Tuesday, August 2, 2011

L.A. Noire Review - 9.5/10

This is from the gaming blog that I made, that blog is no longer up and I am moving it to this blog as a sub category blog. For more BandOfNerdz, click the page name to the right. More to come possibly but we will see what ever happens.

Hello everyone, this is Aaron from Band Of Nerdz and I am here to bring you a review of the new detective game, L.A. Noire. Before I get into my thoughts on the game let me tell you a little bit about the game first so you can get an idea on what it is about. L.A. Noire was developed and published by Team Bondi and Rockstar Games. This is Team Bondi’s first game and as their introduction development into the gaming industry, L.A. Noire brings components in a game that have not been used frequently. The game takes place in 1947, in Los Angeles obviously, during a time where crime and corruption were the norm. The player takes on the role of Cole Phelps, who is an LAPD officer who is trying to rise through the ranks of is department. He joined the police force because he wanted to “right the wrongs” that he committed during World War II. He starts off as a patrol-man, and rises to traffic detective, then homicide, then vice, when he finally becomes an arson investigator. Each of the different ranks gives the player a different partner to become you aide as you investigate crime scenes as well as making arrests and getting into brawls with criminals who don’t come down easily.

The video aspect of this game is the best I have ever seen by any game developers to date. Team Bondi and Rockstar Games went all out in this game and the time they took into creating similar faces and likenesses of the voice actors is amazing. I have seen videos before the release date of developer’s diaries and by the looks of things they took 360 degrees visuals of the actors and then created the characters from there. This also includes facial expressions as well and to get these precision expressions that you see in the game, the actors actually acted out the scenes in real life to help the developers get a feel for how to make the expressions work. I am certain this is correct, but I am not for certain, but let’s talk about the in-game visuals. Rockstar Games is the best company for making sand-box style games look beautiful. The similarities that they were able to create on a visual aspect to the actual 1940s Los Angeles are absolutely incredible and they did a good job with it. Like I said before about the facial expressions, the developers made this game unlike any other game. Facial expressions make up for a lot of the games focal point, as during interrogations, you must carefully read the face of the suspects while they are talking and be able to correctly call them out on being the truth, a lie, and also things that they say that are doubtful. The audio in this game is amazing, be it the car radio or the characters talking to one another. The car radio plays soothing jazz music from the World War II era and bring the mood of being in that time period. When characters talk it is almost like you are watching a move, as the synchronization of the characters lips and the audio of their voice are, if not exact, the best in any game.

This game has a very well rounded hand out of driving, action, and investigating. It is like any Rockstar game with that format like driving to missions and carrying them out. While driving around you must be careful for pedestrians and other drivers as at the end of each case, there is a rack up of all the economic damage you did. Sometimes it is hard to dodge pedestrians while in a car chase because while tailgating your target they do cause you to drive into them. I am sure if I used my sirens more that would not be a problem, but just a heads up. Since this game is more for the detective genre fans, the action portion of the game is able to be skipped if you cannot get passed that part. For the interrogation portion of the game, I myself find it hard to correctly carry out the interviews. Sometimes it is hard to decipher which of the three choices (truth, doubt, lie) the suspect is communicating to you. This also goes to show that the real interrogators out there must have a hard time figuring out when someone is lying or not, unless they have been at it for years. For those of you who find specific interrogation parts hard, it is possible to bring up your book and either remove an incorrect answer or to even ask the community (those who have done this part before) and it gives you the percentage of which answers players chose.

The achievement list is a mix of driving, discovery, doing things in a certain way in different cases. Some awesome achievements and names are the following:

Asphalt Jungle – Chase down and tackle a fleeing suspect on foot as and LAPD Detective
Not So Hasty – Stop a fleeing suspect with a warning shot as an LAPD Detective
Public Menace – Rack up $47 000 in penalties during a single story case
Keep A Lid On – Complete a brawl without losing your hat as an LAPD Detective or Investigator
Give My Regards – Shoot every letter down from the tower at the Broadway Hotel

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