L.A. Noire is one of the most frustrating video games I’ve ever played. I love the setting and the concept—you play a detective trying to solve crimes in post-WWII Los Angeles and the tone draws heavily from film noir. Unfortunately, the execution of that concept hinges on trying to pull facial expressions out of the Uncanny Valley to detect whether or not certain characters are lying. It’s a good idea, but the stories and the gameplay doesn’t live up to the promise.
But Rockstar still thinks there could be interest in the game and they’re re-releasing it on next-gen consoles as a remastered version. The new game will arrive on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch along with slightly tweaked gameplay. In the original version, your character, Cole Phelps (Ken Cosgrove from Mad Men!), could interrogate witnesses with the options “Truth”, “Doubt” or “Lie”, which wasn’t entirely clear and usually the “Doubt” option made Phelps come off like a totally weirdo. Now your options are “Good Cop”, “Bad Cop”, and “Accuse”, which I guess is slightly better.
My hope is that this recent re-release is Rockstar testing the waters to see if a sequel is a viable option, and I hope that they go for it. The concept is sound and I think more diversity in open world games is a good thing. And hey, if they made a sequel to Bully (and called it something else and not something as provocative that would invite controversy), that wouldn’t be the worst thing either.
Check out the L.A. Noire Nintendo Switch trailer below. The re-master hits Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch on November 14th.
Here’s the official synopsis for L.A. Noire:
Amid the post-war boom of Hollywood’s Golden Age, newly-minted officer Cole Phelps embarks on a desperate search for truth in a city where everyone has something to hide.