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L.A. Noire Remastered Review (Xbox One)

November 15, 2017 | Posted by Stewart Lange
L.A. Noire Remastered
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L.A. Noire Remastered Review (Xbox One)  

Given the fact that L.A. Noire was released in 2011, I’m going to be fairly brief in my review of this updated remaster. Revisiting the story of up-and-coming detective Cole Phelps as he progresses from beat-cop through the ranks of the slightly corrupted Los Angeles police department is a nice excuse to revisit a game I felt was slightly overlooked, considering Team Bondi didn’t last and Rockstar had a few overshadowing projects since.

The game has been given a graphical update, which is nice. The high-level of motion capture is still apparent, although it certainly looks dated when comparing it to the likes of Call of Duty: WW2. This isn’t entirely fair as the facial expressions in L.A. Noire were ahead of their time, especially when they are integrated into the interrogation process but there have certainly been better animated faces out there over the last few years. The city looks great, with the textures having a nice shiny polish and extra details added. There’s moody smoke around the city, adding atmosphere as well as much improved weather effects. It’s not quite GTA V pretty, but it does hold up fairly well.

Deciding on whether a character is withholding information from you is such a big part of the game and despite a few changes, remains as important to the games success today as it did 6 years ago. If you find this aspect of the game irritating, then you’re going to have a bad time. Likewise, going into this hoping to experience a flip-role version of a GTA game will not work out for you either. In the fist half an hour of the game, you maybe shoot a gun half a dozen times, with one moment actually failing the mission if you shoot your suspect. The game is feeding you a gun tutorial as you chase someone down, but given how frantic a few minutes you have, you’ll be forgiven for not realising you had to make him surrender.

The biggest change from the original game is within the interrogations. Before, Cole would be prompted to choose from truth, lie or flat out accuse them. This would be slightly confusing at times, with the responses not entirely lining up as you’d expect them to given your options. This has been changed to Good Cop/Bad Cop, which makes a little bit more sense. I’ve not found it much easier to pick the right options when interrogating suspects, but that’s half the fun of the game, getting it wrong and going back to it a different way. Not so much in a few of them that you can’t fail on, when you need to go through the whole scenario again and again. This is tiresome and doesn’t do much to help with the immersion in the game.

Overall, L.A. Noire is well worth visiting for the first time if you missed it. It’s a great story with some fun gameplay nuances that make it feel a lot more than just another sandbox game. If you’ve played it before, you’ll at least know what you’re getting into so a decision on whether this is worth the price or not is a much easier one. I’d suggest if you have the option to play it on the Switch that might be difference enough as I’d imagine being able to take it out and about with you would be a positive, more so than the “4K Enhanced” versions for the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Another game in the slew of remasters we've seen on the current generation of consoles, L.A. Noire has the benefit of being different enough and perhaps overlooked by a large enough number of people that a remaster at this point doesn't seem like overkill. It's still a great game and while tastes may have changed towards it, I still enjoy the change of pace that it offers.

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L.A. Noire, Stewart Lange