A few weeks ago I took a stab at playing Rockstar’s L.A. Noire and stopped playing it after an hour or so. It’s timely for me that Overthinking it’s review of L.A. Noire just came out and I agree with almost all they say about the game.
Even their comparison to the old Blade Runner game is apt:
There are a lot of detective games with arcade elements, but the game it most directly recalls for me, because of its aesthetic, painstaking attention to detail, focus on story, and the way it handles linear gameplay, is the 1997 Blade Runner detective game for PC by Westwood Studios (spoilers for the first mission of a game from 14 years ago).
To me the game came across has a great attempt at doing something new in getting the player immersed through better acting and simulated emotions in the avatars. But it was just that: an attempt and the rest of the game wasn’t good enough to keep me engaged.
The narrative in the game got me interested and I did want to find out what was going on but the game mechanics discouraged me from continuing. Researching a case was tedious and felt forced (watch the video below to see what I’m getting at).
One more thing I found strange about the game is that the city of L.A. felt empty! Driving around in a car (which felt like I was trying to drive an elephant) and seeing the beautifully rendered world not being used by digital people kinda made me sad.
Of course if you don’t want to read an incredibly long review you can watch Zero Punctuation’s: