A Videogame milestone is a funny thing, you know you’re in the presence of what the future is, yet you see the shackles of the pass. Full Motion Video was limited by colors, Shooter’s by controls, open worlds by raw processing power and narrative by game play structure. For years games have tried to evoke the feel of a movie while still being fun to play, and have failed in virtually every attempt.
L.A. Noire takes advantage of the repetitive and tediousness nature of being a detective and fuses’ it into competent game play experience with a mature and compelling story.
Yes, there are many issues here, when you have technology that takes an actual real life performance and layers it onto an artificial character you do get a very uncanny valley effect, however you can’t turn away from it. At no point could you play this game and not acknowledge that this is the future of mature games. You’ll never see Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog with this tech, but games like Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, Metal Gear, Uncharted, God of War… so many others that use story to enhance the experience would benefit from taking a performance an actual actor and incorporating it into the game play experience.
Not all is roses and sunshine, this technology is new, not everything blends perfectly, hell sometimes it looks like a cheap cinematic from some shitting Full Motion Video game from the 90’s; the act of actually playing doesn’t feel as smooth as it could be, you’ll find yourself walking around objects like some dumbass a few times and at no point will you think the shooting mechanic is in the same universe as the tight and focused precision of a Gears of War or Halo.
That doesn’t really bother me, like one of the characters in this game; there is a wounded song bird effect here, flaws and all I enjoyed playing this game unbelievably. It was the first time that the synergy of a compelling and well told movie quality narrative was indoctrinated into a video game. I can’t play this and not feel blissful we have that foundation for a L.A. Confidential or Chinatown the game; and if a game like L.A. Noire could yield a Good fellas, Departed or HEAT game to be produced into a solid videogames experience I can’t knock it. Hell, the idea of HEAT, my favorite movie of all time using this technology while incorporating the stealth mechanics of a Metal Gear or Splinter Cell and the shooting mechanics of a Gear of War or Crysis 2, the possibility alone of worthy of nothing but sheer praise.
Maybe my view isn’t as black and white as it could be, but fuck it, it’s diffidently Noir. 9/10
P.S. Unless you're an unspeakably lazy pile of shit and can't disk swap, PS3 and Xbox360 versions are practically identical.