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L.A. Noire

PlayStation Store photo
PlayStation Store

Plenty of great games for $5 during the PlayStation Store Flash Sale


There are great games, and some not-so-great as well
May 02
// Brittany Vincent
Looking for a new game to play well into the weekend while I hit up Chicago for the Queens of the Stone Age show? You are? Boy, do I have a sale for you! Hit up the PlayStation Store this weekend early for some sweet deals, i...
Newegg's Rockstar sale photo
Newegg's Rockstar sale

Newegg has a crazy sale on old Rockstar games for PC


Get 'em while they're cheap!
Nov 07
// Joshua Derocher
Newegg is running a sale right now on some older Rockstar games for the PC. All of the games are downloads, and are up to 76 percent off. Titles available include the Max Payne series, Bully, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Gr...

Embracing failure: We're all losers and that's OK

Apr 25 // Steven Hansen
One of the singularly unique features of videogames is your ability to lose them. A movie isn't going to stop 3/5 through and ask, "Hey, smart guy, who's the bad guy?" and then shut off if you’re too dense to figure it. Or maybe you were too busy fantasizing about a quixotic life in a small, but modern apartment with your waifu, eating steak fresh from the local butcher. Books don't quiz you on the moves and tactics you've learned and ask you to write a page before carrying on. Games can do this, and it can be a wonderful thing. I was thinking back to X-COM: Enemy Unknown and how it allows you to fail spectacularly at saving the world. With all the games that task you with being the Ultimate Savior of All Things, few offer a sense of urgency or suspense. You generally know you'll save the world, even if some grind is involved. Eventually. Whenever you're good and ready. In X-COM, you can play for 20 hours, fail to prepare adequately for an alien invasion, and lose the game. Game over, man. Game over. Feel free to try harder next time, you twit. It's easy to fall into the "ain't nobody got time for that" camp, but there's something delightfully droll about the game telling you you've reached absolute failure. And something in me that makes me want to try again. After all, I knew the stakes going in, and I should've been a bad enough dude to handle them, right? There's an untapped level of tension that keeps you engaged and on your toes when the impetus to succeed is put squarely on the player. It's the same feeling that encourages people to do self-imposed permanent death runs of games. Developers don't even have to be as damning as Firaxis was with X-COM, though. It would be neat to miss a QTE and end up with a scar that follows your player for the rest of the game. Just some semblance of consequence that elevates things beyond circumstance, or more ambiguous states of failure and success beyond the "dead/not dead" binary. In Persona 4’s narrative, you -- that’s you, the player, by way of a mute, surrogate main character -- are trying to catch a criminal. It's easy to lull yourself into a state of passivity and complacency, busying yourself with the tertiary mechanics and wonderful trivial details while you wait for the story to play out and tell you what's what. If you do that, though, the only things that will get you to the best, fullest endings are either a guide or plum luck. The game assumes you're properly invested. The quest for truth and, subsequently, what truth means, seems to be the highest thematic goal of the narrative and it’s reflected on the metagame level of rewarding players with a thirst for satisfaction and an attention span to match. It’s a good thing. It encourages an attuned, critical audience. There's something to be said for a challenge, whether reflexive or mental. I'm not advocating arcane rules, difficulty spikes, or cheap mechanics aimed to preclude potential players. I don’t mean to perpetuate insularity. But death or failure in games doesn't have to be pointless, or merely a brief respawn to a previous, uncorrupted state. Imagine a pure detective game that, unlike L.A. Noire, actually requires you to do proper detective work to succeed rather than scurry you up the promotion ladder because of player nepotism. There was something arresting about playing Myst and being told, “Figure it out,” as I scrawled across notebooks record of each and every little island discovery. Why is this market so painfully underserved while companies churn out samey games. Didn’t anyone ever tell them not to go chasing waterfalls? I'm reminded of the visual novel/puzzle game 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, which ended with me being stabbed in the back by an unknown assailant. It was awesome. It was infuriating. It had me yearning for another playthrough in which I do a better job of staying on my toes, unraveling its mysteries, and avoiding an empty death. What we need less of, in part, is what we’re inundated with: linear adventures in which we’re led by the nose by way of noisy, arrow-laden UI, toward inevitable, empowering success. Having actual threat and consequence to the player can make for unique experiences -- Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls come to mind as games in which you fully inhabit their worlds -- and serves as one way to heighten engagement as players explore the finely tuned digital space. It is also a means through which less stagnated design can be born as genre conventions would have to be either interestingly worked around or entirely cast off. In the case of the L.A. Noire example, a team would have to work out a viable way to make an actual detective game. Even some games in which you can’t “lose” offer a fresh alternative to the whitewashing of failure and instantaneous reversion to a comfortable, safe save state. During a particularly treacherous portion of Journey, I felt more possessive and protective of my lengthy, hard-earned scarf than I would have a lives counter ticking away and subsequently resetting me a couple of minutes. Failure is part of life. It's most of life for most of us. It also has room to be a meaningful part of a game beyond a temporary state to be overcome with the smallest amounts of added insight, skill, or chance. Giving failure meaning or consequence -- and exploring different modes of failure beyond the kill or be killed dichotomy -- is a chance to inculcate players with another experience beyond reckless abandon and lethargic play. It can add tension or engagement. If I’m just carted around on a sightseeing tour, made more voyeur than participant, my actions and attention both meaning little, it becomes easier to disengage.
Eminent fail photo
Or; Another reason why Persona 4 is still cooler than most other games
As I was knee deep in the glorious Persona 4: Golden, something curious happened. A heavy 50 hours into the game after something resembling a climax, the game ended. It was an ending that felt hollow, strangely devoid of reso...


BioShock Infinite and my mom don't get along

Mar 27 // Allistair Pinsof
It’s awfully strange to picture it, but that may because I never actually witness it: My mom was a gamer before I even picked up a controller. On my family’s Atari ST, she played adventure games like The Colonel’s Bequest, and many years later, Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village (DS). Currently, she games more than I do, playing Facebook games with friends and family all morning and night. Though she never took to The Sims, Tetris, and SimCity as my aunt once did (be careful what you wish for; do you really want your system taken away from you by an obsessed relative?). We all have that one game we want to show off to our parents in an ill-advised attempt to share the magic of videogames, the new media that they only hear about in terms of child murder and outdated pop culture references to Pac-Man and Mario. For me, that game was Final Fantasy IX. Yes, Final Fantasy IX. Hardly my favorite in the series but it was a very exciting release for the time, one that boasted a lush soundtrack, visuals, and a light, fantasy story that lacked the macho qualities of action games and the overbearing angst of FFVII and FFVIII. Perhaps it didn’t help that she joined me halfway through the game -- at a point where even I couldn’t follow the story -- but she didn’t have much interest, looking at it as merely cute. I thought, “If only they talked in these games!” In reality, that’d probably make the situation worse. But it’s 2013 and motherfucking BioShock Infinite is upon us -- yes, Ken Levine’s epic is permitted to fuck my mother. Yet, she had no interest in taking this skybird home. At first, she excused the awkward beats in action (waiting for a door to open, characters disappearing from a scene), but once the game presented itself as a first-person shooter instead of the adventure she suspected it may be, she lost interest.“It has taken a gruesome bloody, twisted turn … and I was just enjoying the serenity of it all,” she wrote on the laptop I gave her. The rich visuals and detailed art direction continue to carry her interests, but the gun fights continued to bore her. Yet, this is supposed to be the crossover hit that would get everyone’s Grandma to buy an Xbox 360! Ok, Levine and Irrational never said that but BioShock Infinite may be the closest we ever get to a first-person shooter that is about more than just the shooting -- yet having the shooting (and so much of it) is enough to turn away my mom. No mystery, story, or visuals can ever be enough to get away from the inherit disgust and boredom that prolonged firefights summon in her.I went into this experiment suspecting this would be the case. I’m hardly disappointed in her, the game, or Ken Levine. Most of all, I’m not disappointed in myself because I don’t need my mom to validate my gaming interests nor any other adult, especially as that desire in so many consumers has brought about an industry where every major franchise must imitate The Dark Knight in a boring attempt to be more mature and realistic. Why so serious? Because moms. Did I pick the wrong game? Of course. I can see her enjoying Heavy Rain and L.A. Noire, but I see little point in uncomfortably shoving her outside her comfort zone of Facebook games and TV. I used to judge her and put an effort into getting her into “better art,” never realizing how much of a jerk I was, especially since she never did that with me and my videogames. "I ALSO READ BOOKS MOM!!!!! TAKE THAT MOM!!!!" says the game journalist.Must we always be so self-conscious and defensive about our favorite hobby, hoping for games that present real emotion (lol Journey lol) and narrative (lol Dear Esther lol) when these things mostly just make for a dull game? We are an industry that constantly wants to appease our mothers, afraid to admit our arrested development instead of embrace it. This is a large part of why I love Japan, a country where gaming doesn’t occupy the same divide between gender and age. While people bemoan Metal Gear Rising’s eccentricities over here -- “Ugh, why can’t we have an emotional meaningful Metal Gear story, guys?” some may type on Twitter -- in Japan, they celebrate these goofy moments that throw all good logic and sense out the window. They don’t care what their moms think, or maybe their moms are just cooler than ours. Now, I got a BioShock to play. Alone, happy, and conscious-free is how I will do so.
BioMom Infinite photo
Why do we care what our mom thinks about videogames?
It’s ironic that I once wanted games to be validated by my mom so badly, since now I give her worrisome glances as she cycles through her reality TV programming. I think we all have that one game that we think will b...

L.A. Noire photo
L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire bloopers captured for your pleasure


Motion capture sneezes!
Feb 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
L.A. Noire used a very advance motion capture setup for the detective drama that was able to capture anything the face did. Best of all, it would capture when the actors would screw up their lines too. Nothing creepier than a computer graphic tongue getting flicked out of someone's mouth. Gross.
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A massive Rockstar Games Collection is on the way


GTA IV DLC, L.A. Noire, Midnight Club: LA, and Red Dead Redemption
Oct 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Update: Rockstar has just officially confirmed this collection, coming out on November 6 for $59.99.] Retailers Buy.com and CDUniverse.com have outed a Rockstar Games Collection which is set to include Grand Theft Auto: Epis...

The grand adventure: Making a comeback

Mar 30 // Fraser Brown
I was something of a late adopter when it came to digital distribution. I clung to my boxes and physical media for as long as the world let me. Everybody has a price, though. It turned out that my price was the complete Space Quest collection on Steam. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that it was far from the only example of a classic adventure game on the platform, indeed, there were plenty of new ones as well. Steam already had a massive user base and it offered a great space for promotion.  Telltale Games is no stranger to digital distribution; its games can be found on all manner of digital platforms, including those of the console variety. CEO Dan Connors explained, "Digital distribution allows independent publishers to reach the customers without taking on the costs associated with building and marketing a retail title." Telltale sells directly to their customers via their own site, as well. "We're going to be relaunching that soon, because we've learned a ton and we're really going to start making that a big part of our mission again, to get a community there and get people excited and offering them things they can't get in other places. It's a way you can test experiences, try new things, message however you want, position product however you want, provide information on products, and let people participate." Along with Steam, indie bundles have been a massive boon to smaller adventure game developers. The first three titles in the Blackwell series and Gemini Rue were both featured in indie bundles, last year. Those games were the work of Dave Gilbert and Josh Nuernberger, respectively. Dave told me, "It was like launching the games all over again. I think more people have played Blackwell in the [week since it featured on the bundle] than they have in the last five years. My inbox and forums have exploded since the Indie Royale launch, and the association also gave Blackwell the final push it needed for Steam to accept it. We’ve been trying to get the series on Steam for two years but they always said no. So we’re very grateful for that." One of the largest problems for adventure game developers in the years since the golden age of the genre was publishers' lack of faith in the products. When they were willing to invest in such a game, it was lazily marketed and rarely got the support it needed. With promotion and direct access to players, developers have been able to show that there's a healthy audience out there, which will hopefully lead to more publishers investing in these types of titles. Better tools have also made it easier for small developers to make a finished product. Adventure game studio (AGS) is a free development kit inspired by Sierra's interface for its adventure titles and it's been used to create a vast number of games, including many commercial ones. Most of Wadjet Eye's catalog used AGS. "The creation of third-party tools like AGS enable idiots like me to make these games, so more of them are being made every day." Although AGS games frequently favor a retro aesthetic, that's a design choice rather than limitations imposed by the software. Dave explained, "It’s a big misconception that AGS can only handle low-res games. It can actually go as high as you want, just most people prefer not to. So the decision to use AGS has nothing to do with aesthetic choice, but it has everything to do with money and time. Right out of the box, it has everything you need to make a point-and-click adventure game. Not having the experience or knowledge to make an engine of my own, it was the most logical choice." Dave's own games have a distinctly retro look and thematically they are similar to the much-beloved Gabriel Knight series. Playing the Blackwell series instantly transported me back in time to the days when Sierra were still blowing my mind with new adventures. It's a wonderful feeling. "Blackwell is very much me trying to do Gabriel Knight. The story of Joe Gould and Joseph Mitchell was my Jensenian attempt at merging real-life historical people with supernatural events." As Al Lowe reminded me, these smaller teams using AGS are a lot like the teams that developed adventure games in the '80s and early '90s. "I think that's great because it brings back the small team concept of one or two people working closely together on a project and actually putting their own personalities into it. I think that so much of what we see that's wrong with games today, that there is no key personality that comes through." While cost is obviously a concern, I do think that there's a tendency for adventure game fans and developers to be incredibly nostalgic and thus gravitate more towards retro design. I'm guilty of this, myself. My love of the genre classics means that I'm immediately more interested in titles which are inspired by those particular art styles or certain mechanics. In Telltale's case, Dan defends nostalgia, believing that older franchises still have much to offer. "Well I think that for us, with having Sam & Max as our flagship, we looked at the content as being so rich and relevant in the modern day... [It] needed to be brought up now. Having Sam & Max in 2004, and 2010 and all the times we've been able to use them as characters ... I mean they're just great characters and it's a great franchise. So for us introducing that content to a new audience was a huge thing." Expanding into new markets such as consoles and handhelds has also increased the userbase. Adventure games used to be pretty much a PC only affair, with the occasional shoddy console port. While PC is still the focal platform, titles like Phoenix Wright, Ghost Trick, and 999 made the DS a must for lovers of strange adventures and interactive stories. PSN and XBLA have also seen their share of adventure ports, most of Telltale's games can be found there, for instance. Fans of the genre can even get their adventure on with their phone or tablet. Machinarium on iOS is fantastic and might be even better than it was on PC, thanks to it becoming a more tactile experience. Dan seemed to be willing to embrace new platforms and technology. "It can bring more imagination to how you interact with the characters in the world and how you experience the story." He acknowledges the risk of doing that when it comes to traditionalist fans, though. "It moves away from traditional stuff and is a bit risky. So you have to be pure adventure game or you're in this vanguard story game type of place." When I recall playing most of my favorite adventure games, I remember pouring countless hours into them. Getting stuck on a puzzle meant that I was going to be doing a lot of trial-and-error experimentation, exploring loads of areas, doing a lot of pixel hunting and then finally leaving the computer to go and contemplate it elsewhere -- maybe in a dojo or on top of a mountain. Failing that, I'd pester my friends. Now there's a strong temptation to just go online and find a walkthrough, even if you've only just been stuck for a couple of minutes. It can ruin the pacing of the game and rob the player of their satisfaction at being able to think of a solution. In an effort to keep gamers immersed, or at the very least to stop them alt-tabing every time they get stumped, many modern adventures contain an in game hint system or simply less taxing puzzles. This can certainly frustrate old fashioned players, like myself, but one cannot deny it has lowered the bar for entry and possibly increased the genre's fanbase. Dave doesn't think this is really anything new, however. "You often hear that gamers are less patient these days. I’m not sure if that's true. Back in the '80s, I would spend several months playing the latest Infocom game and never think of ordering the hint book unless I was desperate. But then I got the game Enchanter, which mysteriously shipped with the hint book. I finished that game in less than a week. If I got stuck for maybe ten minutes I'd reach for the hint book, because it was so accessible. The only thing that has changed since those days is that we all have instant access to that hint book via Google. There's no reason to force hard puzzles on people, because everyone can solve them. So the trend has moved away from difficult puzzles and more towards making the experience of playing an adventure game more enjoyable. It's a very hard balance to strike." The importance of story in adventure games cannot be overstated. It's what drives the exploration forward and it's the motivation for completing the puzzles. One of the positive aspects on these titles not relying merely on head-scratchers is that there's even more effort put into the narrative. Josh Nuernberger's Gemini Rue contains one of my favorite stories in the genre of late. It's a tale of loss and identity set in a bleak neo-noir future. Even though it's an understated adventure built using AGS, it's gained a lot of attention and you'd be crazy for not checking it out.  Josh advocates the importance of telling the story through gameplay. "What I'd really like to see is games that make these complex stories your experience in the game -- e.g. you are hunted by a mysterious oppressor, or you must face your alternate personality in physical form. Many games today are unfortunately sequences of simplified gameplay strung together by cut-scenes that provide context for your actions (see many first or third-person-shooters). Great games tell stories through their gameplay -- you understand the world and the story by the way you interact with them as a player." Gemini Rue also has several action sequences: cover-based gun fights. "Although in adventure games you can't always go the route of totally removing all cut-scenes, you can at least integrate other aspects of gameplay so they don't just turn into quick time events. I knew when incorporating combat I wanted it to be meaningful and to work on its own as a mechanic. The ultimate goal is to give players a unique experience and a quick time event doesn't really capture a gunfight in the same way that a developed combat system does." I personally think that the integration of interesting mechanics is something the adventure genre desperately needed to continue expanding its audience and I think we're starting to see a lot more of that. A great example of a game that does this is Double Fine's Stacking. It was built around the delightful premise of controlling a matryoshka doll and jumping inside larger ones to gain their abilities and overcome puzzles and obstacles. It was incredibly inventive and its unique gameplay mechanic really made it stand out. Double Fine seems to have had more success with the downloadable market than it did with Psychonauts or Brutal Legend. Their use of Kickstarter to fund their latest project seems to have paid off, as well, with fans almost throwing money at the company. It will be interesting to see the long-term impact of Kickstarter on independent developers as more start to use it to secure funding. Along with shorter downloadable titles like Stacking, episodic adventures have become increasingly common in recent years. It has always struck me as a perfect fit for the genre. Most classic adventure games can be completed rather quickly if you know the solutions to the puzzles. The games' lengths were augmented by the challenge of solving the puzzles yourself. It also meant that each episode could fund the next one, making it financially more viable. It's far from an automatic route to success, however, according to Dave Gilbert. The Blackwell series has been going since 2006 and contains four games, but not all episodic series are so fortunate. "The most obvious thing that can go wrong is that the game flops. What then? Do you forge on ahead and finish the series, knowing that the first one didn’t do well? If you do, then you run a much greater risk of the sequel doing just as badly. If you don’t, then you lose a lot of faith and goodwill and that is hard to get back." Episodic games require a big investment from players as well as developers. Dave continues: "The main problem with episodic games is that isn’t a lot of faith in the format yet. Only Telltale has managed to pull it off successfully and gained the trust of the consumers. While opinions on their games vary, nobody doubts they will finish what they start. By this point, the gaming public probably has a bit more faith in my ability to deliver than most, but I still get a lot of emails from people saying they don't want to get invested in Blackwell not knowing if it will ever be finished. I can totally understand that." It's not just independent developers and publishers working to bring adventure games to a new audience, though. Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain, an interactive thriller that reminded me a lot of FMV titles from the '90s, made some big waves a couple of years ago. While it enjoyed both commercial and critical success, it also got criticized for being more movie than videogame. Our own Jim Sterling is far from a fan. However, its success may lead more publishers to take risks on games with such a strong focus on story. The now-defunct Team Bondi made quite the impression last year with their investigative adventure (and driving simulator,) L.A. Noire. It made an even bigger impression with its implosion, some might say. The game itself, if not the treatment of the people that worked on it, still deserves praise, however. Before the genre started to have problems, it was ahead of the curve when it came to animation, so it's good to see so much effort being put into making believable game worlds and characters again. If you'd asked me, back in 2005, if I ever thought big studios would be designing AAA adventure games again, I would have laughed. Now it doesn't seem nearly as absurd. I'm not going to be dramatic and suggest that we're seeing an adventure game renaissance. I wish I could, but it's simply not true. We're definitely seeing it making something of a comeback, though. There's a lot more faith in them, both from publishers and players and that's gone a long way to start bringing them back into the mainstream. The fact that the market is growing at all is a massive step forward and looking back just five or six years, we can see how far the genre has come. There are a lot of talented developers out there bringing us more and more experiences to enjoy. It might not be a renaissance yet, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
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Check out the first part of the feature, here! The last few years have been an interesting time for the adventure game genre. After a decade of disappointment, fans finally started to see more and more titles appear and most ...

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Rockstar: 'Don't count out' another L.A. Noire game


Feb 14
// Samit Sarkar
The years-long L.A. Noire saga had a sad ending last year, but fans of the game may yet have a reason for optimism. In the latest edition of its "Asked & Answered" series, a Q&A with fans, Rockstar Games responded to ...
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L.A. Noire director's next game is Whore of the Orient


Nov 28
// Jim Sterling
L.A. Noire writer/director Brendan McNamara is getting back on the saddle following Team Bondi's demise, putting together a brand new game with a rather flavorful title. It's called Whore of the Orient, and word of its d...
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Rockstar unveil new L.A. Noire launch trailer


Nov 08
// Alasdair Duncan
Of course most people are only thinking about Modern Warfare 3 today but there's some other releases of note. PC gamers get their hands on L.A. Noire today in a "Complete edition" that includes all the DLC released for the g...
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L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition arrives November 15


Oct 20
// Jim Sterling
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition is coming to Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 15 (November 18 internationally). Does that mean those who spent $60 back in May bought an incomplete version? This new version of the game -- out...
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Team Bondi staff, others owed more than AUD 1.4 million


Oct 07
// Jim Sterling
Team Bondi creative staff are among a slew of other creditors owed big amounts of money following the destruction of the L.A. Noire studio. Over forty people are owed more than $1.4 million (Australian) in collective deb...
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Rockstar: We haven't abandoned PC


Oct 06
// Jim Sterling
Rockstar has promised that it's not forgotten about PC gamers, and that claims to the contrary are unfounded. The studio said this in the face of Red Dead Redemption being restricted to consoles and L.A. Noire taking months t...
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Team Bondi officially closing its doors


Oct 05
// Jim Sterling
It's official folks -- the studio behind one of the biggest games of 2011 has officially begun the process of dying. You usually hear of a studio closing after they release a flop, but it would seem that not even L.A. Noire c...

Hands-on with L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition on PC

Sep 29 // Robert Fooks
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition (PC)Developer: Team Bondi / PC port by Rockstar LeedsPublisher: Rockstar GamesRelease Date: November 8, 2011 (US) / November 11, 2011 (EU) Not too long ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Rockstar Games to put L.A. Noire through the paces on their seriously beefed up PC. Given that the system I was able to play the game on could most likely be used as a down payment on a mortgage, the game ran smooth and stutter free -- but how will it run on a PC which exists in the realm of reality? If Rockstar's recently released system requirements are to be believed, it should run quite well provided your graphics card meets or exceeds the minimum of a Geforce 8600 GT 512MB, Radeon HD 3000 512MB or better. If you still need some extra incentive, L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition will come complete with a multi-use code which will unlock all previous downloadable content for the game at no cost to you. The case which was available to me, entitled "Nicholson Electroplating," started off with a bang. Literally, with a bang followed by a large mushroom cloud in the distance. After stealing a fire engine, I raced to the scene of the disturbance with my partner who continuously reminded me of how idiotic we looked cruising the streets of Los Angeles in a giant red fire truck. Upon arrival, a scene of chaos and carnage would herald the beginning of my first investigation sequence. As if I had never missed a beat, that familiar L.A. Noire jingle brought out the super sleuth in me. With that, I was ready to make a fool of both my self and Cole Phelps by failing every interrogation from here on out. Visually, the experience is just as engaging as the game's console counterparts, though the lips and ears did, at times, have a slightly blurred appearance to them. I would normally pass this off as a minor nuisance were it not for the fact that the clarity of facial expressions is so paramount to the gameplay. Those of you with access to a 3D-enabled monitor are in for a special treat as L.A. Noire not only supports 3D, but it implements it beautifully in a manner which succeeds in the subtle application of 3D imagery in nearly every scene without shoving it down your throat. The 3D visuals truly shine, especially during your time at the arson desk where the smoke spewing ashes of every crime scene jump out at you quite brilliantly. When I first begin a game which has been ported to PC, I generally begin my journey in the options -- specifically, in the settings menu. If I find myself staring at a picture of an Xbox 360 controller and it boldly informs me that my left mouse button is in fact a pressure sensitive trigger, I often take it as a portent of the not so good times which likely await me beyond. In short, does the I/O scheme properly represent that of a PC, can I customize my keys, and will it inform me that my PC's subscription to Xbox Live has expired (I'm looking at you Modern Warfare 2)? After initially inspecting L.A. Noire, I nearly launched myself from my seat in raucous revelry as my concerns were not only abated but downright obliterated when it became apparent that Rockstar had scrubbed nearly all heretical references to the dark console origins. It's not that consoles are bad, there's just been this almost lazy habit where console versions are influencing the UI design of their PC counterparts with limiting results. If you have had the pleasure of groping dead people on either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, your first hour or so on PC will most likely be spent familiarizing yourself, yet again, with the ins and outs of the controls. Admittedly, I had a rough time coping, especially in regards to the cover system and driving, with the new keyboard and mouse control scheme. Once that obstacle had been defeated, I fell back into the role of Cole Phelps as if it were a perfectly fit glove. For many PC gamers, the gun play will have improved with this version since you are no longer required to free aim with your thumbs. Conversely driving using the WASD keys has always been limiting; keen maneuvers requires the precision offered by a standard controller. All in all, if your preferred method of gaming is by PC you will be pleased with the final outcome of Rockstar's lone toiling. Regardless of your individual feelings for L.A. Noire, the game represents a milestone in facial performance for videogaming which will contribute tremendously towards mainstream recognition of games as more than the products of the musings of men who sell electronic toys to adult children. It's breakthroughs such as these which help cement modern gaming's claims as this generation's great art form.
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When Team Bondi and Rockstar Games set out to make the great undertaking that was L.A. Noire, they chose to explore many gray areas of gaming which are most often hidden away from the all-consuming hype and limitless budgets ...

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The DTOID Show: Jim Sterling talks Battlefield 3 beta!


Sep 28
// Tara Long
Good evening, videogamers! It's Wednesday and that means another episode of The Destructoid show is on its way to your eyeballs and earholes. On tonight's menu, I discuss L.A. Noire making its way to PC and the Foo Fighters ...
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The DTOID Show: Serious Sam, Skyrim Bugs, and CoD: XP


Sep 02
// Max Scoville
Good evening, Destuctikids! As it's a Friday, we shot today's Destructoid Show in front of a LIVE internet audience. In case you missed it, here it is. Today, in addition to giving away some Assassin's Creed Revelations...
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Team Bondi closes its doors and enters administration


Sep 01
// David Rayfield
The Sydney-based developer of L.A. Noire hasn't had the best of times since its 1940s-era crime epic was released in May. Despite strong sales and positive reviews, Team Bondi's troubles extended to employees' lack of proper ...
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Team Bondi assets and IP reportedly sold to KMM


Aug 09
// Jim Sterling
Following allegations of unfair working conditions and rumors of bankruptcy, it's been reported that L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi has sold its assets and intellectual property to KMM, with Bondi employees given the choice ...
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The Question: Are DLC 'season passes' a good idea?


Aug 05
// Jim Sterling
[Every Friday, Destructoid will pose topical a question to the community. Answer it if you want!] Not content to sell us bits of premium downloadable content, publishers are starting to sell long-term commitments, offering "p...
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Epic thinks crediting staff doesn't cost a thing


Jul 27
// Jim Sterling
Epic Games president Mike Capps has commented on the ongoing "Did Team Bondi act like a gigantic cock?" debate by adding his own thoughts when it comes to giving staff the credit they deserve. He thinks it's "really f*cking c...
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Grab L.A. Noire from Amazon for less than forty clams


Jul 17
// Conrad Zimmerman
Continuing their proud tradition of marking down fairly recent releases by a third or more in their Deal of the Week, Amazon.com has placed Rockstar's L.A. Noire on the block for your consideration. You can pick up the g...
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Team Bondi: Ex-staff members want to 'destroy' studio


Jul 14
// Jim Sterling
L.A. Noire lead programmer Dave Heironymus has addressed the controversy surrounding his studio's working conditions, firmly taking the side of his employers. Addressing the former staff members who have accused Team Bon...
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New Destructoid Episode: Battlefield Reefer Madness Leak!


Jul 08
// Tara Long
Happy Friday, Destructoid readers! Before you head out to your local pub or sporting event, why not take approximately 13 minutes and 27 seconds out of your day first to catch up on some video game news? First up on tonigh...
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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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