I played through LA Noire and I liked. I liked it a lot. But I didn’t truly love it or get in the “Just one more case/clue” mode until I was very near the end. It is not a game made to be played in short sittings.
When I bought the game I had a young baby who still needed a good deal of attention and my expected time to play was the mornings before work. I figured LA Noire was the game for me. It was a great narrative that I could easily pause and was broken up into nice neat chunks I could play over multiple short sittings. It fit the bill perfectly, but that diminished it’s impact immensely.
By breaking the cases up so deliberately to handle household chores and family duties, I was never truly drawn into the great story arc and I didn’t really latch on to some of the subtle nuances from case to case. I deprived myself of a really engaging experience that did not become apparent until I actually had an extended play session. I even missed some of the now obvious basics of how the Truth, Doubt, Lie system really worked.
My recommendations for the most enjoyable LA Noire experience are to follow these few steps:
- Play long sessions if you can. Play a full desk if possible, but at the very least don’t stop in the middle of a case. This will help you maintain the case continuity and many of the Newspaper stories will come together more clearly.
- Don’t do the side missions unless you are just starting a new desk or have completed the game. You will encounter characters from the missions and revisit previous locations during the 40 or so crimes. These side jobs also distract and you interrupt the story flow. It is no different than walking away from the game in my opinion.
Understand the interrogation system. It seems obvious but it actually isn’t. In fact it’s almost a little gamey but it’s done so well through the acting I can overlook most any complaint you can level against it. I won’t totally give it away but...
- If you have no evidence, and the person doesn’t look around extremely shifty, they are most likely telling the Truth.
- If you have some evidence but none of it fits and the person is looking everywhere and swallowing and being generally fidgety, they fall into Doubt.
- If they get arrogant, belligerent, stubborn or self righteous and stare you in the eye they are probably Lying and you need to find the right evidence, which is not always obvious later in the game. The liars are almost never give a look of guilt or look around as though guilty.
The game certainly holds up if played in shorter sessions but the more you can spend in a sitting, the more you will likely get out of it. Good luck Cole.