L.A. Noire (2011)

Video Game  |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  17 May 2011 (USA)
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 9,008 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 8 critic

You play a LAPD detective in late 1940s Los Angeles as you discover dark goings on in the city.

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(additional dialogue), (additional writing), 2 more credits »
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Title: L.A. Noire (Video Game 2011)

L.A. Noire (Video Game 2011) on IMDb 8.9/10

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Detective Rusty Galloway (voice)
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Detective Roy Earle (voice) (as Adam John Harrington)
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Detective Stefan Bekowsky (voice)
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Detective Herschel Biggs (voice)
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Jack Kelso (voice)
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Elsa Lichtmann (voice)
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Leland Monroe (voice)
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Dr. Harlan Fontaine (voice)
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Dr. Malcolm Carruthers, Medical Examiner (voice)
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Captain James Donnelly (voice)
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Officer Gonzalez (voice)
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Captain Lachlan McKelty (voice)
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Captain Gordon Leary (voice)
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Lieutenant Archibald Colmyer (voice)
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Storyline

Amid the post-war boom of Hollywood's Golden Age, Cole Phelps is an LAPD detective thrown headfirst into a city drowning in its own success. Corruption is rampant, the drug trade is exploding, and murder rates are at an all-time high. In his fight to climb the ranks and do what's right, Phelps must unravel the truth behind a string of arson attacks, racketeering conspiracies and brutal murders, battling the L.A. underworld and even members of his own department to uncover a secret that could shake the city to its rotten core. Written by Rockstar Games

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Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 May 2011 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to correctly recreate post-war Los Angeles, the developers studied the photographs of 1940s aerial photographer Robert Spence. See more »

Goofs

In the Ad Vice case "The Set Up", Candy Edwards has a movie ticket stub for The Egyptian Theater showing of the movie "The Set Up". The date on the stub is March 10 1947, but in actuality the movie was not released in theaters until two years later (1949). Coincidentally, the case is similar in nature to the movie. See more »

Quotes

Leland Monroe: Can I offer you a drink, boys? Cigar?
Herschel Biggs: Sure, I'll have a Scotch.
Cole Phelps: Biggs!
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Connections

References The Spiral Staircase (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

You Do
Performed by Margaret Whiting
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User Reviews

Technically impressive but not as challenging, fun, clever or as engaging as it should have been and needed to be
17 August 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

LA Noire is the most recent game from Rockstar – a name synonymous with quality sandbox gaming, big open worlds where you follow a main story but have some element of freedom within a larger world. As a result I was excited by the idea of being a cop in the sunny yet seedy world of late 1940's Los Angeles, with its movie stars, its drugs, its secrets – basically it looked like we would all be playing in LA Confidential. To a certain extent the game pulls this off and technically this is where you are.

I saw technically because it is in this realm where the game mostly excels. Spread over 3 disks, the game takes place in a massive city, with traffic and people going about their business while you do yours. It looks great from the cars, the outfits, the "look" of the characters in terms of makeup and hairstyles and of course the famous motion capture of the actors faces. This last part is astonishing as you do watch these computer characters and see natural movements and quirks – although viewers of Mad Men will be distracted by just how frequently members of that cast are used. The idea is good with this – use real faces to make the game about being able to spot a "tell" and call out liars to crack cases. It is a good idea. The problem is that it doesn't stand up; some faces are subtle but mostly the difference between truth and not-truth is pretty easy to see and then it comes down to having the evidence to say "lies" or just the hunch to say "doubt". I enjoyed this at first but quickly I tired of this aspect as it was never as cool or clever as it was billed.

Doing the cases involves lots of cut-scene watching – and I mean lots since this where the game occurs. You drive between them, get a bit of action here and there but mostly you're not playing. I would be fine with this if the game-play had held me more but it didn't. Crime-scenes involve walking round pushing the "investigate" button till you have all the clues, then the interviews. The cases progress even if you make mistakes and only once did I really mess up a case and this was late in the game where I was starting not to really care. The plots didn't engage me too much either – there is an overall narrative here but it didn't work that well and some cases are solved far too easily. I recall one murder case where I was really engaged in the clues and complexity, went to a grocery store, found the murder weapon on a table in an unlocked room, chased the owner, caught him, case closed – it really hurt my interest and the thought I was putting it for it to just "end" like that.

Outside of interviews there will be occasional car chases and shootouts, but again these are far too easy. Shootouts are generally all over in seconds without any effort, while the car chases will eventually end if you just keep up. Also, for some reason, in the chases, you do not get to shoot, only drive – it worked really well in GTA4 to do both, but in this I'm just the silent wheelman while my partner does the cool stuff – I hope that computer controlled character enjoyed it! So in terms of the story game-play I can understand the complaints because I did start to tire of the repetitive nature of it and I stopped caring so much and the cases started feeling like going through the motions. So what else is there? Well, this is a sandbox game so in theory you should be falling over with stuff like in Fallout 3 (where I could never go anywhere without getting another quest or random event) or Red Dead (where I played poker for hours and regularly found random little events while travelling). Well in LA Noire you have 40 street crimes but these are mostly very samey. I can think of several where I drove for 5-10 minutes to get to it, shot 2 guys and it was all over in 10 seconds. You can replay them but they are scripted and the same each time – they do not feel like random events in a real city. Outside of these? Well, you have collectibles but that's it. No random encounters and no real freedom to do much beyond drive round. The game needed random street robberies – people calling for help like in Red Dead, not cut-scenes, just people. It needed more freedom to pull your gun – you cannot pull your gun out in free-roam, not at all. You cannot hurt anyone and you cannot "mess around" when bored like you did in GTA4, RDR or other of their games – with this, when you're bored, going into free-roam will not help you. The very limited free-roam essentially wastes this massive city but also means the makers didn't seem to understand what the appeal of free-roam is – its freedom, not just the freedom to drive places for no reason.

LA Noire is still an impressive game though, but it is repetitive and not as clever as it thinks. The cases are linear and the free-roam is so restrictive that, beyond getting collectables, it is fairly pointless. No random events, no consequences and lots of cut-scenes. The ideas are all good and the technology impresses, but this is a first try – not the game to buy and love. If a sequel ever comes I would be there as the core of the game is good, it is just the repetition, the restrictions, the focus on scripted events and the lack of decent action sections that hurt it.


8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This game is not Noire Sonofspam-827-549661
Good God this game is boring!!! gollum12
Best quotes? LizZy89
Unquestionably the greatest game ever made joet1999
Cole Phelps: Excellent Detective. Terrible Driver. PhxDwn
Rockstar you disappointed me:-( 3 out of 10 CryingAngel85
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