L.A. Noire: A good game but not great

I’ve always been a fan of thinking games over violence games. Some of my favorite titles growing up were a lot of those Sierra titles that made you think to get through a game rather than fight or button mash. L.A. Noire seemed like the kind of game I would instantly fall in love with. While it is good, I still have some issues.First and foremost let’s dispense with the synopsis of the game. You’re a cop in L.A. post war. You have to solve crimes. You do so by gathering evidence and interrogating suspects to discern whether or not they are telling the truth. I am leaving a lot out of the game, but why would you read spoilers anyway. So there are less shootouts, less violent chase scenes etc.

This lack of random violence is a point of interest since the game’s producer, Rockstar Games, is notorious for the exact opposite. Rockstar titles were ones you could go around damaging and killing as you please. Not the case in L.A. Noire. You can’t pull stunts like that as a cop.

Which brings me to the crux of my dislike for the game. Now I would never attempt to tell you that it’s not a good looking game. It’s one of the best I have seen in years. The feeling and look of the game put you right in the middle of the game and it’s incredibly immersive.

The fatal flaw I have with this game is the most ironic. Rockstar games who practically invented the open environment game, put about 90% of the game on rails. Yeah, you interrogate  a suspect and guess wrong? Just start over. I found this incredibly problematic since it basically turned the part of the game that requires thinking to be nothing more than trial and error. How they managed to rail a game that should be as far from rails as possible is beyond me. I mean what is so wrong with failing and moving on?

With that said the game is still very recommended by me. Just don’ expect to have a real mystery on your hands, just a lot of auto saves and loading screens.

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