Usually when we think of detective investigation games, the titles that come to our mind are L.A. Noire, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, Murdered: Soul Suspect; and a few other games to name. Now someone who has played all of these games will surely consider L.A. Noire to be the best among these titles and also the best detective game ever.
Not familiar with this particular title ? Here’s everything you need to know about L.A. Noire; what the game is about and why is it considered by most people as the best detective game.
L.A. Noire is a detective action-adventure game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games. The game was released on May 2011 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and on November 2011 for Microsoft Windows. It was later re-released on November 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Another port of the game dubbed L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files was released on December 2017 for virtual reality support through HTC Vive.
The game is set in 1947 Los Angeles and follows the story of L.A.P.D detective Cole Phelps as he solves several crimes happening in the city and eventually tries to expose the Suburban Redevelopment Fund, a semi-government organization with shady interests.
The game lets us control the player character Cole Phelps from a third-person perspective. Its world can be navigated on foot or by vehicles belonging to that era. The game initially begins with Phelps as a patrol officer. Soon afterwards he is promoted to detective. Once he has become detective, Phelps is placed across different bureaus (desks) of the police department viz. Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and Arson.
Here’s what the game requires the players to do. After being alloted to a particular case (type of case depends on the desk), the player must reach the crime scene with his partner. Once at the crime scene, the player is tasked with searching for relevant clues. The player must thoroughly search the crime scene as many clues are apparently out of sight. Some clues might lead the player to a particular place or person. The player must also interrogate all Persons of Interest(P.O.I) in the case and obtain possible leads. While interrogating a P.O.I, the player is given three options – Truth, Doubt, and Lie. The player must pay close attention to the person’s facial expressions and choose the appropriate option. If the player selects the Lie option, he must also provide evidence to prove it.
Some clues might lead the player to hostile places whereupon the player must defend himself by taking cover and neutralize all enemies by shooting them. The player may aim at the enemy to shoot or simply blind fire from cover compromising accuracy for safety. Not all investigation leads to a shootout. Some might end up in a fist-fight instead where the player must knockout the suspect and apprehend him. Some might end up in a car chase and some end up in the player discovering some solid evidence. Few cases end up in a situation where the player must interrogate two suspects and accuse one of them of the crime. Accusing the wrong suspect will affect the player’s case rating.
After each case, the player is given a rating between 1-5 stars. The rating depends on the number of clues found and the number of successful interrogations. Missing a clue or selecting the wrong option during an interrogation will lower the rating.
Apart from the main story cases, the player may take part in side missions known as Street Crimes. Street Crimes may be of several types including gang shootouts, store robbery, car theft, and public indecency. The player must stop the crime to complete the side mission. The game also has an open-world mode called The Streets of L.A. where the player can free roam Los Angeles with his partner. L.A. Noire also provides various collectibles such as Newspapers, Golden Film Reels, Badges, Hidden Vehicles, and Landmarks for the player to collect.
Even though its been seven years since L.A. Noire was released, it is still considered by many fans, including me, as the best detective game released till date. It is known for its notable facial animation technology which helps us select the appropriate option, by observing the suspect’s facial expressions, during interrogations. It has praiseworthy investigation gameplay and the combat mechanics is perfectly designed for players who like shooting their way through, as well as for players who hide behind cover and wait for the perfect opportunity for a one shot kill.
Thus, L.A. Noire is the perfect game for a detective fiction lover as the game has elements of investigation, interrogation, shooting, driving, fist-fighting, as well as an open world mode.
Do comment below your experience of playing L.A. Noire. If you haven’t played it yet, I’d recommend that you give it a try and comment below your experience.
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