Screenshot of LA Noire Game Cover

What is LA Noire?

LA Noire was developed by Team Bondi and belongs to the neo-noir detective action adventure video game genre. Published by Rockstar games, it was released internationally in 2017 and it is inspired by the game of 2011. The new version uses the advancements of technology to breathe fresh life into a classic title. Its action takes place in the late 40s in Los Angeles, with players being tasked to control a character depicting a LAPD officer.

Key facts about LA Noire

  • LA Noire is just like the name suggests inspired heavily by the style of film noir.
  • Players are tasked with investigating crime scenes interrogating suspects and solve cases.
  • LA Noire has a solid single player, with a compelling protagonist and smart puzzles.
  • The game brilliantly succeeds at capturing the very fragrance of the 1940s LA.
  • LA Noire action takes place mostly indoors, with combat being largely disappointing.

Gameplay of LA Noire

The gameplay of LA Noire requires attention to details and patience, since players try to solve difficult cases. The game is played from a third person perspective and allows players to freely roam the land. In addition to completing the main quests that lead to the completion of the single player, they can take on pet projects. The Los Angeles of the late 40s is well-crafted, encouraging exploration and the world features many real life landmarks.

The vast majority of the time spent playing LA Noire unfolds inside, with very few things to do on the streets. Even though the central character Cole Phelps begins his career as a uniformed patrolman, he quickly makes it to detective. Players get a partner that will help them during the investigation of various cases. These are scattered across several police departments, such as traffic, vice, homicide and arson. Based on how successful they are at solving the case, players receive stars.

What makes the gameplay of LA Noire exciting is that players can see flashbacks as they control their character. Some of the memories go back to Phelps' war memories which make it easier to care for the main character. At the same time, players also control private investigator Jack Kelso, in the final stages of the single player. They are controlled in the same manner and during interrogatories players can accuse suspects of flying, believe or downtown.

LA Noire isn’t supposed to be a fast-paced action game, with the emphasis being him stand on details and patience. Even so, its gameplay occasionally includes melee and firearms attacks empowering the detective to fight enemies. Players can also run around, jump over vehicles and they cover, but outdoor mechanics are not that reliable or convincing.

Screenshot of LA Noire Hands Up

Plot of LA Noire

The LA Noire plot starts at the end of World War II, when Cole Phelps returns to LA as he joins the LAPD. Together with Officer Ralph Dunn he manages to solve a complicated murder case and this helps him promote. As soon as he makes detective, he is being tasked with solving various cases scattered across all important police departments. In Traffic he continues the hot streak of case solving, but finds himself mired in a scandal after a corrupt policeman uses compromising pictures against him.

Things take a turn for the worse when Phelps is disgraced in the police, while his wife also leaves him. He is being demoted to Arson and picks up a new leads that some of his colleagues suggest should be abandoned. Persistent as always, he keeps digging to find out more about the shady business of tycoon developer Leeland Monroe. He discovers that the latter is involved in a bigger plan that has the goal of defrauding the US federal government.

The plot of LA Noire gets increasingly complicated when the detective has to reach out to one of his former flamethrower operators from his military unit. Together with his friend Kelso, Phelps chases him down the LA River tunnels, eventually killing him. In the ensuing chaos, Phelps is also killed when the waters rise too quickly for the entire group to survive. The game concludes with people attending Phelps’ funeral, while the ones involved in the SRF scam exposed by him are sent to jail.

Screenshot of LA Noire Into Custody

Development of LA Noire

LA Noire development started in 2017, six years after the original game was released. As for the former, the team working on it began this project as soon as 2004 and both games were well received by the audience. With the new title, developers wanted to make sure that it captures the very essence of the classic version, while providing something new and fresh. They made the most of the advancements of technology to come up with a better looking game.

A lot of money was spent for creating this game, with estimates making it one of the most expensive videogames. Developers have every reason to make sure that the end result will be successful game that players would enjoy for a long time. A lot of time was spent trying to come up with the perfect setting for the story. They did a fine job at depicting the world that is not only realistic but also includes many of the landmarks of Los Angeles in 1947.

Developers went a step further and were also inspired by actual real-life crimes of those years. There are many cases solved by the fictional character that were inspired by those events. This makes players feel more engaged with the narrative, knowing that they are working on the same cases. Interrogatories are at the cornerstone of the LA Noire gameplay and players are presented with a broad spectrum of hints. The challenge is to put them all together and try to come up with a conclusion and eventually a perpetrator.

Where can I download LA Noire?

LA Noire can be downloaded from the website of Rockstar games, since this is the publisher of the game. They are famous for producing blockbuster hits, such as Grand Theft Auto for the Max Payne series. Granted they belong to different genres, these games are iconic for the company and definitely worth playing. Players are likely to find promotional deals for both of them, especially in anticipation of the winter holidays.

Screenshot of LA Noire Crime Scene

Those who would rather stick to the action-adventure genre should be looking elsewhere for such titles. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Batman A Telltale Games Series, Skyrim and even Assassin’s Creed Origins are interesting choices. These are all major hits and highly anticipated games, so it makes perfect sense to give them a chance.

What are others saying about LA Noire?

LA Noire reviews frequently compared the new game with the one it was inspired of. Six years have passed, so the comparisons are largely favorable and players appreciate the new graphics and sounds. While everybody was happy with the manner in which developers capture the essence of the first game and build on it, there was some criticism. Many players found it unreasonable to pay $60 for a game that is basically a re-release. There were some who were unhappy with the little action unfolding outside the police headquarters esident but overall it was the price tag that left many disappointed.

My Rating of LA Noire

There are so few original games out there that when you stumble upon something like this, you should hold onto it. As far as I’m concerned, both the original and the modern LA Noire games are worth playing. The only question that I have a harder time answer is whether I would recommend players to buy the new one after playing the former. $60 is indeed a lot of money for a game that is actually the same but with better visuals and superior game mechanics.

If you are among the lucky players who haven’t had the chance of playing LA Noire back in the day, don’t wait any longer. This is a game that deserves a review score of 9/10 and I’m confident you will enjoy the ride. It has intelligent puzzles, requires attention to details and takes players on a long and twisted ride. However, the voyage is in this case as good as the destination and it’s worth spending the time investigating.