L.A. Noire delivers Los Angeles from another time

With a high today in the sixties, fog and rain it seems as though LA is inanother time, namely winter.  Poor weather is an invitation to indoor activities.  Luckily, LA Noirewas released today on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  LA Noir is an immersive and unique take on the sandbox adventure experience that brings you a real LA Confidential styled Golden Age of Hollywood, Los Angeles.  In this endeavor the game succeeds masterfully.

In one of the many Achievements and Trophies in L.A. Noire to collect, “Star Map”, you’ll need to traverse L.A. to discover all the designated landmark buildings around the city. In the development of the game’s lovingly recreated 1947 Los Angeles, Team Bondi spent time exhaustively researching Los Angeles right at the source.  They sent their own gumshoes around real world L.A. to assemble a photologue for research and also mined the city’s historical archives for reference information and invaluable visual assets.


Top Left: Detectives Phelps and Galloway rush into downtown’s Pershing Square in L.A. Noire. Bottom Left: The real Pershing Square in L.A. today. Right: In a fun and intentionally anachronistic nod to a piece of Hollywood history, Phelps becomes engaged in a shootout on the crumbling set of D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance”.


Left: The Egyptian-inspired tile mosaic rooftop of the Los Angeles Public Library as it appears in the game. Top Right: That rooftop as photographed by Team Bondi on their original research trip to Los Angeles during the game’s development. Bottom Right: L.A. Noire’s recreation of legendary Hollywood haunt, Musso & Frank Grill.

Some of the landmarks included are Pershing Square, the Los Angeles Public Library, Musso and Frank Grill, Roosevelt Hotel, La Brea Tar Pits and even the slightly historically inaccurate shooting set for D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance.  Also included is the 2nd street tunnel, minus the vagrants and crumbling wall tiles of course.  The map isn’t entirely accurate but a quick drive through the streets of what is now Little Tokyo felt authentic.

While this isn’t a full review of the game, something worth noting about the experience is pacing.  This game has a very Assassins Creed feel to it in how the story unfolds and you play your role.  If you need your action faster than that, this probably isn’t the game for you.  The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are virtually identical although, Playstation owners might want to keep in mind that the Playstation store is still down. This game is easily worth the money and Gamestop locations do have extra copies that include 2 extra mission packs.

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