Yesterday was the big day. May 17th meaning one of the most anticipated titles of 2011 was due out for both the PS3 and X-Box. Now before we got all out into a full on review I just wanted to write about my first few hours of experience with the game, early thoughts. For those of you who didn’t know I got really hyped up about this game. That tends to be something that’s rather negative when it comes to games. Movies is one thing (as I rarely get hyped up for a bad movie), music is another (I tend to be very biased in my musical tastes anyway) but games. The last big game I was super hyped for was Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and that didn’t turn out 100% like I had hoped it would.
Rockstar games has always had the tendency to make really good gritty games from the 14 titles in the Grand Theft Auto series, to the 3 in the Max Payne series (with the third due out this year) as well as Bully and one of the best sequels to a game ever Red Dead Redemption. Sure there have been misses but they are not publicly noted like it is with some companies.
With that being said LA Noire has some pretty hefty shoes to fill in. I won’t delve deep into any plots or anything like that in this early thoughts, but I’d like to just jot down my first thoughts and feelings on video games since they take so long and you as a gamer get emotionally invested. I really enjoy playing games like this, that have a narrative that even though it has a set conclusion you can impact the way it plays out. Even if you miss an interrogation you can still solve the crime as an alternate way pops up.
But sorry for divulging there from my main points. The main points I want to make is about the hype surrounding this game. With video games it’s really hard not to have games get rather well hyped up. Especially big publisher’s games. Case in point Valve’s Portal 2 was exceedingly well hyped up and it lived up to the standards. Meanwhile inFAMOUS 2 may not be under as much scrutiny as the above listed title due to some of the major flaws in the first game (they weren’t awful enough to make it a bad game). Games like Mass Effect 3 and Arkham City and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception have the near impossible task of living up to their predecessor’s near flawless game styles.
LA Noire is a game though that is on it’s own but has a large chunk of hype. From the first trailer when you find out it’s Rockstar Games making it you know it has to be good. You already know what to expect until you find out you aren’t a crooked cop. You aren’t a drug dealing murderer from Europe. You are not in the 1980’s version of Miami. This is a game where you play a good guy. So think John Marston without the bad past.
The game’s hype not only stemmed from that but blogs all over the place saying how incredible it looked and now that it’s out we ask “does it live up to the hype?” Upon first play the answer is a shocking “no.” I say that because like all games the first few hours (mainly the first hour) is all tutorials. The time flies by in the game and you get a few “mini” cases thrown at you and boom you have to learn the controls. It’s essentially setting up the bigger part of the game. Okay I get that, but do you really need to insult some of your gamers? Most of them have played your GTA games or RDR, both of which would have the same if not similar control scheme.
I bought it on my PS3, so it should look better. Not really, I think RDR had better graphics than this, but then again it captures the scenery so wonderfully I can’t say much bad about the actual graphics of the game itself. Control scheme is fine, the running and jumping (which you can’t do) is a bit off. You don’t tap X or hold X to run, no instead it’s the R2 button which throws off all kinds of whoo ha. You can’t go around and shoot random people, this isn’t GTA, like I said you play a cop. So there goes that fun. I try to imagine it as GTA set in the late ’40s. I really do want to mow down people and shoot them like mad but I think they take the gun away from you. Shame
First few cases force you find clues. This part I’m not a huge fan of because it requires you to wander semi-aimlessly around the area to find shit. Fortunately there is music playing that stops when all the clues are indeed found, but your controller vibrates when you are near something you can look at. Weird but makes the whole thing easy. As for the interrogations, it’s tough. You would want to say a suspect is lying if you understand body language but at times they ain’t lying or you just have to ask a harder question. The first few I got eventually to fall apart, it wasn’t super hard but the last one I did, I flopped around like a flounder, I as the gamer knew he was guilty but no I couldn’t get it. Instead we tailed him around a few dozen blocks.
I looked at the amount of cases and sadly there is only 21 total cases, and you get to probably 5 or 7 within an hour or two of gameplay, which really doesn’t seem to have a long amount of gaming for a Rockstar game that has an open world. My first thoughts want to hand the game a meager 8 but at the same time I want to sit there all night and try to fall head over heels in love with the game. While I do think it’s great so far, I feel like it’s missing something for greatness. My thoughts are this at the moment, with the price tag now I feel like Rockstar should offer us plenty of free DLC cases in the future if they want to keep you going. Stay tuned for my full review when I finish the game. Also coming soon is the reviews for Fleet Foxes and The Lonely Island LPs, that’s once I get done playing LA Noire and hopefully before inFAMOUS 2.