Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 78 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 78
  2. Negative: 0 out of 78
  1. Jun 10, 2011
    100
    Although L.A. Noire is great on both systems, it's best on the PlayStation 3. With improved performance, better frame rate and an added case, this is certainly the version of the game to get. The strong cast of characters, compelling storyline and ambitious sense of scope makes this one of Rockstar Games' best products yet. Just remember to switch to black and white!
  2. Jun 1, 2011
    100
    Whatever you call it, L.A. Noire is a monumental achievement that every console-owning adventure fan needs to experience.
  3. It's a game world that makes you feel like a tourist, like anything and everything is worth looking at. If Team Bondi's Los Angeles was a skirt she'd be a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window... Combining slow-paced adventure gaming with well-executed open-world action was an audacious experiment. Infusing it with state-of-the-art animation tech that pits you in a game of wits against virtual liars was equally bold. Staging all of that in the most richly detailed videogame environment we've ever seen was outrageous. Not only does it work, it works extraordinarily well. It's the evolution of the adventure game, merging slow-burning discovery with the freedom associated with an open-world backdrop. It's the Concorde of its category, rendering fondly-remembered classics like Police Quest akin to simply flapping your arms. [July 2011 p.78]
  4. May 26, 2011
    100
    It's a bold, cinematic step forward in a genre that's dying for innovation, and its implementation of the MotionScan technology is truly a game-changer.
  5. May 25, 2011
    100
    L.A. Noire is not a game for everyone. For those expecting a GTA style experience then you may be disappointed with the outcome. However if your open to a new experience then this is one game that you shouldn't miss.
  6. May 23, 2011
    100
    If we were being super critical, L.A. Noire can feel a little repetitive – and slightly linear – at times.
  7. May 18, 2011
    100
    L.A. Noire is everything that people expected it to be. It has a fantastic set of stories that drive the game from beginning to end, beautifully motion captured actors and enough gameplay elements to keep the gamer deeply involved. On top of this there is a large city to explore and enjoy. Rockstar certainly brought the goods with this one.
  8. May 16, 2011
    100
    A defining moment in video games on this generation, and more than just because of its use of MotionScan technology. The free-roaming genre has become a little stale in recent years, yet LA Noire manages to inject a renewed sense of vigour to the scene and capably demonstrates that video games don't have to be just about your trigger skills.
  9. May 16, 2011
    100
    L.A. Noire is a bold release, because it defies the expectations not just for the type of game Rockstar usually releases, but also for the type of game that receives this degree of care and proficiency in its execution. The world already has enough open-world action games, but a game which marries that open world to such a methodical style of gameplay, with a budget this big, is a rare thing indeed.
  10. May 16, 2011
    100
    This is vastly different from the countless first- and third-person shooters and all the "me too" open-world games sitting on store shelves. All the things I've only read about in Dashiell Hammett novels, or seen in film classics like Double Indemnity, have all come to interactive life in L.A. Noire.
  11. May 16, 2011
    100
    There's something entrancing about the way this game plunges you into the violence, the corruption, and the sadness of post-war Los Angeles. Each of the four major desks has a remarkably different tone, and while the slow reveal of Phelps himself is the major narrative thread, it's equally true to say the dark heart of the city itself is an equally important protagonist.
  12. May 12, 2011
    100
    Ever since it first worked out how to assemble pixels so that they resembled something more recognisable than aliens, the games industry has dreamed of creating one thing above all else – a game that is indistinguishable from a film, except that you can control the lead character. With LA Noire, it just might, finally, have found the embodiment of that particular holy grail.
  13. May 19, 2011
    99
    Overall if you are a gamer who is looking for a game that requires thinking, investigating, and crime solving this is the game for you. The well-written cases and deep investigations will appeal to those who like those things. If you are a player who loves graphics and innovation then this is also the game for you since the game does something that is surprising nowadays and creates a one-of-a-kind game that no other game I'm aware of has done before. However, if you are a player looking for an action game you'll want to skip this one or maybe rent it.
  14. May 23, 2011
    98
    Fabulous writing, a distinct and stylized noir setting (including a soundtrack that's just begging to be put on your MP3 player) along with the both balanced and intriguing investigative gameplay makes for a journey that no gamer should miss.
  15. May 23, 2011
    96
    L.A. Noire is a fantastic game. Playing with Cole Phelps as a detective can be really interesting. The gameplay is great, the graphics are brilliant because of the new MotionScan technology and Los Angeles is full of details. A lot of words to describe the game, but two will suffice: must buy!
  16. May 30, 2011
    95
    L.A. Noire is as much an experience as it is a game, and its unique gameplay and engrossing story make it one of the "must play" games of 2011.
  17. May 23, 2011
    95
    LA Noire is full of plot twists, great dialog and acting, and an experience that is like nothing I have ever played before. It may drag on a little towards the end, but each case is different enough and the characters are so believable and entertaining that you can't help but to do "just one more case."
  18. May 16, 2011
    95
    It is not perfect, and each player will find his own vices and virtues, but we don't remember many projects with such ambition that comes so close to perfection.
  19. May 16, 2011
    95
    L.A. Noire is a revolution in videogaming, both in technological and narrative terms. Its peculiar structure won't make it accessible to everyone though, as the more action oriented players will have to comprehend its sometimes cryptic and episodic structure to fully appreciate the mix. It's still largely recommended to every player out there, since ignoring it would mean losing a fundamental step forward for videogaming as a rich and noble entertainment form.
  20. May 17, 2011
    94
    Los Angeles is the perfect playground for all the freaks, creeps, thugs, and murderers you could want to see in a morally ambiguous game, and Noire doesn't pull any punches with its blunt and often graphic depiction. L.A. Noire isn't a perfect game, but it does represent a new benchmark both for realism in the medium as well as for the adventure genre.
  21. Jun 4, 2011
    93
    Limited freedom, but gorgeous, intelligent and compelling. [July 2011, p.76]
  22. May 16, 2011
    93
    L.A. Noire is another win for Rockstar, an involving and compelling title that will set a new standard for how a story is told, both visually and gameplay wise. The game is not free from criticism, like some repetitive tasks and certain flaws inside the plot, but it easily lives up to the hype.
  23. May 23, 2011
    92
    Rockstar's most mature take on open-world fun to date, brought to life with incredible tech. [July 2011, p.74]
  24. May 19, 2011
    92
    L.A. Noire is unique. Strangely enough, however, it isn't unique in the most literal sense of the word, as half of it utilizes a familiar – even outdated – gameplay mechanic, while the other half pushes the envelope and pours a strong foundation for the future. Despite the inherent clash of old and new, we can't get enough of it.
  25. May 18, 2011
    92
    If you're thinking about picking up a copy of L.A. Noire (and I recommend that you do), don't judge it as you would other third-person, open-world games. It's not trying to be a new GTA, Red Dead or Saint's Row. It's not about action, it's about investigating. It's not about changing the course of history, it's about experiencing a history. It's not about random encounters, it's about planning, watching and reading encounters. That may not sound like many people's cup of tea at first, but stick with it and you'll reap the rewards.
  26. May 17, 2011
    92
    When it's all said and done, L.A. Noire is the game Heavy Rain wanted to be. Both games tell a tremendous story, guide the player, are entertaining for a broad audience as well, and at the very end, both games are milestones that move the video game world forward.
  27. May 26, 2011
    91
    Like any Femme Fatale or Private Dick who spends too much time in the bottle, L.A. Noire has its fair share of flaws and stories to share. Missing out on this game would be a crime.
  28. May 18, 2011
    91
    It's a mature game, too – not just because it includes sex and violence under the pretence of being for adults – but because it delivers such dark and macabre content with the same level of intelligence we would expect from a major television series.
  29. May 16, 2011
    91
    It's hard to remember anything so avant-garde as L.A. Noire. Team Bondi puts forth some truly amazing gameplay concepts as to what balance between graphic adventures and action games in the future should be.
  30. May 16, 2011
    91
    LA Noire floors you out of the gate, loses some steam due to repetition, but eventually wins the day thanks to its subtlety, attention to detail, and stunning character interaction. It has a certain level of class to it and sets a new standard for storytelling in video games, but it's also a bit limited compared to its contemporaries.
  31. Oct 19, 2011
    90
    At first L.A. Noire seems a bit too easy, then it gets interesting and reading people's reactions makes for some of the best gaming this year. The atmosphere is spot on and the late 40's LA really feels like an authentic, living place. [June 2011]
  32. 90
    Although not flawless L.A. Noire is moslty a suggestive game with a well written plot. It is a pleasure to enjoy it piece by piece. [June 2011]
  33. New mechanics and a cinematic story make this really special. [July 2011, p.97]
  34. Jun 6, 2011
    90
    All in all, L.A. Noire wasn't the kind of game I expected out of Rockstar, but it's a bold step forward. While it has some issues to work out, and it could stand to leave some of its roots behind and come into its own, it's a great game from beginning to end. We can only hope that as Rockstar pushes it forward as a franchise, they focus on the parts that made it good.
  35. Jun 5, 2011
    90
    All in all, an absolute treat for the eyes and the ears... that is if you can stomach the content. Anyone interested in L.A. Noire must understand that this is a game for an adult audience. The grisly crime scenes can be very off-putting to some, and considering the subject matter of the game is to solve serial killings and clean up a town notorious for being the Sodom & Gomorrah of the era, players should know what they are getting into beforehand. The dialogue is also quite strong and this title may actually be the first video game title to use a specific acronym for "see you next Tuesday" so liberally (or at all).
  36. May 27, 2011
    90
    Team Bondi did a wonderful job of creating an enjoyable game that takes interactive storytelling to a new level. The production values and graphics are up there with Heavy Rain, but the gameplay is more appealing to longtime gamers.
  37. May 26, 2011
    90
    Team Bondi and Rockstar delivers a new kind of story telling. Brutal, mind numbing action has taken a backseat and the atmosphere, story and L.A. itself is driving this car. The different gameplay components in L.A. Noire may be a little repetitive after 10-15 hours play but mix everything in a blender and you get an experience not seen in many years. "No multiplayer?" you may say. I say multiplayer-shmultiplayer, this is a story to be enjoyed and taken in as on an individual basis.
  38. May 25, 2011
    90
    Team Bondi and Rockstar have made something completely unique and appealing. Los Angeles is full of bad guys and finding them may not always be that difficult. It is however always fun to do so. Making L.A. Noire a truly inspirational game that will last for hours.
  39. May 25, 2011
    90
    It's engaging, thoughtful, mature and currently one of a kind. Unless you're the type who only looks for quick, dumb action from their video games I'd recommend this to just about anyone.
  40. 90
    L.A. Noire's intriguing character profile, deep interrogation and investigation system, and impeccably detailed facial technology puts this detective thriller in a class of its own.
  41. May 23, 2011
    90
    L.A. Noire offers an experience that will not be quickly forgotten with a cast of characters that will be remembered fondly after the credits roll.
  42. 90
    L.A. Noire combines the best of action games, the best of adventure games, the best of cinema, and the best facial animation in video games to create an experience unlike any other.
  43. In many ways, L.A. Noire is similar to an AMC series...It's a slow build, but once hooked, we couldn't get enough of this provocative adventure, with its compelling characters and innovative gameplay. It's not perfect, but it's also unlike anything else on the PS3 right now. [July 2011, p.77]
  44. May 18, 2011
    90
    L.A. Noire is a fascinating interactive thriller that will suck you in with its story. With its fresh gameplay, L.A. Noire stands out from many other games that lack this kind of innovation.
  45. May 18, 2011
    90
    The cooperation between developer Team Bondi and publisher Rockstar led to an amazing final product, in which characters and plot twists take centre stage, with MotionScan as the director. Of course it includes action in the form of fire fights and chase sequences, but L.A. Noire should be played for its atmosphere, many intrigues and the fact that you can get wonderfully caught up in that web.
  46. May 17, 2011
    90
    There are few games that I would attribute the word "important" to, but L.A. Noire is one of them. As long as you're not married to the idea of a balls-out action game coming from Rockstar, then you owe it to yourself to play this game.
  47. May 16, 2011
    90
    Brilliant storytelling mixed with stunning graphics and gripping interrogations make L.A. Noire somewhat of a modern classic.
  48. May 16, 2011
    90
    It's good to see the company broaden its horizons more and more; L.A. Noire plays its tropes well, and it's a fine exploration of the crime-adventure genre's flip side.
  49. May 16, 2011
    90
    The content isn't much more graphic than your average TV cop drama (apart from the occasional nudity), but it's heavy subject matter for a game, and Noire plays it surprisingly straight, with very little of the wry humor that characterizes most Rockstar releases.
  50. May 16, 2011
    90
    LA Noire is the next step in the process that is blending movies and videogames. Players don't interact with characters, but with digital actors, admiring the most thrilling and exciting screenplay ever created for a videogame.
  51. May 16, 2011
    90
    L.A. Noire is not a perfect game under many points of view, but on the other hand it is a masterpiece that no one should miss. It's a TV series packed in game disc, a fine example that videogames can be art and the proof that there's still the chance to create something new in videogames.
  52. May 16, 2011
    90
    Add that sense of uniqueness and intelligence to the fact that L.A. Noire is a terrific bloody videogame, and you have what is guaranteed to be a classic for years to come. True maturity and narrative depth in mainstream gaming begins right here.
  53. May 16, 2011
    90
    L.A. Noire may not always be "fun" in the traditional sense, but it's also unsatisfied with being "merely fun," and the result of that aspiration is something that no one who cares about video games should miss.
  54. May 16, 2011
    90
    L.A. Noire's absorbing investigations and intoxicating sense of style make it an unforgettable journey through the seamy side of the City of Angels.
  55. May 21, 2011
    88
    Like many of the fictional detectives of the era, LA Noire is flawed, but it gets the job done. More importantly, if leaves you hoping for more adventures.
  56. May 16, 2011
    88
    At times, L.A. Noire is one of the most vivid, gripping game experiences I've had. Other times, it can be plain boring. As in much noir fiction, the truth lies in the gray area between those two extremes. It's an adventure I won't soon forget, filled with characters as fascinating as they are flawed – a bit like the game itself.
  57. May 23, 2011
    86
    You will get fresh gameplay and a beautiful Los Angeles in the 1940s. Sometimes the interviews in the cases are really difficult to master.
  58. Jun 13, 2011
    85
    It's hard to shake the feeling that they narrowly missed the lofty mark they've set for themselves. A great game? Sure. An instant classic? Not quite.
  59. Jun 1, 2011
    85
    L.A. Noire may have a handful of gameplay faults, but overall, it's an incredibly engrossing experience you won't want to miss out on.
  60. May 31, 2011
    85
    In spite of its flaws, L.A. Noire is still easy to recommend based on its incredible presentation and new take on the old adventure genre. The blemishes likely won't be enough to dissuade many from trying the experience. Rockstar also gets points for making a game where "mature" means more than a rating on the box, as it delivers a deeper experience than we may have come to expect from most games. L.A. Noire isn't the company's best offering, but it's still definitely worthy of your time.
  61. May 16, 2011
    85
    L.A. Noire may not reach the emotional heights of a game like Heavy Rain, but it's something everyone must try out. It reaches high and almost succeeds as a brilliant new type of video game narrative.
  62. May 19, 2011
    83
    For all the attention to detail and convincing immersion during the investigation and questioning-the bulk of the main storyline-there are inevitable moments that pull you back out. You'll earn experience as you do well, which pops up on the side of the screen to indicate how close you are to your next rank. There's nothing like virtual points adding to an arbitrary numbered rank to remind you that you're playing a video game.
  63. 80
    L.A. Noire is a game that did not bother to be exactly what it is, even if it is not what most players will be expecting.
  64. May 24, 2011
    80
    Despite some technical hiccups and a slow story, L.A. Noire challenges the way you think about how great games can and perhaps should be made. It is undeniably interesting and shouldn't be passed up.
  65. May 24, 2011
    80
    L.A. Noire is a superb adventure game soaked in the atmosphere of the post-WW II Los Angeles. The stocky storyline is held back only by minor gameplay issues, and Team Bondi created the first Rockstar game in which you don't mind whether you fire a gun or not. At all.
  66. May 18, 2011
    80
    Nonetheless, LA Noire is a success story. Over its 20-hour-plus length, it cuts a cross-section through the moral, social and geographical landscape of a city that carefully treads the line between a plausible '40s LA and the morally bankrupt City of Angels found in hardboiled fiction.
  67. May 16, 2011
    80
    L.A. Noire is undoubtedly a foray into a new kind of adventure game, and most specifically of investigation games. Beyond the technology, which is not perfect but still breathtaking, its a brilliant example of actors' talent and humanity, both at the service of gameplay. With polished writing and a tight plot, and well-described atmosphere, it's easy to overlook some of its shortcomings in order to dream of the future it gives a glimpse of. A title that we'll remember years from now.
  68. May 16, 2011
    80
    Much like Sony's Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire is a game you simply must play if you are interested in the development of storytelling in videogames. Also like Heavy Rain, the gameplay occasionally struggles to walk the tightrope between being robust enough to hold up the story but easy enough that the player doesn't give up halfway through.
  69. May 16, 2011
    80
    L.A. Noire is slow but quietly engrossing; its mechanics are suspect, but you can't fault the ambition, attention to detail and commitment that went into its making. It risks stumbling over its own earnestness at times, but it's saved by its star – and I don't mean Staton, who does his best with a dry character. That star is Los Angeles.
  70. Aug 16, 2011
    75
    Team Bondi created a technical masterpiece with L.A. Noire. The problem is that they didn't create an artistic or even entertaining masterpiece.
  71. May 25, 2011
    75
    The concept is good and the combination of play styles almost works; however the driving and chase aspects of the game really let it down. When you strip away this and the action elements of the game, it is basically a puzzle solver.
  72. Jun 8, 2011
    70
    One thing I need to say before I forget her: this was an adventure title through and through. On the outside one might get a glimpse and think "She's just like the girl down the street, Grand Theft Auto", but make no mistake: this here dame shares more in common with a point-and-click title more than any other genre.
  73. May 27, 2011
    70
    The best way to sum up L.A. Noire is that it suffers from Assassin's Creed syndrome. You'll certainly get a lot of enjoyment out of it. There's something new and refreshing about a witty, intelligent game that requires a little bit more thinking than the norm. However, it's a bit repetitive and kind of loses its way after the halfway point.
  74. May 26, 2011
    70
    Quotation forthcoming.
  75. May 18, 2011
    70
    L.A. Noire does a lot of things right, and the fantastic facial animations alone make it worth a closer look. That being said, the game is not flawless, and there is quite a bit of work to do if there is to be a sequel.
  76. Jul 26, 2011
    66
    Look past the glitz of technical achievements, richly designed sets, ostensibly interactive environments, and you will see the real L.A. Noire – a vapid adventure with a hole-ridden plot, a boring unsympathetic hero, and rough stitches in places where content should be.
  77. May 24, 2011
    60
    L.A. Noire is a fairly dull detective game unnecessarily superimposed on an open-world. Most of the time players spend while playing L.A. Noire is doing things that are boring, mindless, rote.
  78. May 21, 2011
    58
    Despite how accurate it looks and feels for the time period, it still ends up being little more than a 3D cardboard cut-out most of the time. Also, while the detective aspect is pretty well realized, all of the action sequences I was involved in felt far too planned out, and eliminating any sort of random element from them makes them a little too sterile for my taste.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 872 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 284
  1. May 17, 2011
    3
    Highly overrated. Yes it is a solid game but a severe lack of engaging material ruins it. The story telling is sub par. The gravelly voiceoverHighly overrated. Yes it is a solid game but a severe lack of engaging material ruins it. The story telling is sub par. The gravelly voiceover is terrible and instead of drawing you in to the story it just reminds you that you're not. Bad mechanics and subpar gameplay only enhance its failings. The game is as linear as a game can be. Yes you can roam the streets but the game gives you no reason to do so. It is as simple as drive to point A. and pick up an item. Drive to point B. and show the item to someone. Drive to point C. and interrogate someone. Mission over. Yes the interrogations could be fun but they aren't. Especially when you realize that the game will only let it turn out one way. A complete disappointment. The only reason I can see it getting such good reviews is because of the graphics. I'm actually rating the game much lower than I think I should only to counteract the ridiculous amount of high reviews. Oh and P.S. Don't even think about replay valuse. This game has zero. Full Review »
  2. May 17, 2011
    9
    A revolution in gaming. Feels like youre in a move the entire game. Instead of guns and bullets, you use wits and instinct. Amazing graphicsA revolution in gaming. Feels like youre in a move the entire game. Instead of guns and bullets, you use wits and instinct. Amazing graphics and hollywood level voice acting. Well done Rockstar. Full Review »
  3. May 17, 2011
    10
    This game is truly amazing. Rockstar and Bondi have completely redefined storytelling in gaming with this masterpiece. True, you don't get toThis game is truly amazing. Rockstar and Bondi have completely redefined storytelling in gaming with this masterpiece. True, you don't get to go around killing everyone at your leisure, but that's not what this game is all about. It's about being a detective. And boy, does it ever do it well. Full Review »