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L.A. Noire

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L.A. Noire gets 'Reefer Madness' next week, trailer now


Jul 07
// Jordan Devore
Another add-on case for L.A. Noire, another quick trailer involving fleeing suspects, yelling, and accusing people of hiding something. This one is called "Reefer Madness," appropriately enough. It's a Vice case, so you'll h...
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Rumor: Rockstar has 'disdain' for Team Bondi


Jul 05
// Jim Sterling
According to supposedly leaked emails, Rockstar will not work with Team Bondi again, despite the success of L.A. Noire, due to "disdain" for the Australian developer.  "It's pretty well reported now that the working cond...
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L.A. Noire is getting a PC version this fall


Jun 23
// Jordan Devore
Better late than never at all. Rockstar Games has announced that L.A. Noire will appear on PC this fall. This time around, Rockstar Leeds is handling development. An official blog post promises keyboard remapping and gamepad ...
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L.A. Noire missing 130 staff credits, developers upset


Jun 21
// Jim Sterling
[Jim's Note: Nick wrote this better] L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi has been accused of a year-long crunch period that led to a number of developers leaving the company -- at the cost of their credit for whatever work they p...
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L.A. Noire's Nicholson Electroplating case gets a trailer


Jun 16
// Jordan Devore
Want someone to yell at you? Click the play button. This is the trailer for the impending "Nicholson Electroplating" arson case for L.A. Noire. An explosion spanning six blocks has occurred, and it's up to Cole Phelps to pic...
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L.A. Noire, Halo: Reach, and more discounted on Amazon


Jun 14
// Jordan Devore
While it certainly wasn't without its faults, I found L.A. Noire to be something all gamers should experience. If price was a major concern, well, how does $44.99 sound instead? Amazon has the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versi...
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Uncredited L.A. Noire devs speak out


Jun 03
// Nick Chester
A group of developers who claim to be uncredited for their work on Rockstar Games' L.A. Noire are speaking out. Former members of the Team Bondi development team are claiming that the game's credits are missing well over 100 names. Some, the group alleges, are given a "Special Thanks" in cases where they should have been eligible for a specific credit.
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An overview of L.A. Noire's Rockstar Pass


Jun 01
// Jordan Devore
The Rockstar Pass for L.A. Noire seems like a reasonable enough deal. $10 gets you seven premium downloadable content items, including: four new cases, a collectible challenge, and two outfits. You pay up front, and get acce...
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L.A. Noire Rockstar Pass, pre-order DLC launches


May 31
// Jim Sterling
L.A. Noire's Rockstar Pass has launched on Xbox Live today, giving customers access to a range of downloadable content. The extra stuff starts today, and is expected to continue for several months to come.  For 800 Moon ...
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What happened to the Summer drought of gaming?


May 28
// Maurice Tan
Gaming seasons can be as fickle as Scarlett O'Hara. In the past four years, we've seen Call of Duty take over a dominant position in the traditional Christmas season where all the big titles used to come out. Following tha...
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New Destructoid Episode: Peace in Duke Wii Warfare?


May 25
// Tara Long
Hey guys. Wednesday evening is upon us, and that means it's time for another episode of the Destructoid show! Let's waste no time; this gin and McDonald's Frozen Strawberry Lemonade isn't going to drink itself. First up on t...
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Take-Two sees L.A. Noire 'as a powerful new franchise'


May 24
// Jordan Devore
Commenting on L.A. Noire during a call to investors, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said "We certainly don't want to be subject to [comparing] all of our new releases of new franchises against the extraordinary suc...
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New Destructoid Episode: Infinite Metal Monster RISING!


May 23
// Tara Long
Oh, it's you. Welcome to The Destructoid Show episode whatever. I'm really tired and I hate Mondays. Sometimes I surprise myself with how much I sound like a cartoon bear. Anyway, first up on this evening's program is PSN ...

A line in the sandbox: L.A. Noire's closed open world

May 23 // Andrew Kauz
Why is L.A. Noire's structure so linear? I'm not rightly sure how to answer this question in a way that is going to satisfy the people who seem so disappointed by the fact that L.A. Noire isn't a game where you just randomly go to different places and solve crime. It's linear because it has to be. An investigation is a line. It starts at one point and ends at another. Between those points, you have choices, but they all fall upon essentially the same line, perhaps with certain deviations. There's no way around this basic fact. To create a game based on a series of investigations, you have to implement a sense of order and focus that's built right into the fabric of the game's structure. How much sense would it make to say "Hey, here's this totally open world, and here's this dead body. Go exploring until you find some clues, and maybe do some sweet car jumps along the way." Remember when Mafia 2 came out? Many critics had one main criticism of the game (among many others that were entirely acceptable): it lacks the same features that define sandbox games. Yes, it does. It's also not a sandbox game. Nothing in the game's premise should suggest to the player that you're meant to cause chaos and do whatever you want in between the game's story missions. It's a game where story is central and the open world is not a license to hang out on a roof with a rocket launcher. We're clearly misunderstanding the terms "sandbox" and "open world." They're absolutely different, and in many cases, our own disappointment of an open-world game can be connected to our desire for every open world to be a sandbox, especially when it comes to a game involving guns, cars, and a 20th century metropolitan area. A sandbox is a giant area filled with toys; we get as many of these toys as possible and play with them in as many different ways as possible. In a videogame, this normally means driving a bunch of cars into a busy intersection and throwing grenades at the pileup. See also: stealing a car and driving it into a river, using a grappling hook to steal a helicopter, using explosives to blow up hundreds of objectives spread across the whole world, and driving aimlessly for hours. An open world is different. Sure, it may still allow you to drive around aimlessly, launch a car into a river, or even throw grenades at cars, but it's not consistent with the feel or atmosphere of the game. While the presence of guns and cars may immediately make us think of other sandbox games, we instead need to break the open world down to its more basic parts.  The open world is, just as its name implies, a world. It's the environment that the game's story and events take place in: the window dressing that allows us to believe and enjoy what we're experiencing. It's shouldn't be the basis for defining a genre, nor should it define a single game. For L.A. Noire, the open world is all about atmosphere, not simply being an "open-world game." When we play as a homicide detective in L.A., we want to have a sense that L.A. itself is somehow important to the cases that we've solving. That we're a part of the world in which we've working. That each case isn't just some disconnected murder taking place at a series of locations that we're magically teleported to once we've found all the clues. Would anyone really want that? Investigations that take place in stages, moving from case to case with no sense that we're in an actual place. It sounds dreadful. So instead, we've presented with an open world in which we can enjoy a story that moves us from point a to point b. While it may not be a sandbox, it's still important that those minor choices are there. We can take different routes to a crime scene. We can explore the city if we want to forget about the story for a moment. And best of all, while we're driving from one crime scene to the next, we get to enjoy a living world as it passes by us, as its sights and sounds penetrate our consciousness and make us feel like we're there. Of course, both Mafia 2 and L.A. Noire make some really silly choices that remind us that they are indeed very derivative of sandbox games, and even the smallest choices do a huge disservice to the games as a whole. One of which is Mafia 2's Playboy scavenger hunt. I mean, it's an open world game, so there has to be some sort of collectible included, right? Why not scatter a bunch of magazines around the world and make players search environments for them as they attempt to remind themselves that the situations they're in are supposed to be urgent and dangerous. It was a stupid choice, serving only to make us waste time and remind us that this is, in fact, not a sandbox game. Similarly, L.A. Noire throws in a lot of silly extras that don't make any sense to the story, gameplay, or atmosphere. The silliest is the tracking of cars that your character has driven. Drive every vehicle in the city, unlock an achievement or trophy. What? Why? We're expected to take time off from crime solving to walk around and get in and out of cars? And in most cases, we'd be required to commandeer those vehicles. How does that make any sense? How about the random street crimes that we can respond to? Not a terrible idea, and decently fitting based on the game's overall premise. But, like many sandbox games, these are repetitive and uninteresting. Go to a location, run after a dude, shoot some people -- it's another example of a typical sandbox element: the side mission. Why do they need to be in L.A. Noire? Do we really need to be distracted from the part of the game that's actually interesting and central: the investigating? Oh right, we can't forget the hidden film reels. God. Open-world, non-sandbox games need a new philosophy to separate themselves from Grand Theft Auto, Just Cause, The Saboteur, and the like. Those games are all fantastically enjoyable when you're looking to that specific experience, but not every third-person action game in an open world needs to offer that same experience, or even any of the same elements. Instead, stick to a tighter focus and make that core, linear gameplay far more impressive. At least the open world will ensure your game doesn't turn out like the first thirty hours of Final Fantasy 13. When you put in the first corridor, it's time to abandon ship. Please.
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In January of 2011, Rockstar offered a proclamation with no room for alternate interpretations: "L.A. Noire is not a sandbox game." There it was, clear as day, telling us that this seemingly open world crime-solving...

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58% of L.A. Noire sales on Xbox 360, 42% on PS3


May 23
// Jim Sterling
L.A. Noire has sold 58% of its British copies on Xbox 360, as opposed to 42% on PS3, according to Chart Track. Although the sales figures are quite even -- moreso than Brink's 69% landslide -- it would seem that the addition ...
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L.A. Noire becomes fastest selling new IP in UK


May 23
// Jim Sterling
Team Bondi's L.A. Noire has, quite unsurprisingly, broken a sales record to become the fastest selling new property in British history. In addition, it's become the 15th fastest selling game on Xbox 360 and the 11th fastest o...
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New Destructoid Episode: Free Dragon Ages & Battlefields!


May 20
// Max Scoville
Hello my little darlings. I've got another one of these awful awful Destructoid Show videos for you:Uh-Huh-Yeah-Sure News: The PSN store is supposed to be working next week. Okay, moving on.Graduation Present News: The new...
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The Question: So what do you think of L.A. Noire?


May 20
// Jim Sterling
[Every Friday, Destructoid will pose topical a question to the community. Answer it if you want!] We've got a pretty easy question this week -- L.A. Noire, yay or nay? The game released in North America this Tuesday, and in B...
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Team Bondi: L.A. Noire is very appealing to women


May 20
// Jim Sterling
According to developer Team Bondi, the superior female brain finds L.A. Noire a very rewarding experience. Moreso than Duke Nukem Forever? Crazy talk! "We think it appeals to a really broad church," said director Brendan McNa...
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Far Cry 2 dev: L.A. Noire derivative, uninspiring


May 20
// Jim Sterling
Far Cry 2's creative director, Clint Hocking, has slammed L.A. Noire six ways to Sunday, tearing the game apart as a piece of kitsch entertainment, and declaring that it has nothing to say for itself. Man, and sometimes I fee...
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Rockstar & Sony: L.A. Noire NOT causing PS3s to overheat


May 19
// Jim Sterling
Rockstar and Sony have issues a joint statement regarding the issue of L.A. Noire and overheating PS3 systems. Yesteday, Rockstar blamed PS3 Firmware 3.61. Today, Sony blamed L.A. Noire. Now? both companies have said it'...
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L.A. Noire gets new DLC June 21


May 19
// Jim Sterling
Rockstar has revealed that the first downloadable mission for L.A. Noire, the Nicholson Electroplating Arson Case, is scheduled to launch on June 21.  The content was first outed by Best Buy, when codes for the case were...
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L.A. Noire overheats Xbox 360s as well as PS3s (Update)


May 19
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Both companies claim this is a coincidence. We're staying on top of this story.] Yesterday, Rockstar had suggested that PS3 Firmware 3.61 was causing L.A. Noire to cook people's systems. Now it's become apparent that...
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New Destructoid Episode: Dead, Nude Threesomes!


May 18
// Tara Long
Happy Hump Day, everyone, and welcome to the 92nd installment of The Destructoid Show! It's hard to believe we've made it this far, but our 100th episode is fast approaching. Rest assured, salacious things will be happenin...
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L.A. Noire causing PS3s with latest Firmware to overheat?


May 18
// Jim Sterling
It seems poor Sony just cannot catch a break. The critically acclaimed PS3 Firmware 3.61 may be the cause of Sony consoles overheating when trying to play L.A. Noire. That is, if Rockstar's customer support warning is true.&n...
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Take-Two shares soar with release of L.A. Noire


May 18
// Conrad Zimmerman
Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive has seen a significant boost in share value on the NASDAQ yesterday following their launch of the critically-acclaimed L.A. Noire. Share prices shot up as high as ten percent bef...
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Shipping error delays L.A. Noire for Amazon customers


May 17
// Jim Sterling
A significant number of Amazon customers are reporting that their copy of L.A. Noire has been delayed due to a mechanical fault with a UPS plane. The plane carried copies for North American customers, many of whom have Tweete...
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L.A. Noire once needed up to six discs on Xbox 360


May 17
// Jim Sterling
There's been some discussion about L.A. Noire requiring three discs on the Xbox 360 -- as there is when any game requires three discs on the Xbox 360 -- but things could have been a lot more controversial. According to Team B...
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New Destructoid Episode: Aliens, LA Noire, MW3, and PSN


May 16
// Max Scoville
Hey guys, back again with another one of those things. Y'know. Episodes. Ugh. Garfield hates mondays. Garfield is my spirit animal. I'm grumpy. I hate Garfield. Shameless Promotional News: We reprinted those Squidbear shirts ...
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Nicholson Electroplating Arson Case DLC for L.A. Noire


May 16
// Jim Sterling
Best Buy has outed the first planned downloadable investigation for L.A. Noire, the Nicholson Electroplating Arson Case. It was revealed as part of the store's midnight launch promotion, where the first 16 customers to buy th...

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