Unlike other Rockstar games, you don’t play as a criminal and you can’t go around causing chaos and destruction. Instead, you play as a detective and spend most of the game searching for clues. You also question witnesses, which can be a real challenge as you must judge the trustworthiness of a witness’ statement using clues and their facial expressions. After every question you get a response from the suspect. Then you must decide whether that statement was the truth, not very believable, or a big fat lie. Get it right and you can open them up and get more clues. Get it wrong, and they offer less. Even when I thought I had the right guy, it turns out I falsely accused an innocent suspect. I also made a little girl cry. Don’t ask. 😛
The better you do over the course of a case, the more you’ll understand the suspect’s motivations. The worse you do, the tougher it is to get at the truth, but there’s no possibility of failure in any conversation. Thankfully, you only get a game over if you die or if a suspect gets away. So you don’t have to worry too much if you fail to catch a killer’s lie or miss an important clue. However, how you reach the end of a case greatly depends on the choices you make.
If you ever get tired of playing 20 Questions, you can explore a completely recreated 1947 Los Angeles, and tackle more action-oriented missions. While you can’t run around massacring people (like you can in GTA) you can still cause plenty of damage by driving on the sidewalk, which is actually how I drove a majority of the game. 😀 You can also play “unassigned cases” which come in as calls on the radio. One of my favorite missions involves chasing some helmet-wearing nut job who beat a guy to death claiming that he was receiving “cosmic rays” in his room or something like that.
The graphics are beautiful and the facial expressions and emotions expressed by the characters are very realistic! We have MotionScan, which recorded various actors by 32 surrounding cameras to capture facial expressions from every angle, to thank for that!
Even though I really enjoyed L.A. Noire, it does get pretty repetitive. I mean every other mission evolves dead and disfigured naked bodies and chasing a suspect or two or three on a foot. But it’s still original, entertaining, and action-packed. And for that I give it a 5/5!