L.A. Noire Review from guardian.co.uk

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#1 Edited by Klixer (128 posts) -

Steve Boxer, from guardian.co.uk, has posted a review of Team Bondi's L.A. Noire. This review tells what the player can expect in the game. guardian.co.uk has rated the game 5/5 stars. Will other video game reviewers agree with this score? We'll find that out sometime around the game's release.
Here are a few things that caught my eye.
Read the full review Here

Between cases, you either get a flashback to Phelps' war experiences in Japan or a glimpse into his off-duty life; both those elements end up feeding back into the overarching storyline. The oeuvres of Shelley and even anarchist author Piotr Kropotkin are fed into the mix. Newspapers that you find when hunting for clues trigger yet another backstory (this time involving ongoing LA skullduggery), which yet again intersects with the main storyline in the game's later stages.

The control system is sufficiently simplified that even the most determined non-gamers shouldn't find it intimidating.   

Indeed, the more hardcore gamers may carp that it isn't sufficiently action-packed or precise. The one criticism that could be levelled at the game is that the shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto.   

From start to finish, LA Noire feels like a film – LA Confidential   

As you rise through the ranks, you earn Intuition points, which can be cashed in to eliminate one wrong question-tone (or reveal the location of all the clues at a location). Luckily, LA Noire is pretty forgiving, so if your body language-assessment skills aren't up to CSI standards, you should still get the right result in the end, although you risk a chewing-out from your boss for shoddy police work, which is genuinely mortifying.   

The game's pacing and narrative arc impress as much as its believability. The bog-standard detective work, fun though it is, is punctuated judiciously by action sequences including car chases, pursuing suspects on foot, climbing around inaccessible areas, puzzle-solving and, of course, shoot-outs.   


UPDATE:
The review has been restored:
#2 Posted by Daveyo520 (6997 posts) -

While this is nice to see it is still only one review. I will wait till more people look at it and would love to see what the guys here think. I really would like this game to be good so I can buy it. 

#3 Posted by Fjordson (2432 posts) -
#4 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -
 "Rockstar reckons it's roughly equivalent in length to two seasons of a TV series, a claim that feels roughly accurate."

Some people don't care about length, but this rough estimate tells me it should be around 40 to 50 hours. Well, if they're talking about a 60 minute crime drama. I liked the review. I'm starting to feel that tingle. Might need to get on day one and see for myself. 
#5 Posted by Subjugation (4740 posts) -

The one criticism that could be levelled at the game is that the shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto.       

Sick burn. My impression is that it isn't a particularly combat focused game though, so I guess it probably doesn't matter much. Clunkier than GTA is a slap in the face though.
#6 Posted by CptBedlam (4457 posts) -

" shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto."  
 
Clunkier than GTAs shooting system? Is that even possible?

I'm waiting for reviews from sources I trust.

#7 Posted by Hardgamer (610 posts) -
#8 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2690 posts) -


Good to hear it's incredible, hopefully the shooting isn't clunkier than GTA4...since I hated playing GTA4 but loved how Read Dead handeled.

 

#9 Posted by zombie2011 (5048 posts) -

This game still doesn't do anything for me, all i've seen from this game is "hey look are facial animation!"

#10 Posted by VictoryBlixt (121 posts) -

 

The control system is sufficiently simplified that even the most determined non-gamers shouldn't find it intimidating.   

Indeed, the more hardcore gamers may carp that it isn't sufficiently action-packed or precise. The one criticism that could be levelled at the game is that the shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto.  

Those two comments scare me and I wish the reviewer elaborated on it. I mean how do you simplify the controls of a third person game? I'm afraid It'll end up feeling gimped as a game and that would be horrible. Also the shooting controls are clunkier than GTA's? GTA's shooting controls were notoriously clunky (you got used to them) and I have no idea how they made it worse though this game does seem to be shaping up as a fantastic interactive story and I am willing to pay $60 dollars for that

#11 Posted by Daveyo520 (6997 posts) -
@zombie2011: Let's hope their is a QL then.
#12 Edited by rwcohn (130 posts) -
@CptBedlam said:

" " shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto."    Clunkier than GTAs shooting system? Is that even possible?I'm waiting for reviews from sources I trust. "

I found that sentence rather jarring. Why would he not compare it to an actual shooter, like Gears?
#13 Posted by DeadlyWolverine (32 posts) -

Sounds awesome, I'm relieved that someone has reassured me about this game. :)

#14 Edited by MrOldboy (870 posts) -

if the game really does't contain much shooting I feel like they could have accomplished what they wanted with a point and click adventure with pre-rendered cutscenes or using live action FMV. Everything I've read/see about the game makes me think its just that a 3D rendered adventure game that overachieves visually and aurally compared to other games in the genre.

#15 Posted by Andorski (5365 posts) -

Shame to hear that the shooting mechanics are somehow weaker than previous Rockstar games.  RDR was a great evolution to the gunplay found in past GTA games.  I wonder what changed.

#16 Posted by Daveyo520 (6997 posts) -
@Andorski: What has changed is Rockstar didn't make this one.
#17 Posted by zityz (2360 posts) -
@Andorski said:
" Shame to hear that the shooting mechanics are somehow weaker than previous Rockstar games.  RDR was a great evolution to the gunplay found in past GTA games.  I wonder what changed. "
Simple. It wasn't made by Rockstar.
#18 Posted by rwcohn (130 posts) -
@MrOldboy said:
" if the game really does't contain much shooting I feel like they could have accomplished what they wanted with a point and click adventure with pre-rendered cutscenes or using live action FMV. Everything I've read/see about the game makes me think its just that a 3D rendered adventure game that overachieves visually and aurally compared to other games in the genre. "
There are achievements for 100 kills and 30 headshots (check the tab).
#19 Posted by Vorbis (2750 posts) -

While I'm sure the game will get great reviews, The Guardian has about as much credibility as Fox.

#20 Posted by JJWeatherman (14569 posts) -
@Fjordson said:
" "
I lol'd.

A lot.
#21 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2222 posts) -
@Andorski

Different developers
#22 Posted by Wacomole (836 posts) -
@VictoryBlixt said:

"  

The control system is sufficiently simplified that even the most determined non-gamers shouldn't find it intimidating.   

Indeed, the more hardcore gamers may carp that it isn't sufficiently action-packed or precise. The one criticism that could be levelled at the game is that the shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto.  

Those two comments scare me and I wish the reviewer elaborated on it. I mean how do you simplify the controls of a third person game? I'm afraid It'll end up feeling gimped as a game and that would be horrible. Also the shooting controls are clunkier than GTA's? GTA's shooting controls were notoriously clunky (you got used to them) and I have no idea how they made it worse though this game does seem to be shaping up as a fantastic interactive story and I am willing to pay $60 dollars for that

"
 I wouldn't worry too much about it, personally. 
The way I look at it, it's rather like saying the font size of a book is a couple of points too small.  Yes, it could affect your experience, but you're really in it for the content of the narrative.
#23 Posted by VictoryBlixt (121 posts) -
@MoleyUK said:
" @VictoryBlixt said:

"  

The control system is sufficiently simplified that even the most determined non-gamers shouldn't find it intimidating.   

Indeed, the more hardcore gamers may carp that it isn't sufficiently action-packed or precise. The one criticism that could be levelled at the game is that the shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto.  

Those two comments scare me and I wish the reviewer elaborated on it. I mean how do you simplify the controls of a third person game? I'm afraid It'll end up feeling gimped as a game and that would be horrible. Also the shooting controls are clunkier than GTA's? GTA's shooting controls were notoriously clunky (you got used to them) and I have no idea how they made it worse though this game does seem to be shaping up as a fantastic interactive story and I am willing to pay $60 dollars for that

"
 I wouldn't worry too much about it, personally.  The way I look at it, it's rather like saying the font size of a book is a couple of points too small.  Yes, it could affect your experience, but you're really in it for the content of the narrative. "
For the shooting I totally and wholeheartedly agree but for the simple act of controlling your character it could make the game significantly worse, like a poorly drawn comic, Its still great but the experience is tainted. I would really like to know what the reviewer meant by simplified
#24 Edited by Wacomole (836 posts) -
@VictoryBlixt said:

" @MoleyUK said:

" @VictoryBlixt said:

"  

The control system is sufficiently simplified that even the most determined non-gamers shouldn't find it intimidating.   

Indeed, the more hardcore gamers may carp that it isn't sufficiently action-packed or precise. The one criticism that could be levelled at the game is that the shooting system has been over-simplified so that it feels clunky compared to thelikes of Grand Theft Auto.  

Those two comments scare me and I wish the reviewer elaborated on it. I mean how do you simplify the controls of a third person game? I'm afraid It'll end up feeling gimped as a game and that would be horrible. Also the shooting controls are clunkier than GTA's? GTA's shooting controls were notoriously clunky (you got used to them) and I have no idea how they made it worse though this game does seem to be shaping up as a fantastic interactive story and I am willing to pay $60 dollars for that

"
 I wouldn't worry too much about it, personally.  The way I look at it, it's rather like saying the font size of a book is a couple of points too small.  Yes, it could affect your experience, but you're really in it for the content of the narrative. "
For the shooting I totally and wholeheartedly agree but for the simple act of controlling your character it could make the game significantly worse, like a poorly drawn comic, Its still great but the experience is tainted. I would really like to know what the reviewer meant by simplified "
A simplified control system could also be a good thing, though.   As in having a control system that is more intuitive and allows the user to concentrate on interacting with the story and not fighting the controls.
Then again I've (purposefully) seen next to nothing of the game in action, so I'll reserve judgement on that particular aspect until I've witnessed it.
#25 Posted by MrOldboy (870 posts) -
@spotpilgrim said:
" @MrOldboy said:
" if the game really does't contain much shooting I feel like they could have accomplished what they wanted with a point and click adventure with pre-rendered cutscenes or using live action FMV. Everything I've read/see about the game makes me think its just that a 3D rendered adventure game that overachieves visually and aurally compared to other games in the genre. "
There are achievements for 100 kills and 30 headshots (check the tab). "
thats sort of well, extremely low for a rockstar game. I haven't played the game, but everyone likes to speculate. From what's out there I cant see using your weapon being that relevant most of the time.
#26 Posted by dannyodwyer (365 posts) -

It's been pulled. Embargo lifts on Monday - I'm guessing somebody set the publish date a few days early. Perhaps some friday 13th internet spookyness!

#27 Posted by Dizzyhippos (1569 posts) -
@Klixer: So how is that dude at writing reviews is it kinda like American newspapers where its a joke or does he actually know his shit?
#28 Posted by rwcohn (130 posts) -
@Dizzyhippos: He gave Nintendogs + Cats four stars and Homefront three.
#29 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

Good!

#30 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

Phelps is a War Veteran who served in Japan? Why must all Rockstar protagonists be such bad-asses?

#31 Edited by EJStyleS (32 posts) -

Yup, pulled...anyone thought to cache up the whole thing?

#32 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -
@blacklabeldomm
If you were a young male still alive in America after WW2, there's a really good chance you were in the war.
#33 Posted by fraser (478 posts) -

Whilst it's only from one review that can't, in all honesty, be trusted that much, I'm kinda worried about the lack of difficulty.

I'm all for innovative games that don't make action the strong point. But if you're going to include shooting mechanics (and the like) at all, please don't over simplify them to such an extent. Just don't include them. Or at least offer the player different difficulty settings, though I doubt this will be an option as open world games rarely do it.

#34 Posted by Fjordson (2432 posts) -

Official Xbox Magazine UK's reviews has leaked online as well. Another perfect score.

 “If you were expecting L.A Noire to be a reskinned GTA then you will be left severely disappointed. Many times we hear, “Who will be gaming’s Citizen Kane?”. Personally, I don’t have the gall to say L.A Noire is that type of game. But it is a game that will revolutionize the gaming industry as we know it. Never in my 20 year history of gaming have I encountered a game with as much finesse, intelligence, and attention to detail as L.A Noire, and for that I applaud L.A Noire. A game which has the nerve to do so much, in an industry where a seldom few are.”

#35 Posted by CrazyBagMan (858 posts) -

Not sure what to think about just about everyone only seeming to care about the negative things in the review. Not the fact that it was a 5/5.

#36 Posted by Vodun (2370 posts) -
@blacklabeldomm said:
" Phelps is a War Veteran who served in Japan? Why must all Rockstar protagonists be such bad-asses? "
Well, considering that you at the end of most games usually end up having massacred hundreds of people...it's probably a good idea to establish that you have a background which gives you the skills to actually do so. As opposed to, you know, being a scientist with a fricken crowbar.
#37 Posted by KarlPilkington (2778 posts) -
@Fjordson: *Noise expressing extreme excitement*
#38 Posted by Dizzyhippos (1569 posts) -
@spotpilgrim: i cant tell if thats a good or bad thing
#39 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

I can't wait to shoot someone in their amazingly animated face.

#40 Posted by GetEveryone (4458 posts) -

Fuck, I read the first line and it was already too much info.


I want to go in dark with this puppy. 

*stops reading anything L.A. Noire related*
#41 Posted by Zabant (1268 posts) -
@Fjordson: Some serious SERIOUS praise there or possibly hyperbole from a Xbox emplyed shill wanting to sell more copies for a better cut of platform profits.

Still, they are both (guardian review) accepted metacritic journalist publications. 2 Perfect reviews is very very promising.
#42 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

When someone says that a video game feels like a movie, I don't really regard that as a positive. Still, Heavy Rain felt like one, and that game was an experience for sure.

#43 Posted by Mars_Cleric (1595 posts) -


I don't care what anyone says about this game I'm buying it and will have fun.

so...yeah, whatever hopefully it's good

#44 Edited by Vexxan (4612 posts) -
@Fjordson: I'm as ready as I can get too, just a few more days...!
#45 Posted by Dizzyhippos (1569 posts) -

Not to turn this into a thread about RDR having good shooting but it didnt feel all that different from GTA to me just seemed like there was less shit for the auto aim to lock onto

#46 Posted by Dizzyhippos (1569 posts) -
@Fjordson said:
" Official Xbox Magazine UK's reviews has leaked online as well. Another perfect score.

 “If you were expecting L.A Noire to be a reskinned GTA then you will be left severely disappointed. Many times we hear, “Who will be gaming’s Citizen Kane?”. Personally, I don’t have the gall to say L.A Noire is that type of game. But it is a game that will revolutionize the gaming industry as we know it. Never in my 20 year history of gaming have I encountered a game with as much finesse, intelligence, and attention to detail as L.A Noire, and for that I applaud L.A Noire. A game which has the nerve to do so much, in an industry where a seldom few are.” "
That quote right there is why offical system magazines are a bad idea, I do hope the game is good though
#47 Edited by PhatSeeJay (3322 posts) -
@MrOldboy said:

" @spotpilgrim said:

" @MrOldboy said:

" if the game really does't contain much shooting I feel like they could have accomplished what they wanted with a point and click adventure with pre-rendered cutscenes or using live action FMV. Everything I've read/see about the game makes me think its just that a 3D rendered adventure game that overachieves visually and aurally compared to other games in the genre. "
There are achievements for 100 kills and 30 headshots (check the tab). "
thats sort of well, extremely low for a rockstar game. I haven't played the game, but everyone likes to speculate. From what's out there I cant see using your weapon being that relevant most of the time. "
The sidequests trailer seemed to tell a different tale though. While the main cases are slower and focused on finding clues, the side missions that have you called out to shootouts, bank robberies, hostage situations or car chases; seem to focus a lot more on some pure action.

I'm really hoping for an "All units! Respond to a shootout! Officer down!".
#48 Posted by Dizzyhippos (1569 posts) -
@PhatSeeJay said:
All units!
#49 Posted by WalkerTR77 (1390 posts) -

Well you can't trust the guardian to review anything, but it is a promising sign. My anticipation is reaching a dangerous level.

#50 Posted by alternate (2720 posts) -
@Claude said:
"  "Rockstar reckons it's roughly equivalent in length to two seasons of a TV series, a claim that feels roughly accurate."Some people don't care about length, but this rough estimate tells me it should be around 40 to 50 hours. Well, if they're talking about a 60 minute crime drama. I liked the review. I'm starting to feel that tingle. Might need to get on day one and see for myself.  "
42 or 43 minutes for a network hour of drama.  I make it more like 30-35 hours, which would be about right for a Rockstar game.

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