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on March 13, 2013
I'm typically a fan of more RPG, open-world types of games, so I put of trying this game until I was able to get it at a heavy discount, and overall I was pleasantly surprised. The facial animation technology is one of the more impressive developments I have seen in games in the past few years, and the story was surprisingly captivating for a game. The developers tried to incorporate some elements that aren't too common, and some of them hit and others missed.

My main complaints:

1) The "open world" - I'm not really sure what the point of this was, other than to claim an open world environment in the marketing. The only thing open is that you can drive around, but there is really no incentive to do so. The city is pretty well made, but there just isn't any sort of reward for exploring or side quests. After the first few missions, I made my partner drive everytime because I just didn't want to bother with it.

2) The investigations - The investigation process loses its novelty after a few missions. Essentially all you do is wander around until you get indicators that there is a clue. I wish that the developers would have done less spoon-feeding and made the tasks a bit more of a challenge.

3) The interrogations - This is where the facial technology should really shine, but it falls through a bit in my opinion. The subtleties in expression that should be the main selling point aren't necessary since it's always extremely obvious when they are lying.

While these might sound like some pretty glaring issues, and maybe they are, the overall atmosphere of the game and the overall narrative outweigh the gameplay flaws and make this worth playing through if you enjoy story drive games. If you are looking for a shooter / GTA type game, this certainly isn't it, but it is a refreshing change of pace in a game that tries to really flesh out the characters. One last thing, I would recommend playing with a gamepad. Personally, I use and Xbox 360 controller, and it works great. It's not imperative, but I think it contributes to the playing experience.
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on September 2, 2014
As a fan of rockstar games, I thought I would like this game. The concept of using the actors faces seemed cool, and I do like the film noire genre, so I had high hopes as I downloaded this game. The gameplay....is bad, haha. You aren't really solving a mystery, more just kind of interviewing one person, then they tell you to go talk to someone else, ect.. So you are just following prompts that take you around the city. I played it for several hours hoping it would get more interesting, but it didn't. You can crash your cars like in GTA but there just isn't that much fun to be had. The campaigns / stories / challenges are really boring to get through. As I play, I can appreciate the work that went into creating it, it's really a beautiful game, but playing it isn't fun so I gave up and haven't played it in the year since I paid for it.
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on April 28, 2012
This game has made it a habit for me to cruise my Amazon recommendations, as I got it when it was $4.99. The graphics on this game are extraordinary! Most games for when people speak make them look like Pac-Man, but this is so photo-realistic that it's amazing.

This is a very good detective game. My first--and pretty much only--experience with detective games were the original Police Quest games from Sierra. This is leaps and bounds ahead of those. Not all clues are obvious, and not all places to look are obvious, either, which adds to the fun.

I also had a problem with the patch; I had to keep running the game until it finally worked. That makes it lose a star--less computer savvy people will get very frustrated by this. The first time I played it, I got a warning upon shut down that my processor was overheating. I don't overclock, so this was a bit alarming; I've read that this is common for the PS3 version. I haven't had an issue since, and my computer is well above the requirements for this one.

A fair warning--this game is rated M for a reason. I've had other rated M games and didn't think twice about letting my boys watch me play. This one is one to exercise caution on--from the abundant use of profanity to the full frontal (and since I've raved on the photo-realism, highly-detailed) nudity, don't let young ones play this one.
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on April 12, 2012
Unfortunately I had to download this 14 GB game six, yes six times, before acquiring a working installer; unfortunately, even after finally getting an installer which works, the game will not run. Technically, it does run but I never see the game open up. I can see the executable in the task manager eating up a lot of CPU cycles (40% to 100% for half an hour), but I don't get so much as even a splash screen. I tried everything suggested in the Rockstar support: disabling Comodo, disabling .NET 4, installing to C:\Games\LANoire so as to remove spaces from the install directory, reinstalling .NET 3.5 SP1, reinstalling DirectX 9.0C. Sadly, nothing seems to work, and it seems I am far from alone in having these difficulties. I don't feel too bad as I've only shelled out 5 dollars; however, both Amazon and Rockstar deserve harsh criticism for A.) the Amazon downloader does not do an adequate job of error checking files and large files have a tendency to become corrupted, it should be downloading the files in pieces and checking them against a hash to ensure proper download, I encountered such an issue with Mass Effect 1 and 2 as well. B.) Rockstar should be embarrassed to release a game that such a wide swathe of people have trouble running and not releasing a patch to relieve such debilitating issues! I was considering getting GTA IV and was excited about Max Payne 3, but I think I'll pass on Rockstar games for a while.

UPDATE: I finally got L.A. Noire to work by completely uninstalling Comodo (I also had initial patch issues I had to overcome). While I'm not pleased that I had to uninstall Comodo, I am willing to admit that the game is quite entertaining. It did give me trouble with frame rates until I forced it to use single threading though. Game wise my main grouses are that it has clunky controls and having done actual police work it can feel a little bit frustrating at times having the interviews limited to "truth," "doubt," and "lie" when it is a different set of tactics that police usually take (more like accuse, sympathize, etc.). Furthermore, Cole is a bit of an odd character and you need to play things out as if you are that odd conflicted character (a black & white, right & wrong, boy scout personality that also calls people nosy old hags... strange). There isn't really any difficulty to the game if you are using your head, most of it plays more like those Lucas Arts adventure games and the action sequences are easy since Cole can soak up bullets like Superman (perhaps he should have been more vulnerable to increase the sense of tension?). All that aside, the game is fun in that it does feel more or less like a series of Noire detective stories and I'm enjoying it. The acting is generally superb and very believable, you will recognize many of the characters from playing parts on TV and in movies.

In short, L.A. Noire is fun... it is worth the money... I just wish it didn't have all those horrible installation and run issues!
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on May 3, 2012
I was lucky enough to pick this game up when it was only $5 during the spring game sale, and it was worth well beyond that, but wow, did they make me work the difference off between what I paid and the standard cost of the game.

In short, setting up L.A. Noire was a NIGHTMARE for me. I had to reinstall it twice and to different locations before I could even get it to the game select screen. I had multiple issues with patches, and still did through the completion of the game. Towards the very end, I got the same warning that a patch failed, but then my mouse cursor disappeared, so I couldn't simply click through to the game: I had to guess where the cursor was and hope I hit the button. Not what I expect to see from a game, even one I paid $5 for.

Once I finally got it up and running it was, to say the kindest, unplayable. The frame rate was pure garbage. This was remedied after some Googling and changing from multithreaded to single threaded processing, and in the end, the game ran pretty well for me. It was a LOT of work to get to that point, however.

Once I did, however, I thought the game was fantastic. Facial animation in every other game looks childish in comparison now, and I must say, this is the most unique game I've played to date. The gameplay could have benefitted from some variety, however, as having every witness run away from me meant chasing them down, yet again. It became hard to believe by the end that so many witnesses would flee (by car or foot), but the storyline was absolutely captivating. The gameplay and mechanics themselves wore on me a bit by the end, and I became very aware of how repetitive the gameplay was before the end, but the story gripped me to the point that I couldn't have cared less. This is the best storytelling I've seen in a game in... well, a long time to say the least. Possibly ever.

What sparked me to write this review, however, is a need I felt to respond to reviews I've seen everywhere about the ending. Hard to talk about it without ruining it, so I'll skip the details and simply say that I found the ending to be very satisfying. Many reviewers mentioned the ending as a downside, and made me nervous about buying the game. I can say from my own experience, however, that I thought the ending made perfect sense, and loved it. I honestly can't imagine how else it could have ended. Between the gripping storylines and uneven gameplay, L.A. Noire is one of the best and most unique games I've played for a very, very long time.

If adding up the sum of its parts, I would honestly need to give this game a 4/5. Setting the game up was a huge pain in the ass, and despite having a pretty well-spec'd machine, it seemed incapable of running this game until hitting forums and doing some fine tuning. The storytelling is top-notch, however, and I don't remember the last time a game gripped me like this. I can see where others disagree, but this is a game which requires you to experience it for yourself before making any judgement. If it's ever on sale again for $5, BUY IT! Best $5 I've ever spent, by far.
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on April 13, 2012
The game installed and patched fine for me. I have had no technical problems with this game. My specs: Windows 7 x64 Professional, Nvidia GTS250 video card, and 4GB RAM. It cannot be activated on Steam. The download is about 16GB!

For $5, and assuming it will work on your computer, this game is worth it! I am enjoying the case solving puzzles, although easy and very linear, and the dialogues. The gunfights and chase scenes are easy enough that you will not get overly frustrated.
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on April 15, 2012
Well, I eventually got this working on my Vista 32-bit system. I had no problem with the download and install. The problems started with the mandatory patch. This is what worked for me.

I changed the game launcher to run as administrator and started it up. It started downloading the patch but quit part way through with a memory allocation error. I restarted the game and it downloaded the rest of the patch and started the update.

It hung up part way through the patch update process. I closed the program via the Task Manager. Following advice on the Rockstar site, I deleted all patched files as well as `Social Club v1.0.X.0 Setup.exe'. I then ran `Patch_2382_XXXXX_1.exe' as administrator. This was successful, and I was then able to start the game.

There was one remaining problem - incredibly slow response time in the game. My character running looked like he was slogging through deep mud. This was fixed by selecting options before launching the game and selecting DirectX 11 (it had DirectX 9 originally), and single thread. Success!
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on April 11, 2012
The following review is about the PC version and my experience. It is not about the game content.
After reading all the reviews of the PC download versions, I was a bit weary. Seems like a lot of people are having problems with installation. At first, it seemed to install fine. After the mandatory update, it just stuck until timed out. Turned out a lot of people have the same problem according to Google search. I followed the instruction on Rock Star web site and it still didn't work. Finally I found a fan website and it turned out all it needed is to run the patch with administrative right.
The PC graphic is awesome! I have played the xBox version and the PC version is better. I max out my graphic card and there are times the graphic is not quite smooth. I overlook those problems since I only pay 5 dollars. I also purchased the downloadable game content via Amazon. The total cost is lower than ordering the complete version!
One thing I noticed is the game takes a long time to load. It connects to internet every time I play. I guess it checks to see if it is an illegal copy. Then game then checks for the DLC. It takes a few minutes and there is no way to bypass them! Rock Star should reflect on it. Do you have to authenticate every single time I play?
I can't wait to try the DLC. I beat the game once on xBox but it was long time ago. It is nice to see Cole Phelps is back. Hopefully they will make a squeal.
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on April 24, 2012
EDIT #2: After the latest patch (which introduced a separate patcher program), NVIDIA Optimus support seems to be broken once again. The game only runs on the integrated Nvidia card.

EDIT: As of the 304.48 Beta drivers, NVIDIA Optimus seems to be working properly. My rating still stands however.

Those of you running laptops with NVIDIA Optimus will have a lot of trouble getting the game to work properly with your dedicated graphics card.

Initially, my game installed fine and patched as well. However, the game was running using the integrated Intel graphics card rather than the dedicated GT525m GPU causing it to run much slower than my laptop is capable of handling. This occurred even using the latest drivers (version 296.10 and version 301.24 beta). Long story short, I was able to force the game to use the right GPU by setting my GPU to connect to an imaginary external monitor, which made the game run properly. However this exploit came with problems of its own and is incredibly frustrating to get to work properly.

Other than that, there is little that needs to be said that hasn't already been told in reviews. The game is solid, has excellent animation, and has flaws here and there. If I had to point out something, the load times seem a bit high and menus are slow to open and close.
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on April 20, 2012
I also had installation problems, but found a way to get the game to work. When I first ran the game, it began patching but once the patch was finished downloading, the game just hung at the patch screen. The patch was successfully downloaded so I checked my install directory and saw the patch file was there (Patch_2382_02614_1.exe). I manually executed the patch from my install directory and it went through fine.

The next problem I had was on my end. The game wouldn't get past the synchronizing part. Ad-Aware sees the game as a trojan threat, so it was blocking it. After turning my Ad-Aware off, the game ran fine.

Hope this may help!

As far as the game itself, I'm only a couple of hours in. So far, it's pretty good. I'm giving it a 5 star rating just to offset the 1 star ratings due to the reviews based on the installation problems and not the game itself. If the game ends up blowing, I'll update later.
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