So what makes L.A. Noire so perfect? In a word, everything. You can't fail to notice its stunning visuals. Team Bondi's breakthrough facial technology immediately stands out - the slightest emotion shows up on character faces like never before seen in any game previous. Next is the musical score: cleverly integrated into the actual game play, changing to let you know clues are nearby and offering chimes as pointers to your investigative process, never allowing you to escape the feeling that you are watching a film of the likes of L.A. Confidential or The Untouchables.
The usual Rockstar GTA styled controls allow you to jump right into the game with a feeling of comfortable familiarity - this allows you to pay real attention to your surroundings and peoples reactions as you collect clues and valuable evidence to investigate the crimes that cross your desk.
The setting of 1940's Los Angeles has been lovingly recreated to the extent that 90% of downtown L.A. Buildings and signage were authentically digitally reconstructed to suite the period. Vehicles, weapons and fashions are also beautifully authentic to the time and all of this makes for a truly enthralling and awe inspiring setting.
You play as Cole Phelps, an ex-marine now working for the LAPD. You start off as a beat cop and work your way up the ranks through traffic, homicide, vice and arson. Each career move will bring new cases and investigations that will stretch your ability to gather and use information and most importantly your ability to read the body language of all those that cross your path during the course of each investigation.
For any of you that are worried that L.A. Noire will not offer you enough action fear not, as important as the detective work is to the game it is only a part of it. The driving, foot chases and shoot-outs are as thrilling and fun as the likes of GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption.
I know I have been positively gushing about L.A. Noire during this review and it would be embarrassing if it was not so vital that I get across how amazing and groundbreaking this game is. The bar has just been raised people and other developers had better sit up and take note. If you buy just one game, make it this one.
Publisher: Rockstar Games,
Developer: Team Bondi
Out: 20th May 2011