Saturday, June 15, 2013

NerdMania: L.A. Noire

Now, I'm not one for the massively played, online multiplayer, magical or mindless killing games (not that GTA isn't about killing but there's more to it - I'll talk about that game another time). I've always been into the mission-based games with a storyline. My all-time favorite game production company is Rockstar Games and my top four favorite games come from these geniuses. One of them is L.A. Noire.

This game was released in June of 2011. I remember actually getting up really early to get to Target as they opened so I could get my hands on it. I was only 17 at the time so they wouldn't let me buy it and I had them hold it for my mom to go pick it up later :( but I digress.

When I first saw advertisements for this on TV, I immediately knew I had to have it. After all, anything released from Rockstar is bound to be great.

L.A. Noire is a film noir-style game that is set in 1940s Hollywood/Los Angeles. That my first tip-off: The time period is great on it's own but when you mix it with L.A, of course it's a must-have.

You play as Detective Cole Phelps as you try to investigate murders and other crimes (usually resulting in murders) as well as the corruption of the city. It doesn't matter if something someone is doing is wrong, you just cant do anything about it. Cole receives much backlash for trying to do the right thing and uncover the truth.

What I love is the very realistic nature of this game. You investigate to look for clues, interrogate suspects and witnesses, chase down and apprehend (or kill) criminals, and pretty much anything as real detective would do. There is a lot of real thinking involved and using your head. It's not always easy to tell if someone is telling the truth or lying or if you've found all of the evidence at the crime scene. They don't hold your hand. If you don't get everything right in a certain case, you just move onto the next.

The cases do end up intertwined into the main storyline in one way or another. Some cases build up to a big final mission for that group of investigations and others are simply to tell us things we need to keep in mind for later.

Cole is also struggling with some inner demons and occasionally there are flashbacks of his time in combat during the war.

What I find wonderful is the beautiful graphics and amazing soundtrack. They make it all the more believable and like you're actually in the 1940s. I think as far as quality and being aesthetically appealing, this game has others beat. What is astounding is the groundbreaking technology used to bring the characters to life. In producing the game, developers "utilized revolutionary new facial animation technology" (Rockstar Games), which made all the difference in the world to the gameplay. The animations are so extremely life-like it's incredible.

The dark nature is what really draws me in. Those types of games, movies, or TV shows draw emotions from you and pull you in to make you feel mentally invested in what's going on.

Overall, L.A. Noire is an utterly fantastic game and those were the reasons as to why it is one of my favorites. if you're into dark, beautifully mastered, time period games, you should definitely give this game a play; you won't regret it. You can get it here for Xbox 360, PS3, or PC for $29.99. You can also find it at pretty much any store that sells video games as well.

Have you played L.A. Noire? If so, what do you think of it? Let me know what your favorite video game is!

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