Customer Review

143 of 182 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, but it seems unfinished, May 18, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: L.A. Noire - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I'm enjoying playing this game (I think), but I'm finding it a bit clunky and frustrating in all the places it shouldn't be. And in far too many places I'm thinking "Is that all there is?"

I have framerate issues in some outdoors areas. Also, I'm experiencing annoyance caused by the fact that in some areas I can't climb low walls. Sometimes I can scale fences, sometimes I can't. The developers only made some features climbable. The Assassin's Creed series gets this right. This game, not so much. If you're going to make certain things climbable, make them all climbable. Don't make a fence climbable in one spot, but 20 yards away the same height fence is not. Nothing breaks the sense of 'suspension of disbelief' more than having your game character running in place when faced with a hose line or a 2ft high wall that the game developers forgot to allow you to negotiate.

Then there's the actual gameplay. It often seems to me that this is more a walkthrough than a game, as each game decision is virtually handed to you on a platter. Then, if you get a decision wrong, it hands you the right answer anyway. So none of the decisions you make actually affect the outcome of the game. It's essentially a linear game that's pretending to have a branching storyline that your decisions affect.

Then there's clunky gameplay factors like the investigations. You seem to spend most of your time running around interior walls waiting for a tell-tale controller rumble that tells you that you're in the vicinity of a clue - but try to pick it up and you find yourself stumbling about trying to find the exact spot the game wants you to be in to collect it.

When you get a suspect in for interrogation, often the question doesn't match the answer you give, and rambles on about other issues so that you can forget what the question was about. Then if you choose that they're lying, it's that much harder to figure out what it was they were lying about. Also, sometimes they're telling the truth, but the 'correct' choice was to say they were lying. How does that make any sense? In short, the interrogation system is poorly implemented and confusing.

When you get your partner to drive, there's no option to watch the action as there is in Red Dead Redemption. Although your character says "I'd like to check my notes" there's no option to do that. It just fades to the destination.

I do like the option the game gives to skip a sequence that you're having a hard time with. I wish the GTA series had this. Unfortunately, this game is so easy that I've not needed it so far.

Another annoyance is that the game's revolvers can take out a criminal at 300 yards. Your character has the ability to aim and fire a police issue pistol with the accuracy and range of a sniper rifle. On the other hand, you can hit a guy in the head or shoot him in the chest with no effect (they won't ever go down on the first shot). It's things like this - silly nonsense - that makes the game so annoying.

Finally, although I didn't expect this game to be GTA or Red Dead Redemption, I did hope for some of the usual stuff you get in a sandbox game. What this game offers is a few samey side quests and a few cars to collect. The side quests are all variations on the same theme - shoot the cop killers/bank robbers, and collecting cars has no purpose - they don't go faster, they don't have extra radio stations - nothing. Going by landmarks 'unlocks' the landmark, but for what purpose (other than a few game points) I don't know.

In general, the game seems unfinished. It's fun for a while, but the game features all seem to be floundering in search of some kind of focus. Also, you find yourself in a vast area of Los Angeles, but there's very little to actually do there. You can't go to movies, you can't do any mini-games. It just seems like this game spent all its time on graphics and had no time left over to flesh out the gameplay.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 20, 2011 1:03:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2011 1:06:37 AM PDT
great review. i think you hit the nail on the head. i find that a lot of games, like assassin's creed wow you with a different concept, and graphics, but it takes another release to make it all work. in other words, they are building a game engine or platform, marketing as a game, and then will add to that platform in a number of sequels. wait for la noire2.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2011 6:40:35 AM PDT
Mark Warner says:
Some of your comments about the game are just flat out inaccurate, so I voted your review as unhelpful. In particular the accuracy of the weapons. When I was playing the shootout at the movie set early in the game, I was totally unable to hit enemies on the far side of the set with my service revolver even with the crosshair pinned directly on them. It wasn't until I took a rifle off a corpse that I was able to peg them all.

There is also not one single interrogation where the suspect is telling the truth, and APPEARS to be telling the truth, and you have to say they're lying to get the checkmark for a correct deduction. You pulled that out of the air.

My only gripe with this game is that you can't pull out your revolver whenever you'd like, and shoot a fleeing suspect. Even if it would make me fail the case, I still want the option to do it. "Locking" my revolver in its holster just makes the game feel way too restrictive.

As far as repetitive side quests, LA Noire shares that problem with ever other sandbox game out there. There are only ever going to be so many things you can do in a side mission, otherwise they'd probably end up being part of the plot once they became "too interesting" to BE a side mission. LA Noire certainly does the sandbox thing better than say, Mafia 2, where they had to release "Jimmy's Revenge" to meet the demand for SOMETHING, ANYTHING to do in the Mafia 2 world outside of the story (and then they screwed it all up by making you play a new character you didn't care about).

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2011 7:49:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2011 7:51:44 PM PDT
B. Griffin says:
If I can address the interrogation point, Mark: I think what the reviewer means (and I share this view) is that suspects can be telling the truth, and truth still won't be the correct selection. "Truth" and "Doubt" are a too general of terms for the game to use as options, and three options (two very similar) don't appropriately cover the complexity of deception.

A lot of times, characters tell -part- of a truth or are being truthful, yet maybe witholding a detail, but truth isn't the answer for these types of situations; you have to select doubt. Yet, at the same time, doubt can be used to accuse someone of lying when you don't have the evidence to back it up. I think that's a problem; the system is too vague for its own good. It could use an option like "push," for example, when the suspect is being truthful, but not fully truthful. It acknowledges that they're not necessarily being UNtruthful, but that they could reveal more if pursued.

Posted on May 21, 2011 4:44:21 PM PDT
MayDay says:
I agree 100 % with everything you said and intend on writing a similar review. As an avid game player and a huge fan of murder mysteries this game was all about a huge area map and lacking largely in the murder mystery, suspension, and gameplay. I also couldn't stand: the gray area of objects your able to walk over, the complete lack of side quests or added angles of the game, the ridiculous and mindless way of collecting clues the repetitive murders, and the irrational interrogations. Half the time, you arrest someone you just heard about 5 seconds ago that has no motive and you have no idea what just happened.

Posted on May 22, 2011 4:25:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2011 4:27:18 PM PDT
M. B Cole says:
Even though I'm almost done with the game (arson desk) and enjoying the game, I gave you a helpful review because you listed out some great points on the games faults. I just wanted to add my 2 cents on when you are searching for clues. Not sure if the game tells you this, but the game manual says that if you want to make the game harder, you can turn off the chimes and the rumble for when you are looking for clues.

Posted on May 27, 2011 5:10:11 AM PDT
Andrew says:
Thanks so much! Very helpful review! Be waiting for the price to go down for sure.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2011 11:09:23 AM PDT
okay first off, many of the fences you cant climb have barbed wire on, look up smart guy... also... if you are questioning a suspect or a witness and you are getting the "answers" correct, you will end up getting more out of them, if you get the answers wrong, you get less, which will lead to locking up the wrong guy. also, you must not be very far in the game, because those landmarks come up later... you end up getting clues and are expected to figure out which landmark you need to get to next just by using the clues in a poem... true the game will hand you the answer after awhile if youre too lame to get there on your own, but sometimes the point of beating the game is personal gain right? like it was nice to know that I didnt need the game to tell me where to go next, Im going to bet since you werent paying attention to the landmarks you needed a little bit of help ;P and if you had a problem following the dialogue of the game (remembering the question they lied about) you should have hit the pause button and referred to the log book... The difference in interrogation for a detective and a witness and a lawyer and witness is that the detective needs doubt when pulling the lie card and a lawyer needs concrete evidence, so that is probably what you struggled with, for instance, at some point in the game youre supposed to accuse a man of murdering his wife hell say he didnt do it and that it wasnt anyone that knew her, you dont actually have any reason to choose lie, but based on his facial reaction you should choose lie, and based on the boat rope (that matches the rope marks on her neck) you will get that answer right... even though hes not your man, he'll spill the beans and youll get more points.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 9:02:23 AM PDT
J. Tong says:
An option like "Push?" That is, verbatim, for what the game describes Doubt as being used. Doubt is used when you think the POI knows something more, but doesn't tell you straight out. I can't think of any interrogation in which Doubt was the CORRECT choice, that Phelps actually accused anyone of lying. I agree that many times the interrogation system is too simplistic, but what you're asking for is there.

Also, I have never seen anyone survive a headshot in this game. Perhaps your accuracy isn't as unerring as you presume.

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 12:04:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2011 12:09:38 AM PDT
R. Robinson says:
I agree with your review 100%, but consider you left other things out to!!! Most important, the save points. Pretty much have to play a whole case just to feel at ease. I feel like playing the game is not necessary, due to lack of freedom in it. It so linear and predictable it has become redundant now that I have reached homicide...this game isnt worth beating because it already been beat, I just have to go through the motions.

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 4:11:10 PM PDT
T. Wilson says:
agreed it doesnt seem like they focused on all they things they should in the game ala gameplay,driving,ect and its frusterating and the story was kinda crappy at the end but eh its Noire
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