Feature: Is L.A Noire for you? What type of game is it really?

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LA Noire is out and getting great reviews, but it seems like a lot of people are confused about what type of game LA Noire really is. Just because it comes from Rockstar, it doesn’t mean that it’s this year’s Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption.

In fact, LA Noire is quite the opposite. Is it the type of game you will enjoy? Read this quick article if you aren’t sure.

The recent comic below by ctrl-alt-del online wonderfully demonstrates the issue that people are having on a very basic level:

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You see, everyone thinks that because a game has the Rockstar logo on it, it’s a GTA-styled sandbox game with action and craziness.

As I mentioned earlier, LA Noire is quite the opposite.

If I had to pick a game that comes the closest to the gameplay from LA Noire… I would have to agree with our very own Geoffrey Tim, who flew overseas to bring us an early hands-on preview of the game, when he called it “a real police quest” but at the same time, almost look at it like a next-generation Phoenix Wright title… without the crazy hairstyles.

Yes you are in an open world, and can drive around and explore, but the game is designed to be played along a certain path.

If you really want to break it up, the game has cases that need to be solved, and the cases bring a mixture of different elements.

You drive around town, just like in GTA, but you need to make decisions and talk to people, kind of like Mass Effect/Heavy Rain. You need to look around for evidence and inspect it, kinda like CSI, but then you need to be able to work with your evidence during interrogations, like Phoenix Wright.

The star of the game obviously has to be the incredible new facial animation technology which actually allows characters to give off such realistic expressions, that you can try and tell if they are lying just by looking and listening to them… so if you need a real reason to pick this game up, that’s the one.

Just don’t buy LA Noire thinking that you are buying Rockstar’s take on Mafia, except with cops. It’s not that sort of game, it’s a slower paced game with a very, very strong narrative that… while still having some car chases and shoot-outs commence, is all about intrigue, intuition and detecting.

We will have our full review up soon, but until then, those of you who were on the fence hopefully have a much better idea of what you are getting yourself into when you fork out the cash for a copy of LA Noire.

If you want something slower, smart and intriguing, go and get it. If it sounds like the complete opposite of what you enjoy… hey… Duke Nukem is out next week right?

Last Updated: May 20, 2011

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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