L.A. Noire Review
Available now on Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. There is also a VR option coming to the HTC Vive soon.
Tested on the Xbox One X.
L.A Noire released all the way back in 2011, it was a major hit by Rockstar back then but how does the remaster hold up against the test of time?
If you played the original like I did myself back back in 2011, straight away the nostalgic music will bring back memories, graphically as expected with a remaster things have improved too.
Taking control of detective Cole Phelps you and your partner will be sent out on investigations to solve crimes. Straight away the extra horsepower of today’s consoles can be seen especially on the Xbox One X in 4K resolution. lighting effects throughout are really impressive with certain scenes really showing this off like light beaming into rooms as well as the way it comes off the pavement, this is a massive improvement and adds much more immersion.
One of my favourite parts of L.A. Noire though has to be the facial animations! Even after all these years the accurate facial expressions and movements really stand out and could show a fair few games today how it’s done! Faces aren’t perfect though and still look a bit muddy but the accurate facial movements more than make up for this.
Visually there has been a fair few improvements and everything does look noticeably sharper but the only real let down for me is the actual texture quality. I found the game looking much cleaner and shaper at times especially night scenes with the lighting effects, daytime however is not quite as strong and can show some lack of detail in the high detailed textures, roads, paths and buildings tend to highlight this.
I struggle to believe the game is coming up to six years old, with that in mind it makes you appreciate the game we had back then even more!
Facial animations would mean nothing if the voice acting wasn’t on point, here though is another strength for L.A. Noire, it’s fantastic! Voice acting plays a major part in L.A. Noire, with interrogations making good use of some very believable acting! Sound wise the old fashioned music representing the 1940’s fits perfectly with the world around it as well as the constant chatter and banter between characters.
Gun shots hold a real punchy sound as well as the environment around you smashing to the floor as bits of the cover you are hiding behind fly off.
This leads me onto the gameplay, be ready for some very slow chases! Driving around the city is actually pretty fun with cars being able to really slide about around corners even at the slow top speed they have, streets are filled with other cars, pedestrians and objects to avoid which can make chases a little more challenging but in a good way.
Gun fights are also good and in some ways even feel better than GTA V, L.A. Noire feels really punchy when shooting and has a good cover system. As I mentioned earlier about sound during gun fights, parts of the environment will be blasted off and the same goes for the cars as they are fully damageable! Occasional shots at the enemy will result in blood splatter all up the wall as well as bullet shot wounds to the body. It is all these little details that show a good attention to detail.
Not all gun-play! There’s nothing wrong with a good old punch up!
While the gun fights are great there is much more to L.A. Noire, fist fights are particularly fun! You can punch, dodge and grab and throw until you get that all mighty upper cut to finish the fight and take the criminal in! It isn’t all fighting and chasing there is another key part of the game though and it’s far calmer, some chapters will have Cole searching the area for clues, once all the clues have been found it will be back to the car and off to the next destination.
The other key part of the gameplay is questioning witnesses, this is mainly where them facial animations come into their own! Given the ability to use one of three options you will need to question the witness to try and get the truth. Truth, doubt and lie options which were in the 2011 game have now been replaced with good cop, bad cop or accuse to interrogate the suspect in search of the truth, watching facial animations is key here and you can take a quick glance out of your notebook to watch the nervous looking witness to see if you think they are lying!
Accusing the witness isn’t just a matter of doing it and it will stick, you will need hard evidence to accuse and get the truth so making sure you are right before accusing is crucial.
Los Angeles is an open world to explore.
Los Angeles is a beautiful open world and one that everyone should explore if they haven’t already, Cole Phelps is a really likeable character with a past that is shown throughout the game, moving through the chapters Cole will change departments from being a traffic officer to the interesting homicide division, this is a great way the game keeps things from getting stale.
The story without giving to much away is full of twists and turns and the city is great to explore with it’s well packed out environment. The added DLC with this version is all included and adds many more cases to be solves and criminals to be locked away making this game well worth it’s price tag especially for new players who have never played it in the past!
L.A. Noire is an extremely well written story with plenty of twists and turns along with outstanding facial animations and facial expressions. The graphical upgrades are very noticeable and everything is much sharper although some textures and objects just lack a bit of detail. Anyone who never played the game back in 2011 should experience it now especially on Xbox One X in 4K if possible!
8.3 / 10
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