Friday 3 June 2011

L.A. Noire

Sorry I haven't done a post in a few weeks now. Between getting addicted to L.A. Noire I bought a week back, creating my own Minecraft Server and getting back into Oblivion (Yes! Again!) I haven't really had the time. I'll tell you more about Oblivion later on in the week but for now I want to talk about the revolutionary L.A. Noire!

I bought it 2 days after release for £39.99, a lot, but I've been looking forward to this game for months so it was a worthy expenditure in my ever decreasing stash of money. I also bought it because Rockstar produced it and anything with their logo on rocks! *ahem* Red Dead Redemption *ahem*

You play as Cole Phelps an ex-marine-lieutenant who fought in Okinawa in WWII. He won the Silver Star, one of the navy's highest honours and then retired. When he got back he wanted to continue serving his country on home soil. Consequently, he joined the LAPD.

Long story short, you start off as a normal copper and your first case is to go to a crime scene where someone was shot dead. The detectives there tell you to find the murder weapon and then they drive off (lazy twats!). At every crime scene you visit, the 'Investigation Theme' will play. This is a moody piece of jazz music that continues to play until you discover all of the clues at the crime scene. Walking near clues will cause a light jiggling sound to play, you can then press the X button to investigate the object further. Not all objects are linked to the case. For example, on the first case, situated in an alleyway, you find lots of beer bottles that have nothing to do with the crime. If you find a significant clue, Cole will right info about it in his notebook which you can access with the Select button. You can view POIs' (Persons of Interest), Locations (which you can set as waypoints on your minimap) and Clues.

On every case there's always a POI to interrogate. When the interrogation begins, you can select any of the available questions from your notebook to ask them. They'll tell you an answer... but they may be lying. This is where the stunning facial motionscan technology comes into play. After they've told you an answer the camera zooms in on the POI's face and you have to study their facial expressions to determine if they are lying or not. This is usually seen through the evasion of direct eye contact, fidgeting or scratching or overall discomfort. If you think they're telling the truth you can select 'Truth' and see if you were right. You can also select 'Doubt' if you think they're lying or 'Lie' if you actually have evidence to prove they're lying. When you press 'Lie' you must then select a clue from your notebook to support your accusation. If you get it right, then a tick will be shown next to the question in the notebook and if you get it wrong a cross will be shown. Succeeding in all the question goes towards your end of case report.

You usually have to drive to each part of the case. Say if you learned that a POI lives in a certain apartment building and you need to interrogate them then you'd set a waypoint for the apartment building under 'Locations' in your Notebook then drive there. You can also make your partner drive there to basically skip the driving sequence all together (as you move up in the police force you get different partners).
Injuring civilians by running them over or causing damage to other vehicles and city property has a dramatic effect on your end of case report.
Most of the time when you try to confront a suspect they'll run away, sometimes on foot and sometimes they'll hi-jack a car quickly. The on-foot chases usually require you to run top-speed after the suspect. They sometimes climb up drainpipes to the top of buildings and up stairwells and so-on. When you get close enough you can tackle them to the floor to end the chase early, but if you're too slow the chase sometimes ends in a brawling sequence. You can also stop the suspect by pointing your gun at them or scaring to a halt with a warning shot. When suspects get in cars it's much more fun to be honest. You have to drive full-speed and get close enough for your partner to shoot out the suspect's car's wheels or ram them enough times so that they stop. It is very fun and is actually extremely realistic. Apart from  the 40 different street-crimes which activate when you are driving to the next location. There's not actually much else to do on this game. It's very linear focusing mainly on the story. Most people are under the misconception that it plays rather like Grand Theft Auto. This is untrue. L.A. Noire is a much more dark and serious game and that's what i really like about it. It isn't silly like sometime GTA can be. It's dead serious and the mood across the game (especially when on the Homicide Desk cases) is brilliant.

I definitely say it's worth picking this up. It's new and it's unlike anything i've ever played before... and it looks so great!