signal L.A. Noire 2022-09-23T16:41:53Z
2022-09-23T16:41:53Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
RoanokePhoenix L.A. Noire 2022-09-23T15:53:45Z
PS4 • XNA
2022-09-23T15:53:45Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PS4
Xiuhcoatl L.A. Noire 2022-09-21T04:20:03Z
2022-09-21T04:20:03Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
allenco L.A. Noire 2022-09-20T14:59:27Z
PS4
2022-09-20T14:59:27Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sred87 L.A. Noire 2022-09-18T22:47:07Z
2022-09-18T22:47:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
howdoyouuseaname L.A. Noire 2022-09-17T17:23:10Z
2022-09-17T17:23:10Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: M
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Blu-ray

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  • Previous comments (22) Loading...
  • Tupac_Shakur 2021-09-24 07:35:13.778281+00
    The gameplay is lacking, but the story and dialogue is the best I've ever seen in a video game.
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  • jamboricks 2021-10-24 00:28:12.448118+00
    Memorable as fuck but man I really remember this being better than it is. The worldbuilding and general vision is still fantastic, but it's still overly repetitive in gameplay senses and decisions lack weight when you figure out that the same thing happens no matter how well you play
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  • xcvviii 2021-10-25 03:39:26.419361+00
    your save data has been corrupted
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  • Drug_Use 2021-10-25 20:49:55.254916+00
    I only played this after RDR2 and damn, I thought the open world in that was pointless, but this takes the cake or even multiple cakes. I have no idea why this is even open world.
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  • MoreWatson 2022-04-21 11:27:25.732621+00
    God I love this game so much

    your save data has been corrupted [2]
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  • benadryller 2022-05-16 04:59:06.145481+00
    YOU LEFT LEANING PARASITE
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  • Surskit 2022-08-26 18:07:27.036256+00
    "everything needs to be open world"-core
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