If you’ve played Mass Effect 1 & 2 and Heavy Rain, this game is another entry in what is becoming a collection of games that will one day be linked back as the foundation of the future of gaming. Mass Effect (and over similar RPGs where branching dialogue is prominent) offers the ability to choose how you wish a conversation to unfold; sometimes giving you lots of options, sometimes it’s just window dressing, but the chatting is the feature of the game you will remember after playing. In Heavy Rain you were taught to live with the decisions you made, and by the end you could be in one of any number of possible resolutions to the story; the motion-mimickry was prominent, but that feature is take it or leave it, wouldn’t matter.
LA Noire isn’t the next evolution, or another great step forward. Instead, it is just a contribution. It offers nearly realistic facial animations and systems that make it feel like you’re the one solving the crime. Sadly, I feel like beyond a certain point you realize that you, the player, are just the driver at the wheel of this story which is on a set rail.
Had this game incorporated better chat options, gave you more choices to make, and gave more than one or two resolutions to a case, then we might have had the next big thing.
LA Noire is not a huge step forward, but it tinkers with the notion. The honest truth is this game is more like an interactive movie. They possibly could have made it a better game with more freedom to do stuff in the city, but they’re probably saving that for the next game…
X – investigate
O – exit, reload
TRI – enter, exit car / hold to make partner drive
SQU – talk / dodge in a fist fight
R1 – enter, exit cover R2 – run / shoot
L1 – drop held gun
L2 – aim / lock on in fist fight
R3 – look behind you
L3 – siren/horn
D-DOWN – zoom out of mini map
D-RIGHT – call partner
SELECT – notebook
START – Pause menu