Down to the detail

25 Jan 2018
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Alvin Thomas journeys through the seamy side of LA streets, searching for clues and looking suspects straight in the eye. The business of being Cole Phelps is thrilling and chilling

When released in 2011, L.A. Noire rose in ranks to snag the title of the ‘Best Game of the Year’. It’s one of the rare times I had adhered to the likes and interests of other gamers from around the world. The game – with its intricate storyline and superior character depiction – appealed to a broad audience.

The game was so complex that you were forced to read the expressions of the interviewees during questioning. It was difficult, but that made it more beguiling. Nevertheless, the famed developer, Rockstar, is bringing back the title – but not how you would’ve imagined it.

It’s now in virtual reality (VR) format – and for the first time ever, we’re glad about such a port (from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation VR).

In some ways, it feels like you’re playing it for the first time: The first-person format gives you control of the surroundings like never before, and the ability to look directly into the eyes of the accused is nothing short of fascinating and a bit Sherlock-like.

The catch is that you only get to play seven cases, as opposed to the 21 cases that were crammed into the console and PC versions. This means you – Cole Phelps – will be running around and solving only a third of the missions that you are presented with.

The flaws may be patched in the coming versions of the game and, besides, you have already got about eight hours of gameplay – which is mind-bogglingly impressive.

The physics engine is altered to a minimum, although the increased number of interactive elements in the game makes it more engaging. Oh, and did I mention? You can land punches using your fists; it’s an oddly satisfying feel.

L.A. Noir still follows an episodic route. This makes it easy for you to settle into the game and the narrations are comprehensive. The controls are easy to use, too. Granted, it’s no keyboard or wireless controller, but the motion-sensitive stick is always on point.

At the end of the day, Rockstar may be seemingly making use of this game to increase sales figures for 2018, but anyone staying away from this game with prejudice is losing out on an opportunity to live this game like you were originally supposed to… from within the streets of 1940s L.A.

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