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LA Noire has been released on 360 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"L.A. Noire is a wonderful amalgam of cop drama, adventure game and open-world playground. Tension melts into schizophrenia and suspense as I lose myself in the game, even if I am taken out of the world on occasion by an army of tiny issues..."
- Scared Gamer (Fri, 12 Aug 2011)
"there is little doubt that LA Noire marks the arrival of a new and exciting era in gaming. however, much of the clamouring that has constituted its reception has made me convinced that the gaming world needs to think again about the bigger picture..."
- Tired Gamer (Fri, 17 Jun 2011)
"LA Noire stops the clock for a painstakingly detailed 1940's LA and an experience as personal and unsettling as any film or TV series..."
- Family Gamer (Tue, 24 May 2011)
"This week in the family gaming show Loz and I talk about LA Noire's open world 1940's LA, Flight Control HD on the iPad, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and Ocarina of Time on the 3DS. Also broadcast on Kerrang Radio..."
- Family Gamer Podcast (Tue, 17 May 2011)
LA Noire may share its open world gameplay with other Rockstar games, but that is where the similarities pretty much end. As such this is a very different game for the publisher and not without related risks.
Unlike the undirected sprawling worlds of Red Dead Redemption or Grand Theft Auto IV, where you could get lost collecting pelts or running anonymous errands, LA Noire offers a much more directed experience. This is a game that is mediated rather than generated.
There are, of course, guns and shooting but the majority of the game focuses on a crime mystery angle that feels more like Heavy Rain (PS3) or Alan Wake (360) in tone. This involves identifying clues and piecing together evidence from snatched conversations in a maze of relationships as complex as the city itself.
The game draws from both plot and aesthetic of films from the 1940s and 1950s. Crime, sex and moral ambiguity abound in a post-war world trying to get back on its feet. The main propellant here is the story though, that directs players through a series of interwoven crimes to solve.
After the success of Red Dead's tweaking of the Grand Theft approach to games Rockstar could be forgiven with plough a similar furrow here. What we actually have though is something very different, and much more interesting.
LA Noire is expected to be released in the early part of 2011.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: