I finished L.A. NOIRE two weeks ago, and I absolutely loved it. I'm not a seasoned gamer by any length of thought, but I do like playing every once in a while. This game ticked all the boxes that make a game enjoyable to play: it looks good, the story is well written and interesting, and the character is likable.
L.A. NOIRE was an absolutely gorgeous game. The use of the face capturing technology and actual actors was perfect for this sort of game (since the facial expressions actually matter while interrogating subjects). The actors were all amazing and the city of L.A. was beautiful. The amount of work put in to this game (it did take seven years to make, after all!) was completely apparent. Whether that time and effort was absolutely necessary is a debate that is often fought, but I think it was pulled off quite well.
The story telling was amazing. The game works very, very hard to make you feel for the main character you play, and did a good job at it too. Cole Phelps is a flawed human being, but aren't we all? He struggles to deal with the atrocities of World War II, and how a person really comes back from that. The fact that he was a character made up of shades of gray, and not just black and white, was the real amazing point of his character.
Along with Phelps, all the background characters had okay to amazingly well rounded personalities, even if they were only shown for a short period of time. You like or dislike them as well, even if they only have a short amount of screen time.
I absolutely adored Phelps as a character. The way his character progresses and develops is absolutely fantastic. I wish I could discover his character all over again. Along with Phelps, I also really enjoyed Jack Kelso's character, along with the two older partners Phelps has while switching desks within the department.
As the story progresses, the game builds up to the finale case. It is during this case you have the two most moving character monologues. It is utterly apparent that these games had writers, and good ones at that. For a smart gaming experience, story is so important. I'm glad to see that this game didn't leave it by the wayside.
That was the most interesting part about this game, to be honest. They pinpointed the most important parts about the game, and executed them very well. The story was utterly important, as well as the facial recognition technology. Both made this game what it is, and the game would be lost without these elements.
Some people have a major problem with the fact that whatever choices you make in the game do not effect the eventual outcome. However, I think that the illusion is strong enough to be enjoyable. Along with that, I think that if you're playing the game for the story, what point is there to just breeze through the interrogations? Thats the most interesting part, and the story makes you think about the evidence and people you're talking to. I had long conversations while playing this game with my boyfriend about the people and whether they were guilty or not.