L.A. Noire

by - Sunday, August 17, 2014

Are there people out there in this modern world we're living that don't enjoy gaming? Seriously, are there? I know, I know, my question is rhetorical and obviously the answer is yes, but I'm NOT one of them! I personally love gaming and that's why I'm starting this style of blog posts, to share my favourite games with you!

I was having such a hard time deciding which game I wanted to share with you first, so I went for the one I played last and loved. Here is L.A. Noire!

L.A. Noire is a neo noir detective game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games (definitely one of my favourite companies). It's set in 1947 Los Angeles, where you get to play as Cole Phelps, a former war hero who joined the LAPD.

The game is broken down into individual cases that help Cole progress through the police ranks from a simple officer to a detective in Traffic, Homicide, Vice and Arson departments. You'll get to investigate crimes scenes, collect clues and interrogate witnesses and possible suspects, each time with the help of your assigned partner. When you finish a case you get a ranking on your performance based on how many clues you found, how many truth you got out of the people you interrogated and how much damage you caused in your interrogation.

But enough about that. The reason why I picked this game in the first place. 

From minute one that I watched the official story trailer I was hitched. I wanted to play it. The story looked way too interesting not to, plus it offers the aesthetic elements of film noir that reminded me of 40's and 50's Hollywood crime films. Brilliant so far. It was like reading Agatha Christie, listening to jazz bands of the era, watching CSI and driving some amazing cars while cruising down some of the most famous boulevards of L.A., all at the same time. And on top of that, the driving gameplay is exactly the one and the same used in Grand Theft Auto, which made the whole feel of the game even more familiar (because who hasn't played GTA even once in their lives?). Not yet convinced? 

The game uses a distinctive palette of dark, earthy, muted colours to create the right atmosphere but in true homage to film noir it includes the option to play in black and white. And we're not done yet. There are 40 mini crimes throughout, irrelevant to the main cases, that appear when you're driving an issued police car by receiving calls through its radio (some of them are really interesting). Don't forget that you get the option of just driving freely around the city and collect all the sightseeing achievements. And then there are the movie reels (fifty in total) and the car unlocking collection (ninety five cars). I also have to mention the incredibly realistic facial expressions all the characters have, a massive bonus during the interrogations.
But the jewel of the game is its soundtrack, or at least it was for me. It's the added element that ends up becoming the glue of it all.

So if you like car chases, gunfights, investigations, wonderful cut scenes, a quite interesting back story and a morally ambiguous main character, then look no further. I just hope Rockstar Games will indeed make a sequel rather than hint about one.

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