It’s hard to deny that L.A. Noire stands out as one of the most interesting and ambitious video games of the modern era. Never before was there ever a game that captured the investigative nature of being a police detective so thoroughly. Combine that with a thrilling story and the most incredible facial animations ever presented in a video game and L.A. Noire presents one of the best crime stories ever played. Bringing this great console game to the PC almost half a year after the game’s original release with all of the DLC included makes L.A. Noire The Complete Edition a tempting package but it may have come just a little too late. Now is the time that PC gamers can finally get all of their L.A. Noire but it comes at the most crowded time for video games and it seems as though the PC may not be the best way to play the game.
Getting to play L.A. Noire on the PC should have been a much more enjoyable experience but it really didn’t feel any more satisfying than playing it on consoles back in May. The game doesn’t really look that much better on a computer screen and sitting in a computer chair playing a game that could take over thirty hours is less than ideal. The biggest plus with The Complete Edition is the inclusion of all of the downloadable content. There are eight downloadable add-ons for L.A. Noire they come boxed into the PC version from the start and for first time players this is a great deal for your dollar. All of the DLC can be accessed at the beginning of the game and you can play through it any time as if you were selecting cases so if you don’t feel like playing through the whole game first you don’t have to. All of the cases are stand alone and fit within any timeframe during the desks that they are attributed to.
Since this game is coming so long after the game has seen its console launch it’s hard to imagine this package is meant for anyone else aside from straight PC gamers. That only makes it so much more unfortunate that the game sees such a lacking port. With graphics that hardly seem improved and the only thing that really seems enticing is the DLC it would be easy to imagine this game being looked over.
First of all I highly recommend playing this game with a gamepad as the keyboard controls are a little too imprecise. Using a controller makes the game feel just like its console counterpart. The controls are just as tight as they ever were and it still feels really good to play this game. L.A. Noire’s investigation mechanic is still just as fresh as ever and even having played this game before I still found it completely engaging.
What may throw a lot of people off is that L.A. Noire is not a true action game. It is more of an elaborate puzzle game that involves investigating crime scenes and interrogating witnesses. I always find myself searching every inch of a crime scene trying to find any clue I can to help me solve the case. Interrogating a suspect involves determining whether you doubt them, believe they are telling the truth, or think they are lying to you. Depending on if you get your choice right or wrong you are greeted with a chime and it is so satisfying every time you hear that you are correct. After playing previous Rockstar published or developed games the gunplay in L.A. Noire can feel really stiff and uninteresting but still manage to be fun. What’s nice about the game is that if you are having trouble with any kind of action part in the game it allows you to skip right past it since the main aspect of the game is the investigation and story. Aside from the police detecting where I think L.A. Noire really excels is in the chase scenes. Car chases always feel well scripted and can work themselves out in different ways. Chasing a perpetrator on foot feels like it is straight out of a movie and really keeps you focused as you try to catch a fleeing suspect.
I have been rather disappointed in the graphics of the PC version. Not to say L.A. Noire looks bad, it just doesn’t offer anything better looking than the Playstation or 360 versions. I saw a few objects popping in and out of the background on a couple occasions and the shadows seem to have a really pixilated quality even when playing on the highest graphics. I also felt like I was seeing a lot of color bloom in certain segments of the game that were kind of an eye sore. With that being said no one should think L.A. Noire is a bad looking game. Actually the game still looks fantastic; it is just accompanied by all of the issues that all computer games can suffer from. The amazing facial animations still carry forward and no matter how many times I play this game I will never forget how well this game is presented and what a great job all of the actors did.
L.A. Noire is definitely not a game for everyone. A lot of people will come to this game looking for a 50’s Grand Theft Auto and that couldn’t be farther from what this game is. It is actually possible to make it through this game and never have to drive a car outside of the tutorial. L.A. Noire is all about investigating crimes. While there are plenty of action scenes in this game that should never be the aspect that draws players to it. The story is full of suspense and investigating crimes has never seemed like so much fun in a video game. I could never wait to get to the next interrogation scene just so I could try to catch a criminal lying and watch the amazing facial animations. Anyone willing to give L.A. Noire a try shouldn’t be disappointed and maybe other gamers can broaden their horizons and enjoy a very original type of game.
The PC version of L.A. Noire may have some minor flaws but the inclusion of the DLC and just the fact that this game is incredible is enough to justify picking up this package. The problem is with it coming so late in the year and so long after the games console launch it’s hard to recommend this game to anyone other than anyone who hasn’t played the game yet. Pc gamers will find a lot to offer with this port but players who already completed the game on consoles earlier this year are probably best left to avoiding this one. If the only thing bad that can be said about L.A. Noire is some bad timing and minor graphics issues then it speaks volumes of how good this game really is.