LA Noire – Xbox One Review
Time to go Noire in LA Noire
I remember when LA Noire first came out on the Xbox 360. In May 2011, we were going to get a new IP from Rockstar after the huge success they had had with GTA and it was one that I was really keen on getting to play. Something a bit different that did follow parts of the same features we were used to from Rockstar and had seen on GTA IV. I remember playing through LA Noire the first time around and completing it and it to this remains one of my favourite Xbox 360 games I`ve played. In fact, I`d even say it`s up there as being in my top 5. Possibly even top 3. Playing through the story cases (Not the DLC ones as back then I`ll admit I never really brought loads of DLC content) it was something completely different and was really good in offering something challenging but enjoyable at the same time.
Well, 6 years later, and Rockstar announced the news that they were going to be re-mastering LA Noire for Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch that would release this year, and launched this week on consoles. At first, I`ll admit that I`d have rather they spent their time on producing a sequel to the game, but I do like a good remaster, and over the past year we`ve seen quite a few, with Call of Duty being my favourite, and of course, LA Noire being one of my favourite Xbox 360 titles, I couldn’t turn down the chance to replay through, and this remastered version includes all the DLC cases that were on the Xbox 360, meaning you`re getting everything included. And if you do have an Xbox One X, then Rockstar announced that you`ll be getting 4K enhancements. But, I was about to jump back into the streets of Los Angeles for some cop action.
LA Noire focuses on the city of Los Angeles, and you play as Cole Phelps, a war veteran who works for the LAPD, and when we first see him is as an officer. Over the course of the game, you`ll work your way through the ranks including Homicide, Arson, Vice and Traffic (Not in that order) and play through a series of cases, where you`ll be undertake a mixture of finding clues, interrogating suspects, and of course, with what you`d expect with a Rockstar game, there`s going to be to gunfight and car/people chases. Alongside the main story cases there are 40 side missions that you can also undertake to protect the people of Los Angeles, and to rank up your level. I`ll explain a bit more about that later in my review.
One thing I loved about LA Noire the first time around is the use of storytelling throughout the game, and again, It had reminded me why I loved it. Whether that`s using cinematic cutscenes, or finding clues to help me with my investigation and interrogation later in the case, I really did and do enjoy it, as it is something that truly is something a bit different to other stuff that Rockstar have produced, and is a proper detective game. The more clues that you find in your cases will help you later in turning over a suspect and charging them, so I found myself scouring around every corner to see if there was any evidence that could be hiding at any point. When you find yourself approaching a piece of evidence, you`ll hear a sound that indicate that you`re near evidence, and pressing the A button will investigate it. What`s quite nice is that it`ll also make another sound when you`ve found all the evidence you can for that scene, so you`re not spending ages looking for evidence that you don’t need to be. Each case you can earn a maximum of 5 stars based on how well you do. This will include finding all the evidence and clues, interrogating suspects and getting all the questions right (This is the exact same as before with the change being the wording of when you select how your going to answer – But you`ll recognize instantly what they are and if you`ve never played LA Noire then there`s pretty much three possible answers – A good cop where you believe what the suspect is saying, Bad cop where you doubt they are telling the truth but you lack the evidence to back-up the claim, or you think they are lying, which in that case you`ll need to select the evidence you think is right to back up that claim) and also making sure that you don’t cause any damage when your driving around to get to the locations that you`ll need to for the case (There is a way to play it safe – and that`s have your driver do all the driving to the locations but there is an achievement for clocking up 194 miles in the game, so if you`re an achievement whore then you may want to drive) and overall you`ll then be awarded a star ranking for the case. You can go back through and play the cases again later, so don’t worry too much if you don’t fully rank the case. There is an achievement for it though, but the case replay doesn’t make it difficult to achieve.
I find myself with any game liking to get through the main story before attempting to take on any of the side missions (Although in some games this is impossible) as I like to get the main bulk done and then work my way through the bits on the side. In LA Noire, it does follow a sort of linear narrative in terms of it will start you up in a case, but there is nothing to stop you driving around and completing the side missions before you carry on with the case and head to the locations you`ll need to to progress the story. It is completely down to you. There are many side missions though to do and they will help contribute towards your overall rank. The more you rank up, the more you`ll unlock in terms of costumes for Phelps, and you`ll also unlock more hidden car locations that you`ll be able to go around and find in Los Angeles. It does offer quite a lot for you to jump into after you`ve completed the main cases in terms of being able to do the side missions, go and find some of the hidden cars, and, there are other things such as visiting landmarks (These will also earn you a bit of XP to rank up) and collecting and finding golden film reels which are across the game. In addition, you have the case replay, so you can playthrough the cases again if you want to gain the 5 stars if you`ve not already.
Rockstar confirmed earlier in the year that if you were getting the Xbox One X then you`d be getting a 4K update and would be able to play in stunning 4K. Now, I`m not too sure whether I was expecting something a bit too much, but I must say, I`m quite disappointed with what they`ve released and whether it`s meant to be 4K. Maybe I`m comparing it to other 4K titles I`ve played recently on the Xbox One X, and the fact that it is a remaster, I don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, it does look sharper in parts, but overall, I do feel that there hasn’t been much focus on the 4K element of it, and I wonder if it could have been pushed and worked on even more. Maybe others will agree, and maybe they won`t, but for me, I`ve been left slightly disappointed.
Up until a few hours ago, I`d have said that it was actually a really smooth game without any issues. That was until I seemed to fall through the map during a case. I couldn’t do anything or move anything and I appear to plunging into oblivion for around 90 seconds before it popped up saying my officer was down. Nothing that Rockstar can`t fix with a patch, and thankfully I`ve not experienced it other than the once, but stuff like this can put people off in purchasing until its ironed out.
I loved LA Noire on the Xbox 360, and it has been a good throwback to play it on the Xbox One X. If you`ve never played LA Noire then I`d recommend it, as it has a fantastic story element to it and I love the discover and detect theme and it is something different to what you`ve probably played. overall it is a very good remaster, except for a few little things that bug me, but it is a remaster and not a full brand-new release. I do just wonder though if it`d have been better off focusing on an sequel rather than a remaster.
Review code supplied by Rockstar