L.A. Noire PS3 Review

So, I haven’t played this game in just about three years but I wanted to go back and finish getting some trophies that I was missing. Wanting to clean up my trophy list a little, I figured this was the best way to do it and also do a sort of flashback review. Not to be confused with my Throwback Thursday reviews though, so here’s what I thought about L.A. Noire:

The main story of this game revolves around douche bag cop Cole Phelps and his rise to success in the L.A.P.D and then the epic fail that comes a little later down the line. Replaying this game made me realize that this was really the start of games having highly unlikable main characters, but anyway back to the story. The game takes place in the 1940’s after World War II. Cole is back from the war and even more cocky then he was before the war and during the war. His time during the war will play out in various different flashback scenes throughout the game.

There’s a story within the story which I liked and you’ll see this play out in various different newspapers scattered throughout town and while you’re on different cases. This story revolves around some of Cole’s army buddies, who are by the way 10 times more likable then Cole, and a doctor who is trying to “help” veterans returning from the war with unconventional methods.

Both of these stories will eventually come together by the end in order to wrap up the main story. If you have the collectors edition of this game you’ll get to play the DLC missions throughout the main story, if not then it’s up to you if you want to spend the money and get the DLC for this game. The DLC doesn’t add anything to the story and isn’t really relevant in the game, so if you don’t get it you aren’t missing out on anything.

The story in this game is way too vague and the main character far too unlikable for this game to truly be interesting. It’ll hold your attention for a few hours at a time, but that’s all this game is really good for. The concept of this game is awesome, getting to play the actual good guy for once. The guy who is on the right side of the law and trying to catch different criminals. I liked actually investigating the cases and then talking to suspects and other people to see if they were telling the truth, hiding something, or flat out lying. These parts were fun and the time period was perfect, but that’s about it.

This game is lacking that personal aspect. You don’t get to see into Cole’s home life, but you see him cheating on his wife with some lounge singer. There’s no reason behind this, or at least if there is you don’t get to see it play out. I also don’t see anyone actually relating to Cole and his struggles. The man is simply full of himself. He acts as if he is always right and never wrong. He see’s the world as black and white without shades of grey and has the most cockiest look on his face throughout the whole game. Also, the man cheats on his wife…I mean come on! There couldn’t possibly be anything to make this character likable at all.

Movements in this game are clunky and awkward. Running is pretty awful and really doesn’t accomplish anything. The gun play and brawls aren’t bad, but they aren’t a main part of the game since this isn’t GTA. The driving around the city is alright, but it’s not all that great. Once again, this doesn’t really matter all that much since you don’t have to drive because your partner can.

The only thing that was effortless in this game was when you’re investigating evidence and talking to suspects and witnesses. Objects that are evidence can be manipulated to reveal details that you couldn’t see at first helping you get more clues for your case. Talking to suspects and witnesses is also something done with ease and is one of the nicer things in this game. I have to report that on more then one occasion this game hard froze and my whole system had to be restarted which just pisses me off more then you can imagine. At times this game also lagged and movements almost came to a standstill making me thing the game was going to freeze yet again.

The graphics are really the saving grace of this game. Hollywood is just beautiful and full of detail. Cars from that time period are nicely done and look real. Facial expressions are a big part of this game since you need to be the judge of them to see if someone is lying or telling the truth, and the graphics for this are just spot on. Facial expressions are distinct and different for each character.

There are a total of 61 trophies for this game, and that includes all of the DLC trophies. There are some easy trophies and then there are trophies that are a complete pain in the ass and just feel like a waste of time and effort. This trophy list takes collectibles to a whole other level because you will waste so much time looking for that one car that you need to complete your set of driving 95 different cars.

Thankfully there is no multiplayer. I don’t think I would have ever gotten the platinum if I had to endure a multiplayer mode in this game.

Overall I give this game a 2.5 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Interesting concept.
+ Cool time period and setting.
+ Nice graphics that hold up even today.

What’s Not So Great:
Unlikable and unrelatable main character.
Hard freezes, not at a particular time either just randomly and often.
Laggy game play that slows everything down.
Weird and awkward movements.

It’s unreal how much wasted potential is in this game. This game really had the making to be something great, but just failed miserably in every single way. Unfortunately this is one of the games that I just want to forget.

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