1940′s Los Angeles and the Hollywood glitz and glamour is starting to show its cracks. Corruption, scandal, drug and murder crimes are at an all time high. Even the LAPD are corrupt. Welcome to LA Noire – the latest Rockstar blockbuster out now for the PS3 and Xbox 360!

Using what has been called ‘groundbreaking’ animation technology which captures not only motion and movement but audio and expressions of the actors, LA Noire is a violent crime thriller that moves away from Rockstar’s previous success stories of GTA and Red Dead Redemption and instead asks the player to become involved in solving crimes in a violent and compelling world.

Playing the role of Cole Phelps, an LAPD Detective, you will be thrown into Hollywood to mop up the streets and solve various cases of arson, murders and conspiracies with characters that have their own unique personal features which will all add up to make solving crimes and interrogating suspects as tough as it was back in the 1940′s.LA Noire game preview PlayEject

By reading the features on the faces of the characters you meet in-game and their behaviour under interviews, you will gain more information. Its a massive change of pace for the Rockstar crew and far from the likes of GTA and Red Dead. Yes there are action scenes and car chases but LA Noire is all about working the case by taking into account the one thing that video games have mostly lacked – emotion.

This does mean that you do need to give LA Noire your full attention when playing. You might be half watching the cut scene which gives a clue to the next part of the mission or run out of the room for a loo break without pausing and not hear some crucial dialogue. The whole world of LA Noire is there to be explored and used as a tool to aid your investigations.

But you can deviate from the main story and head out around the map of Los Angeles – finding new cars to drive or side missions to complete. Its not got the same level of freedom as GTA (where you could literally do anything and either face the consequences or run and hide) because you need to abide by the law after all. But the restrictions won’t matter as you’ll be too busy trying to level up your character to improve rank, providing better perks for interrogation techniques as well as new clothes and cars, etc.
LA Noire game review PlayEject
For all the technical achievements and effort that has gone in to creating LA Noire it does have some flaws. There’s a few glitches on the graphics but nothing major and some of the cases do feel a bit samey. Some repetition is to be expected – GTA was criticised by some for having a lack of variety in missions but its down to a matter of personal opinion. Its a different style of game to anything other than possibly Heavy Rain on the PS3.

The character models really do look like a step forward for video gaming – with the investment Rockstar and Team Bondi have made into LA Noire, its fair to say that LA Noire will raise the benchmark higher again for other games to live up to and help create another step in technological advances for future games as FIFA did for its motion capture in sports games.

Although lacking in massive action scenes that we’ve come to expect and love from Rockstar, the drama is most certainly there in all of LA Noire’s missions. Its a game that has a broad appeal range and delivers most of what was promised in the hype.

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