LA Noire: Nicholson Electroplating DLC review
It feels good to be back in Cole Phelps’ shoes (leather, size 10, and in no way matching the prints found at the crime scene). But releasing DLC for a game like Noire is a tricky business, because your engagement relies on the narrative flow and the stacking of cases one of top of the other.
So while there’s very little wrong with what is an enjoyable hour’s play, in the context of the full game it’s the appendage of an overeager hitchhiker who’s had a DIY mishap – a sore thumb that sticks out just a little too far.
One thing’s for sure: it starts with a bang. A seriously big bang that levels six city blocks and sends a nuke-style mushroom cloud high into the sky, thanks to a manufacturing issue at a local factory. However, it seems that foul play is the more likely cause, and you and arson partner Herschel Biggs have some leads to chase.
The hook here is supposed to be scale. The introductory explosion is certainly dramatic enough, and it also packs in perhaps the game’s longest car chase as well as a shoot-out in an aircraft hangar.
But while LA Noire is undoubtedly a great game, it’s not these things that make it so. It’s building a case, learning about those involved, running the rule over multiple suspects – the sense of genuine police work – that lends it its brilliance.
And sadly, despite a couple of interesting new clues to solve, and a gunfight in and around a Howard Hughes plane, there’s not much narrative interest here.
At £3.19 for less than an hour’s play, this probably isn’t worth the investment; you’d be better off replaying some of Noire’s best moments. But £7.19 for the Rockstar pass – which gives you access to all the existing and forthcoming DLC – is a must-purchase for anyone wanting to get back out on the beat.