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Letters from the Front



I look deep into the eyes of the man who is looking back at me, a prompt is on my screen and I must choose either he is being truthful or is he lying or doubting? Does he know more then what he’s letting on? I bring up my notebook as I’m not sure what’s he guilty of, I use of my detective points to narrow it down and I get it wrong, and I fail the mission.

You already know about L.A Noire, Rockstar’s 2011 period drama set in 1947 Los Angeles which was the deadliest year in the city’s history. The game did well reviews and with players, but it was extremely underrated because it was a niche genre that nobody had seen more of and when I played the game way back when, I was blown away and it instantly became one of my favorite games of all time. It told a deep and relevant story that was very serious like Red Dead Redemption’s and it was a story that wasn’t as sarcastic as Grand Theft Auto’s. The story was very good and it felt very possible, although I wish it was a more linear then open world.

I adore Rockstar’s and Team Bondi’s L.A Noire from 2011, it released on all platforms and when I first played it in 2011, I adored it because I never played a game like that before much alike to Red Dead Redemption. It felt unique, it felt like I was about to experience this grand tale of Corruption and Noire in the style of the old Hollywood movies of the 1940’s and the 1950’s that I grew up watching. I love L.A Noire because it was a story of what was going on in 1947 Los Angeles, the corruption, the murders, the mafia, what was going on in the Hollywood scene after World War II. It was fascinating to see a game based on this time period that no other game has touched before, the Golden Age of Hollywood and it was a tribute to old Hollywood films of the 1940’s and 1950’s.

I love L.A Noire because not only is it a tribute to the old classics, but it’s a really good game that can stand alone and doesn’t need a sequel. It’s a story that ultimately has an ending and it’s self-contained, you don’t wonder what happens next at the end of the game, you don’t want to know what comes next, you just finish the game, sit there and digest what you’ve just played. It was a story of one man and his rise within the LAPD and his downfall in true noire fashion.



The soundtrack to L.A Noire is suitably 1940’s and suitably Noire-ish. Jazz scores undertone the gameplay, period songs from the year are heard on the radio and on certain scenes within the game. At the end, there was an original song that was very appropriate for the game.

L.A Noire, much like Red Dead Redemption is proof that Rockstar is at their best when they return to the past and do something extraordinary with the time setting. For me, perhaps Red Dead Redemption is their best work and perhaps, L.A Noire much like Red Dead Redemption is also their best work but isn’t well known. I would love to see Rockstar do something else in the mid 20th century, post World War II. Six years later, I’m hoping to see another L.A Noire style game from Rockstar, it doesn’t need a sequel but a spiritual successor to L.A Noire would be great but I don’t think that we will ever get another L.A Noire style game which is fine all the same, no matter how badly  I want there to be another game in that style.


2 comments on “L.A Noire: The Quintessential Detective Game

  1. I really enjoyed this at the time, the individual stories were great but the way it ended left me a bit sour.

    1. Physics says:

      I was about to write that as well, but I couldn’t find words but the ending left me sour and didn’t sit right with me. I thought the ending was so anticlimactic and weird.

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