Official PlayStation Magazine UK’s GOTY No 6: LA Noire

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Game appreciation is subjective, and we’re not in the business of telling people that their views aren’t valid. But even if you don’t like LA Noire, it’s the kind of game – much like Heavy Rain before it – that’s good for the industry. (Oh, and you’re wrong, by the way.)

Despite its issues, what Team Bondi’s facially flawless crime sim does have in spades is ambition: we wrote at the time that if it had managed to fulfil all of those then it would have been one of the greatest games in history, and that still rings true. Here was a game that wanted to genuinely give you choice, rather than just an illusion of it, and alter the events of the world depending on your actions. It’s not perfect – the failsafes are a little too safe – but you actually have to engage with characters and surroundings to progress.

You also have to engage with something often overlooked in games: your brain. And while of course your policing skills are restrained by the gameplay mechanics, as the cases progress and you move through the ranks, you actually start to think more and more like a detective.

Piecing together evidence, spotting the holes in alibis and performing a thorough interrogation is satisfying in a unique way – especially when you then have to choose which suspect to sling
in the chokey on the basis of your investigation. And we haven’t even delved into the ground-breaking facial animation tech, which is sure to become an industry staple. But while graphics and technology will always move forward, LA Noire’s reach extends way beyond just those areas.

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