L.A. Noire is a game I found myself glued to the PS3 playing through, six years ago, with my girlfriend (now my wife), eagerly helping through each case. Some games age well with time and others don’t. It is necessary to mention that I opted to review this game on the Nintendo Switch. Therefore all my opinions will be focused on this version and not the also released PS4 and Xbox version.
The story is one of the most enjoyable aspects of L.A. Noire, where you take the place of a war veteran who establishes himself as a crime detective after impressing his superiors. However, Los Angeles in 1947 was rife with struggles for power and criminal masterminds so the 21 cases you have to solve only feel like half the problems.
When it comes to gameplay, the Switch offers the most varied version of the game. Obviously, you find yourself with two choices: play the game docked and on the telly, or wandering around your house. If you decide to play L.A. using the Switch as a portable, it is actually possible to complete the game by only touching the screen rather than any of the controls. You can also play it using the motion controls. Saying all of this, I decided docked was the best method as this is the only way you get the full 1080p resolution. Using the pro controller felt like I was playing on any console and eradicated most limitations the Switch may, or may not, have.
This title, itself, offers a mixture of gameplay – you’ll find yourself either driving, shooting or solving crimes. Unfortunately, there is an awful lot of driving, which is a real shame as it feels incredibly dated and boring. Even though there are a lot of different cars to drive, they don’t really do the job differently from each other, and the difference is that of an aesthetic nature rather than a real purposeful one. Sadly, the shooting is quite dated, too, and offers very little in way of enjoyment or variation.
When it comes to solving crimes, the unique elements of L.A. Noire shine. Searching areas for potential clues is fun and stimulates your instinctive side. However, the most challenging part of it all comes when you’re interviewing potential suspects. You have to decide whether they are telling the truth or not, or even whether you have evidence that proves they are lying. This is only possible due to the fantastic acting throughout the whole game. So many times I made incorrect choices which proved to be that I made the right career choice in life. This is what makes the game different, and even though I had completed it before, it all felt new again.
Graphically, L.A. Noire doesn’t feel like a game made six years ago, but it also doesn’t feel like a 2017 release. The face modelling is solid and would have to be due to the importance of reading their faces. Generally, they are crisp, but not quite up to the expectations we’ve become accustomed to this year. The streets look a bit bland, but I suppose they should, considering it was early in the development of the popular city.
Music and voice acting play a pivotal role in the success of the game and creates a unique and realistic feel to the whole game. Select songs and voices, which only fit perfectly with the aura on the ’40s. All the different characters bring something unique in terms of voice, but they all give you a realistic feel which immerses you in to the experience.
Even though I had completed this game before, I still found myself enjoying the 25 hours of gaming it took for me to complete it once again. I wasn’t compelled to partake in any of the extra elements the game has to offer. Potentially, this is due to the range of great games there are available at the moment and this is also because, at times, the game felt a bit dated.
If you have ventured into this world before, I think the Switch is going to be the best console on which to get this remaster. The controller options are cool (even though I didn’t use it much) and having the option to just walk into another room whilst still playing the game is brilliant. If anyone travels on trains a lot and wants a good game to play on the move, then this is for them. You will notice some drops in frame rate even if not much is happening, but as a Switch gamer, you will find yourself used to this.
Overall, I have once again enjoyed L.A. Noire and would probably even play it again if I’m needing to get on a train or fly somewhere. Although areas really feel like 2011, it still provides something different and unique.
Also check out Dom’s Xbox 360 review from 2011.
- Publisher: Rockstar Games
- Players: single player, multiplayer
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.