Disclaimer: My friend Craig worked on this game and I know some people at Rockstar Games.
Disclaimer two: I love the bite sized mission chunks in this game.
Disclaimer three: As much as I love my XBox I suggest you play this on the PS3 because it uses a blu-ray disc rather than 3 DVDs.
If we travel back, way back, to the time of my youth there was a game that fascinated me. This was pre-world-wide-web and completing a game meant that you had to use every part of your brain and if that failed you may have to wait months for a magazine to come out that would help you out with the bit you were stuck at.
I was stuck at a section in Police Quest (made by Sierra who also made the amazing Kings Quest and Space Quest) for months. I’ll never forget the game for as long as I live.
I was a rookie cop trying to make my way in the police world and I was involved in an incident with a perp and I had to arrest him. Police Quest was a text based game where you moved the character around with a mouse. Point and click adventures we called them back in our day.
“Arrest him” – didn’t work
“Cuff him” – didn’t work.
Months went by until a friend told me he had cracked it by hearing from a friend about something called the Miranda Rights. You know the old ‘you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney etc etc’. But I was young and not from the US. I’d never heard of these Miranda Rights.
“Use Miranda Rights” – worked. The game moved on.I finally completed it a lot later and also the follow-up games.
LA Noire makes me think of Police Quest but with some CSI and GTA thrown in for good measure. You play as a detective in a world not too dis-similar to LA Confidential. You start as a street cop and have to work your way through different cases solving crimes…fraud cases, robbery all the way to vice and homicide.
What makes this game different though is the character modeling has been done using an amazing new technique. The technology is so good that this is the first game that my deaf friend Jono has been able to actually really the lips of the game characters. You have to question characters and watch their expressions, try to read their body launguage and aim to trip them up in your questioning.
This is the next evolution in gaming in my eyes.
It has sub-missions you can do as you drive around the city. You can ask for help through using intuition points and although the main character is a tad bi-polar it’s a great game that you can drop in and out of when you feel like taxing your brain.
It’s not a first-person shooter. That’s a game where you switch your brain off. It’s a thinking game that will have you watching people’s expressions and trying to suss out whodunnit.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’ll take this one with two sugars and a dash of milk please!