L.A. Noire Impressions

Watchin' Faces, Solvin' Cases.

I got L.A.Noire in the mail last night, and couldn't help myself but play a few hours and introduce myself to Rockstar's newest title.

I went through all the "tutorial" missions, and completed my first full case.  The tutorials were rather linear and localized.  Once I got to the first case, the world really opened up, and the GTA nature of Rockstar games came to light.  After completing the first case, the next case started immediately, which was somewhat dissapointing.  It felt very linear, but maybe later on they'll give you a choice of different cases to follow and accomplish.

When solving a case, you most collect evidence from the crime scene, interview witnesses, and follow the clues.  The clues will bring you to different locations in 1947 Los Angeles, and the case continues to unfold.  The first case ended rather predictably, and there really wasn't much variation.  Though, I'm sure that later cases will have multiple valid endings.

It's actually pretty fun.  It's very much in the same vain of your Ace Attorney titles, except completely presented as an open world Grand Theft Auto.

I was somewhat bored with it last night, but the more and more I think about it this morning, the more and more I want to return to the world of Cole Phelps.

It's pretty similar to Heavy Rain. You definitely do a lot of the same things in the same manor, such as interrogation and crime scene searching, but it doesn't feel the same. I'm not really sure why...

Crime scene searching is nearly identical. As you walk around, the controller will vibrate if there's a clue nearby. Your character picks it up, and can twist and twirl it around to look for specifics. If it's relevant, you make a note of it in your crime log. These clues can be used as evidence later on when interrogating people.

Interrogations involve a list of questions in your crime book. You ask a question, and the person gives a response. You have 3 options. You either believe them (truth), or doubt them, or call them a liar. I'm having trouble telling the difference between Doubt and Lie. But from what I can tell, you can call them a liar if you have definitive evidence their statement is false. You can doubt them if you think their statement is false, but have no real evidence to back it up.

What's hilarious is as your detective level goes up, you can use a "life-line" to help you choose truth/doubt/lie. Using a point will take a way an answer. You can also "phone a friend" by using points to see what the Rockstar Social Club recommends. :)

I guess it reminds me more of Phoenix Wright, rather than Heavy Rain because Heavy Rain felt more fluid and natural. Phoenix Wright and L.A.Noire have a very apparent game-y layer for the investigation and interrogation that does not suspend my disbelief. But you still do the same type of things in all 3 games.

It's hard to not say this is some kind of a GTA clone, since it is open world and made by Rockstar.

While GTA is totally open world, and you can pretty much do anything at any time, L.A.Noire feels more restrictive. Between Case 1 and Case 2, there was no leisure time, or even an option to choose Case 2. In that manor, it feels less open, and far more mission oriented. I feel like I'm wasting time, when I'm driving off to stop a random street crime, search for hidden cars, or find historical landmarks. Also, since you're playing a cop, you don't really have much the full spectrum of morality choice. It's kinda like Mass Effect in that way, where you're either play Captain Picard or Dirty Hairy. You're still on the good side of the law. And you can't change that.