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MassEffect 3




Overrated

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Overrated"

Summary

Keep in mind that before playing this game, like most games i didnt read the reviews which i probably should have. I just saw a high number on other sites averaging to like a 9 out of 10.
Upon first loading up I was stoked. I love history and especially crime dramas so should be a win win. Also its Rockstar. Well I was definately surprised at first and excited that it used the GTA engine. Made sense at first as its LA and gave you the feeling your really in a city vs just jumping from one area to the next like most adventure games. Well this is my first major letdown with this game. The beauty of GTA is you can follow the story or just cruise around and cause havok and mischief. Jacking cars is encouraged and helps make the game so fun. In this game however you are supplied with a police car and are strongly discouraged from doing anything that the engine is so good at. Sure you can grab a car off the street but then you lose access to any side missions as its not the official squad car your supposed to be using. Like to run people over? Forget it it hurts your grade and your penalised for it. Oh yeah dont damage anything either, drive nice and slow and careful and basically do everything that is against your nature. Basically theres no incentive to explore LA, nothing interesting is going on anywhere. So all the effort to recreate and make a open city to me felt waisted. Why because this game is not GTA, its linear and progressees case by case. In this the game does well. I didnt like every case but most were fun. This could just be me, but for a game that puts so much into story telling, your main character is one of the more one dimensional flat, and un-interesting you may ever play. He has no redeeming anything and is that guy weve always wanted to deck when you meet him. Basically you play an a_hole and I ended up hating him by the end of the game. I finished it due to great supporting roles which i did really enjoy. Also this game tries to have more of an action side and gives you street crimes to solve by repetative duck cover run drive. This is the weakest part of the game and is not enjoyable at all. Even the Developers must have realised this as they let you skip these fine "Action Sequences in the cases if you die more than like twice". Finding clues, talking to people and building a case is what this game is about and the action takes away and cheapens it. After youve shot the 25th guy who takes a hostage youl understand. I really wanted to get into this game hoping it would get better but it didnt.
Again it could just be me but there were alot of times when people will lie to you for really no reason, your supposed to doubt them in this case but really? If your not guilty or a suspect why are so many people lying to you? Oh well use intuition liberally.

spoiler alert:
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to make my point there is a case where a young girl has been raped and almost killed. While you are interogating her, she lies to you and is uncooperative? Really? Stuff like that really frustrates me, youve been taken advantage of and almost killed your not going to lie to a policeman when he asks about your family.
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Spoiler end:

Ultimately this game OverRated and a mixed bag, its technically sound and has a great soundtrack with good supporting characters and for the most part interesting cases to solve. It comes with, horrible action sequences also known as street crimes. (good luck not doing them if you want to lvl up) a great engine thats famous for everything you will be punished for trying to do in this game and honestly the worst character I have ever played. Used to be Tidus from FFX but Cole takes his award easily.




A brilliant idea but a closed world and poor logic close the case early for this game.

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Overrated"

Summary

Rockstar greatly delivers the innovation in LA Noir by taking what could easily be a "pixel hunt" mystery game and turning it into a crime saga. LA Noir is broken down into crime stories, a la "cases", and the overall story of the game is followed through each case segment. Cases are solved by searching crime scenes for evidence, interviewing subjects, and following-up on leads. As a case progresses, more options for how to proceed branch out, making matters more complicated and detailed but never tedious. Case investigations are interrupted by periodic foot pursuits, car chases, gunfights, and brawling, to break the monotony. The problem is much of the game mechanic is flawed and it all takes place in a huge open world that serves no purpose other than a backdrop painting.

Older games involving crime scenes would call for a mouse to roll over every inch of the screen and click on everything until a desired object was found. That can be the set-up with the game's options (music and vibration clues for PS3), but turning all that off can make a crime scene realistically elusive. Crawling through alleys, searching cramped houses, picking up empty bottles or squinting for shell casings, the player can most certainly thrust themself into the role of crime solver completely. Environments are beautifully detailed and evidence can be bloody and realistic, including close-ups of nude female corpses (this game is not for kids by a longshot) with body parts that can be manipulated and inspected more closely. I've thoroughly enjoyed going over every little paper scrap and bottle in a crime scene and was elated finding a knife hidden in an alley or other pieces of evidence that was outside of the obvious view.

After collecting evidence, Q&A's of witnesses and potential suspects follow to develop further leads. Rockstar did an incredible job focusing on kinesiology to give the player cues of deception. Subjects will give overt hints like avoiding eye contact and fidgeting to more subtle hints like licking their lips, swallowing, or twitching their eyes to suggest something was not right with the uttered statement. Some statements are true (no visual cues), some are downright lies, which the player then has to counter with discovered evidence, and others are just doubtful statements that the subject is confronted on. Responding correctly to a statement will lead to further information or clues. If the wrong response is given, there is a chance that clue or route of information is permanently disabled, so a lot of times you only get one shot at some elements of the case.

It's the similarity of the elements of "lie" and "doubt" that I believe are actually damaging to the game. Both are displayed to the viewer with twitches and other visual cues, but whether something is a lie or just doubtful sometimes depends on the script rather than the logic of retained evidence. I had a subject act all nervous after telling me about his wife. I had no reason to not believe him, so I selected doubt for my reaction, and it was the wrong response. Truth wasn't working either, so I called him a liar. The problem was when a subject is called a liar, collected evidence must be selected to negate the statement. None of the evidence applied to the subject's statement. A check online revealed I was supposed to confront him about an unhappy marriage because he had rope. The rope was integral to the case, but the question I asked and statement he made had nothing to do with it. Sadly, I would encounter this situation several times, thus being sealed from pertinent case information when I didn't feel like it was my fault. Real interviews and interrogations can last hours and I understand that doesn't translate well to entertainment, but a single question to toggle success or failure of certain investigations elements doesn't translate as very entertaining either, much less realistic when you should be able to follow up on a question. If the answer doesn't make sense and it's important to the case, then the gameplay is skewed and, overall, soured. After a while, the game becomes trial and error rather than actual thinking. Some interviews flow smoothly and logic applies properly, but others are pure guessing games because the difference between doubtful statements and lying are imperceptible. Considering interviews and crime scenes are the centerpiece of the game, my overall feelings on LA Noir are soured.

Adding to this frustration is, after just a few cases, the game is the same actions over and over. Crime scene, evidence, interview, lather, rinse, repeat. The action sequences are a nice change but they're short, heavily scripted and, typically, inconsequential and quite easy. Foot pursuits and vehicle pursuits usually terminate with the suspect stopping, regardless of how closely they were pursued. Fistfights are slow and sluggish and not much of a challenge at all. I'm a big strategy and story gamer, playing Total War or an RPG for months on end, so it takes a lot to make me say this: this game is boring.

The vast expanse of 1946 Los Angeles sprawls across the game map begging for exploration, but, for some reason, exploration is not part of the game. This would have been a wonderful element to break up the case monotony, but instead entire blocks of painstakingly detailed and historically accurate city remain unseen because there is no reason to see them. As one case is finished, the screen goes black then the title of the next one begins, with the protagonist getting the assignment. There's no driving around to level up skills and weapons or just engage in detailed city-style events. Street Crime incidents can be intercepted via police dispatch but they're also scripted events with the same people popping up in the same place or the same car pulling out in front of you every time. They're also very short, and have no bearing on the surrounding game world. The gunfights are fun but they're over before they get hot and foot pursuits end with a bag guy taking a hostage for a close targeting challenge. After playing several street crimes, I started to ignore them on the radio. The game dictates whether you can pull your gun or swing a fist in the event of the story case or street crime, so you can't go running about creating havoc on your own. Why build such an open world then close it to the player? Combine the scripted Street Crimes with the knowlege of how each case ends after a single play-through, and LA Noir has absolutely zero replay value.

I've had extensive criminal investigation training in my life and I'm very pleased with Rockstar's idea and attempt of a crime game. Setting the game in the 1940's allows more freedom to knock badguys around, not have to wait for Miranda for statements or search warrants for non-consent house searches, etc., and makes the story more colorful and entertaining. They did a superb job introducing a type of game that no one else has played before, but the substance is sorely lacking. The cases are, individually, interesting, the graphics are spectacular, but I felt like I was stuck on a train going through LA and could not get off. I was losing interest altogether after the halfway mark. They could have cut the production time greatly by just building the game world around the scripted areas, since those are the only parts of the game worth exploring. Better yet, they could have followed their formula in Red Dead Redemption and provided more random events to encounter. LA Noir is not a bad game by any means, but for the first time in a long time Rockstar has failed to reach their full potential. Hopefully their next gaming venture, GTA5, meets the expectations and abilities of previous titles.




L.A. Noire reminds me of the first Assassin's Creed. Something new and refreshing, but so very repetitive.

6.0

Fair
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Innovative"

Summary

It is nice to see Rockstar finding its way farther away from the crazy and all out violent games that is the Grand Theft Auto series. L.A. Noire does have a huge robust, sprawling, open world environment for you to explore, but it is not a playground for blowing up everything in site like some might expect from a Rockstar game. L.A. Noire at the core is simply an adventure game. The focus here is being a good cop and doing your job right by the book. Though the tone and game play is very refreshing, it is also equally very repetitive.

The game is set in 1947 Los Angeles, and just like may films of this noire; this game borrows a lot from them in many ways. You are brought into a world of post-war where anyone and everyone is harboring secrets and the cops are more concerned about getting a collar then due process. Except maybe one, you play as LAPD's Cole Phelps, who is straight as an arrow when it comes to being a police officer. Something you do not see too often in games these days, especially something from Rockstar. Phelps is all about true justice and doing the job right and making sure the right man is brought down for his crimes. Though, Phelps is not without some secrets of his own.

The landscape of L.A. Noire is amazing and beautiful. It has many landmarks that I can only assume look exactly like those in the Real Los Angeles. As great as the city looks its incidental to the way the game unfolds. You don't run around opening quests like so many other open world games do. Instead you are focused on a single case file at a time, usually with some time separating each one and all of them leading to the next one after. In the game Phelps works different desks from Homicide, arson and Ad Vice while you go up the ladder of success as a detective. Each desk will server to contribute toward the main story arc. The main story is mostly told through flashbacks of the war, Newspaper headlines and the story around cases. For the most part the main story as a whole is lost with this being the way it is told and unfolded. It almost seems as if the story was written for consumption all at once as if watching a movie. Playing the game once a day for an hour or two or sometimes every other day left me sometimes forgetting what was going on. That is not to take away from how well the game is written at all, it is by far some of the best writing I have seen in a game, creating some really memorable characters who speak with just the sort of antiquated speech necessary to make the dialog feel appropriate to the setting and time.

The game's structure works well with the way you are playing buy the rules of the police and Phelps being a straight-laced detective. You can not go around causing havoc everywhere you go, you can not even pullout your weapon in public unless the game sees it suited for what is going on. Like when you are chasing after a suspect. These limits are put in place to keep you immersed in the game and the story being told to you. Though I have to say the driving will argue that point. The driving is horribly bad, like any other driving in a Rockstar game and it can be very easy to run over people and cause car accidents when chasing after another car. However, you can after a few fails choose to skip the action and only worry about the detective work and you can also have your partner drive from place to place if you sop choose.

The detective work is where the heart of the game is at. You are playing to solve crimes above and beyond anything else you do in the game. This is where the game becomes very repetitive and can become very boring at times. The majority of the game play is broken down into a few different specific mechanical components. First thing you so is go and visit the crime scene. Here you will search about for different clues and sometimes talk to people like witnesses and other police officers. When searching clues you pick them up and look them over, maybe finding a name of a person, business or something else that will help you in the case. Some stuff you find is evidence, other stuff not so much. I probably could have cut my play time in almost half if I did not pick up so many things like beer bottles thinking it could be used as a clue. Everything you find you put into the in game notebook that you can go through at anytime, mostly to help refresh yourself with the case. It is also used for asking questions to witnesses.

The conversation system, arguably the best feature of this game and certainly better than any other game out there. This feature is for sure the most talked about when L.A. Noire is brought up in discussion. This is what is used when you are question, or grilling suspects, witnesses or other people of interest. You ask question that are written down in your notebook and you have to decide from the facial feature of the other person if they are telling the truth, lying or not telling you everything. If you feel they are telling the truth or not telling you everything, it is pretty straight forward. If you think they are lying you must be able to prove it with some kind of evidence that you picked up a long the way. This can be anything from something physical or something someone else has told you. You can believe someone is lying without any evidence, or the wrong evidence, but that only hurts you in the long run. You maybe not be able to get some information you need from them and have to find it another way. It also will hurt you in the case's end. You are ranked one through five stars on how well you did at each case. Getting questions right, finding all the clues and evidence and other stuff is all tallied up at the end to give you your score.

L.A. Noire is a bold release for Rockstar and does a lot of what no other game has which makes it great and refreshing. However, what this game does so well, it equally does in becoming boring and repetitive, making it hard to want to pick up and keep playing at times.





LA Noire is good. Rent before you buy it though.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Rent it first"

Summary

I just got LA Noire 3 days ago and I must say that I do like it. I'm not disappointed. However It's not going to be one of those games that I will keep playing for a while.
After finishing the story in just 3 days, it's actually good. It kind of reminds me of a movie except it's a very interactive one. The story actually has a nice little twist to it.

If you've played any gta game, you should know that with a tap of a button in a police car, you can initiate a mission where you track down the suspect and kill them. In this game there's more to it (of course) than just chasing the suspect, doing a drive-by on them and getting rewarded a couple of bucks for eliminating the them. You get to interrogate, interview, find evidence and just do things you would do to find and convict someone. It can however get a little repetitive. You'll have to ask questions and do things to try to get the right guy but be careful though. Choose the wrong choice and you could end up getting the wrong guy. Not having enough evidence also affects interrogations and interviews.

At some time, you'll probably want to have some gta type of fun even though you're a cop. Well it won't happen. You can't run over pedestrians, damage property, and you can't shoot or fight the peds. The most you can do to them is push them down by simply running into them (when out of a car). It is possible to hit a ped and kill them but majority of them will dodge out of the way and those kind of actions can mess with your rep or rank or whatever it said it would affect. The only thing you can do is run around solving cases and do side missions. That's about it. You can replay the story missions and yes it does have a free mode.

Wondering if this game will let you customize your character? Well yes it will but there's not many options. You can't go to a store to buy a suit or outfit but if you go to the menu, you can choose from 4 different suits in the game. And if you are wondering if you can buy a weapons, then no, you can't. Can you use other weapons? Sure... if they're laying on the ground after killing an armed enemy. The DLC that you can buy gives you some guns you can use and a new suit but other than that, that's it when it comes to customizing your character.

LAN is a good game. This game is not a 9 but it's not a bad one to play. But like I said earlier, it's not something that I will keep playing for a while. It's also not something that I would say is a must have. I'd recommend renting before buying it. I got my copy for $20. It's worth that much but anything over $30, no. I give this game an 8.3 out of 10.




LA Noire is a good start but the series need more development to be called amazing games.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

I have bought La noire six months ago and I was completely amazed by the games atmosphere and the soundtrack. One of the games most amazing things is the atmosphere of the 40's. It is simply outstanding. The clothes of people which is exactly what they were at that decade. The music is also another remarkable achievement in the game. People that like Jazz and the old times music that was playing in the jazz clubs will be at their favorite place. The investigations although they are not much in my opinion they are slightly difficult from time to time but that's the good thing with games like LA Noire they make you think and think to understand who did it and why. The action sequences are pretty good. The stars in the action sequences are without question the shooting, that it has it's roots at Grand Theft Auto, and the hand to hand combat which is not just random buttons but it needs some technique. But as much as good is a game it always has some flaws. In case of LA Noire although you have a whole city to explore which is much detailed the game wont leave to explore it. In the whole game you from one place to another trying to find clues and at the end of each case the game immediately moves one to next one like a movie in fast forward. That leaves you to guess what happened before. But beside that even if you don't go at the place that the map tells you the street crimes that you have to complete in the world are good at first but once you do 15/60 the crimes get repetitive and it feels like a missed oportunity. All in all the game is a must for anyone who wants to know waht was going on seventy years ago and wants to think. For the others it is just a lame game.
9.0

Editors' Choice
8.9
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