Back in 2011, LAPD’s detective Cole Phelps asked the most important question of all – ‘’You fuck young boys, Valdez?’’. And ever since, we’ve all been asking that very question, but while we were all looking at Valdez, other Hollywood high-end undesirables such as Kevin Spacey, have been accused of participating in alike deviant activities. However, where modern Hollywood is all about sexual deviance and illicit behaviour, the one of 1947, where L.A. Noire takes place, is rotten to its core with drug dealing, kidnappings, domestic violence, murder, and an entire array of other violent crimes, synonymous with human beings and LA’s underworld.

Since 2011, L.A. Noire hasn’t changed much. On the current gen platforms, it works at a slightly higher resolution, and stable framerate. But at its core, it is still the very same game. And while PlayStation 4 and Switch users can use their respective touch-based surfaces to carry out a portion of the in-game actions, their respective copies of the game are exactly the same as the one which can be found on Xbox One. And in certain instances, familiarity can be seen as something positive, as it gives one semblance of security and confidence, but others can scoff at it – as to some, familiar concepts can seem lazy, and uninspiring.

Despite its higher resolution and a handful of bells and whistles, the current gen remaster of L.A. Noire remains largely unchanged. And on the visual and technical level, the title at hand may come across as dated, as despite the six very long years and its availability on modern hardware, it is still rife with glitches and imperfections which should have been ironed out a long time ago.

1947’s LA is just as barren and empty as it was on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and certain objects such as bushes, trees, and small props, have a tendency to pop in in at the very last second. And once one combines disappearing and appearing acts, which have been seemingly ripped out straight from David Copperfield’s magic book, with rather disappointing draw distance, he/she is served with a world which can disappoint the vast majority of modern gamers.

L.A. Noire, despite Rockstar’s best attempts, shows its age at every stage possible. And if not for its superb art direction, and the execution of such, some could turn away from it in disappointment. But thankfully, the now defunct Team Bondi – may it rest in peace – when developing the title back in the mid to late 2000s, has ensured to create a world, which just like the Americana itself, can age with dignity.

Team Bondi’s depiction of 1947’s LA is simply incredible, even after all these years. And despite the rather underwhelming number of pedestrians, the city still feels alive and lived in, and allows one to immerse him/herself into the gritty underworld of the city of angels, at each and every step. And what really makes this particular title tick is the use of set pieces, simply because they make every single action, and the corresponding reaction to such, feel important.

Every single in-game interrogation, search, and meeting seems genuine and life-like. And while not all in-game facial animations are up to scratch – as some of them are comically exaggerated – for the most part, they’re still impressive and, despite the title’s age, feel way ahead of their, and most importantly our, time. Phelps, Bekowski, Gonzalez, Biggs, and Earle, throughout the game are all a sight to behold, as at times they genuinely seem, as Rob Zombie would put it, more human than human.

I, personally, have already witnessed a number of people turn L.A. Noire’s remaster down, due to its dated visual façade. However, L.A. Noire, despite its age, might just be one of the best titles of the current holiday season. As it is the perfect example of what games should be like, especially to the players who have missed the previous generation, and are now currently entrenched within the hell of lootboxes and microtransactions. L.A. Noire, unlike your Overwatches and other Wolfensteins, is a title with soul and substance, which the vast majority of modern titles unfortunately lacks. And that’s simply because L.A. Noire is a complete game. And I’m not talking here about its play-time or core content, but the sheer quality of it and the satisfaction which it provides one with.

At no point throughout the entirety of the twenty to thirty-hour playthrough, does one ever feel like he/she is being short-changed in any way shape or form. All investigation specific locales feel unique and true to life, every single NPC feels like a life-like entity, and each and every investigation as a whole is written and constructed in a way which does not only make sense, but also leaves one on a high once it comes to its conclusion.

In a way, L.A. Noire is a perfect example of what episodic titles should be like, despite not being one of them. Each and every in-game investigation is just like an episode, it is its own unique entity, which provides one with a set of tasks and challenges, which slowly unravel the story and lead to its conclusion. But while one is working on the task at hand within an investigation, he/she is also uncovering more about the bigger picture, as each and every investigation is simply a part of the larger story.

One could argue that L.A. Noire’s true beauty lies not within its animations or gameplay, but within its writing and the implementation of such. As it is one of the very few long linear experiences, which manage to keep one within its grasp for weeks on end. And it manages to do so by separating itself into smaller chunks, which serve one with instant gratification upon their completion. Meaning that even if you don’t have time to play games for hours at a time, you will still find it equally rewarding and exciting as a person who can finish it within a handful of sittings. And that’s because its design and structure are simply immaculate.

Subsequently, despite L.A. Noire’s shortcomings, I am more than confident in saying that Rockstar’s ‘’newest’’ title may just be one of this year’s best. Yes, it is a remaster, but it has much more to offer than the vast majority of this year’s big hitters. It is a thrilling experience from start to finish, which is overflowing with quality and unique and meaningful content which cannot be found anywhere else. And the only truly sad thing about L.A. Noire, is the fact that we might never get another.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.