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LA Noire follows the story of Cole Phelps, a WW2 veteran working his way up through the ranks of the LAPD. The characterisation is brilliant and you will recognise many of the in game actors from TV series such a s Heroes and Fringe. This really adds to the feel that you are playing a highly Polished game and enforces the episodic nature of the narrative. Needless to say Coles progression isn't entirely plain sailing and Rockstar should be commended for putting such an involving storyline into a video game.
The first thing that will strike you when you load up LA Noire for the first time is the frankly awesome use of motion capture. You will have probably already read it from a thousand different sources but the facial animations really are the best that I have ever seen in over 20 years of gaming. This isn't just a throw away gimmick either, it is an integral part of the interrogation process; studying your suspect, looking for signs of deception. Having completed the game I can honestly say that I was fairly useless at recognising when someone was lying, which is probably why I have never taken up Poker, but according to friends whose gaming skills are substantially better than my own, if you know where to look you can see the "tells".
The graphics are great and very recognisable as a product of Rockstar, it looks identical to GTA in parts especially driving between locations. The sound is also of a very high quality and I never thought I would say this but I actually really enjoyed the music of the era that plays through the car radios. The only music that I found marginally annoying was the default tune that plays when driving a squad car.
The game itself is huge, if you were to merely stick to the 21 main cases the game would take roughly 20 hours to complete, however if you are to include the 40 street crimes and cars to collect, amongst other side missions, you could easily exceed the 30 hour mark.
The game does have a few bad points, however none of them truely game breaking. By the time that you near the games conclusion, the cases can feel a bit of a slog and lack the innovation in earlier missions. There are the occassional comedic bugs typical in Rockstar games, for example, I arrived at one suspects house with my car on its roof, on fire andwith my head poking out through its underside. As I said the negatives are few and far between, and I can't really criticise a game for being long when most titles only come in at around 10-12 hours for a single player campaign.
Overall LA Noire is a ground breaking title in some respects and definitely worth picking up a copy. I cannot wait to see what downloadable cases Rockstar release which will add even more hours of quality gaming. This game really is value for money for the solo gamer, no multiplayer though which may annoy some, however other than having a separate co-op mode I can't see how Rockstar could have squeezed this in.