Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
  1. Jun 1, 2011
    100
    Whatever you call it, L.A. Noire is a monumental achievement that every console-owning adventure fan needs to experience.
  2. May 31, 2011
    100
    L.A. Noire is on my personal Game of the Year list. The game appeals to me on so many levels and delivers on the same that overlooking the occasional graphical glitch and annoyance with some of the chases is easy. I'm really looking forward to what Team Bondi comes up with next to fill-out this already fantastic world.
  3. 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.
  4. May 24, 2011
    100
    L.A. Noire is an intelligent game with stellar acting, game changing technology and a cast of memorable characters. It's also Rockstar Games' most refined product, making it one of the best games this high profile company has ever published.
  5. May 23, 2011
    100
    If we were being super critical, L.A. Noire can feel a little repetitive – and slightly linear – at times.
  6. May 23, 2011
    100
    If gaming's holy grail is a thousand stories, well told, L.A. Noire might be the first to come within spitting distance.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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
    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.
  12. 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.
  13. May 23, 2011
    97
    L.A. Noire is still a video game at heart, and an excellent one at that, but it feels like it's more than that. It has almost reinvented a few genres while at the same time providing something entirely new and different.
  14. Jun 2, 2011
    96
    Not for the faint-hearted, L.A. Noire rarely pulls punches when discussing (or indeed showing) the victims of some truly horrific crimes, from paedophilia and rape to arson and cold-blooded murder – but it's well presented in a tasteful and mature manner, meaning it's less about baiting the Daily Mail and more about creating a unique, captivating experience. By turns disturbing, idling and utterly compelling, L.A. Noire is a triumph for Team Bondi and Rockstar that will no doubt earn the latter yet another nomination for Game of the Year. All things considered, they deserve it too.
  15. 96
    On paper, LA Noire sounds like an open-world sandbox fused with an interactive movie, but in truth, it's so much more. It's groundbreaking, effortlessly engaging and utterly sublime. To miss playing LA Noire would be a heinous crime. Simply put, it's a work of unbridled genius.
  16. Jun 6, 2011
    95
    Though it may be thin on the extracurricular activities, Cole Phelps' journey from flatfoot to crime-buster is the interactive equivalent of a good whodunit book. Once it begins, you won't be able to put it down.
  17. May 31, 2011
    95
    Overall, L.A. Noire is an absolutely amazing title. The development team over at Team Bondi and Rockstar have hit a homerun here and have set the bar for any future titles in this genre.
  18. May 17, 2011
    95
    LA Noire is a very special adventure. An interactive thriller with interrogations, detective sources, charismatic characters and a great plot that make it into one of the best games of this generation.
  19. May 16, 2011
    95
    From the multi-threaded plot down to the variety of suits Cole wears, LA Noire has an unmistakable charisma about it - it's a fantastic game. A few anomalous missteps hold it back from being 'the next big thing', but if it was perfect to begin with they'd have nowhere to grow. As it is now, I really want to see what Team Bondi do next.
  20. May 16, 2011
    95
    Rockstar has excelled in producing a truly innovative title that sets the high-tide mark for inquisitive gamers looking for a real challenge. It's not to be missed.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 94
    There will no doubt be some gamers taken aback by the amount of listening required and lack of control in L.A. Noire. It's a certainty that a large amount of the public could be expecting a GTA clone set in the 40's, and they may be disappointed by the result. Enter L.A. Noire with an open mind and readiness to experience something you've never experienced in gaming before and there's something special waiting for you.
  24. 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.
  25. May 16, 2011
    93
    Truly this is the most mature game that Rockstar has been a part of. In the end it is something that will go down in history as one of the most innovative games of our time, and for good reason. You are simply supposed to have this game in your collection, if you consider yourself a gamer by any definition of the word.
  26. May 19, 2011
    92
    The presentation is staggering, even managing to make Mafia II look second-rate. It really all comes together in a complete package that no one should missed; and that, folks, is case closed.
  27. 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.
  28. May 25, 2011
    91
    While the 360 version will not be remembered as a graphic masterpiece, the game should continue to be lauded for what it truly is - An innovative stepping stone into the next generation of strategic gaming.
  29. 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).
  30. Jun 1, 2011
    90
    A few ill-judged action sequences, occasional leaps of logic during the interrogations and some gunplay that just about scrapes through on the positive side of functional prevent this from being a stone cold classic in the same way Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption are. But if they're A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, this is surely Rockstar's Return of the Jedi – not the best of the bunch, but still loads better than most of the other stuff out there. Highly recommended.
  31. 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.
  32. 90
    The ending lets it down. The most intriguing story arc ends midway through, leaving a grander but less interesting twist to play out in an endgame that ties off the story in a clumsy and unsatisfying fashion. It's an ignoble end to a game that works so hard to keep you involved, but it doesn't stop the journey being a fascinating one, and something that manages to feel like an entirely fresh experience.
  33. May 25, 2011
    90
    Though its gameplay is less successful or interesting than its presentation, LA Noire definitely advances the art of digital storytelling.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. May 24, 2011
    90
    LA Noire is the type of game we jump up and down over - full of story and style and oozing playability and charm. Unfortunately the single, awkward mechanic of the interrogations mars what could have been a flawless recreation of a classic genre.
  37. May 23, 2011
    90
    Many people have been expecting L.A. Noire to be Rockstar's answer for Mafia II. They are bound do be disappointed - the games don't have much in common. Team Bondi's game is a detective story, a new generation of adventure games, an original, unusual and extremely absorbing product. I had the best time playing L.A. Noire. I grew to like Cole Phelps and was glad to help him fight evil lurking in dark corners of The City of Angels, especially that each case was interesting and intriguing on its own.
  38. 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.
  39. May 21, 2011
    90
    L.A. Noire isn't perfect, and some flaws even in core gameplay mechanics, like the interrogation system, keep it from being e real masterpiece. But thanks to the great advancements made in performance and storytelling, it's a must buy for every lover of story-driven titles.
  40. May 20, 2011
    90
    We wanted to start it again as soon as we'd finished it, which should tell you a lot about L.A. Noire's quality. In the ways that matter it's genuinely excellent. [Issue#72, p.74]
  41. May 18, 2011
    90
    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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. May 17, 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.
  46. May 16, 2011
    90
    Brilliant storytelling mixed with stunning graphics and gripping interrogations make L.A. Noire somewhat of a modern classic.
  47. 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.
  48. May 16, 2011
    90
    You really should play L.A. Noire: it's an adult, interesting and engrossing experience that deserves your attention as well as your money.
  49. May 16, 2011
    90
    One of the most important games I've ever played.
  50. May 16, 2011
    90
    A stunning technical achievement but also an evolutionarily leap in adult storytelling and intelligent action gameplay.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 89
    A disappointing level of freedom then, a choice of either hand-holding or hardcore clue hunting and a typical Rockstar lull in the middle is what holds L.A Noire back from being absolute genius. Thankfully the experience, the story and the characters do more than enough to entertain during the simpler gameplay points in a way that no game has previously.
  54. May 30, 2011
    88
    L.A. Noire feels and plays like an attempt at doing what Uncharted did in regards to Indiana Jones, in translating its genre of crime drama to video games. Despite its flaws and the one game-freezing glitch I ran into, it's worthwhile to explore the detailed city streets that might as well be a time capsule from the 1940s. Although this ambitious combination open-world adventure with complicated cases fell flat at times, Rockstar has certainly laid down a solid base for games like L.A. Noire to grow from.
  55. 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.
  56. Presents an insanely detailed world and a game unlike any you've played before. [Aug 2011, p.96]
  57. Jun 13, 2011
    86
    L.A. Noire is something different, something new, sometimes frustrating, but an experience not yet seen in any other game.
  58. 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.
  59. Jul 1, 2011
    85
    L.A. Noire is a new breed of adventure game. It's quality and scale completely eclipse even the most important achievements in this genre and I strongly recommend it as the best interactive detective story of all time. [June 2011, p.52]
  60. 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.
  61. May 31, 2011
    85
    L.A. Noire superbly reproduces classic film noir, and combines great new gameplay ideas with groundbreaking technology and smart designs.
  62. 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.
  63. May 22, 2011
    85
    L.A. Noire is a grand and technically superior game, and possibly a bit too big for its own good. whilst there's no denying that you'll be hooked into the story and intrigued by the presentation, the gameplay perhaps lets the overall experience down.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. May 31, 2011
    80
    The bottom line is that like the world of "L.A. Noire" itself, the game is neither black nor white; it has its grey areas and it's up to the gamer him or herself to determine how those grey areas affect their playing experience.
  67. May 29, 2011
    80
    In many ways it feels ahead of its time and once this technology becomes accepted as an industry standard, L.A. Noire will no longer feel as significant. Until then, it's a testament to Rockstar's ability to create characteristically rich worlds with top-notch production values and is also a pretty good homage to film-noir.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. May 23, 2011
    80
    A huge production that might be one of the greatest game worlds ever with amazing soundtrack and fantastic animations. But under the extremely well-polished surface hides a somewhat broken control and a very linear and too-prolonged experience.
  71. 80
    Yes, it's flawed, but L.A. Noire is an honest-to-goodness detective crime thriller - a genuine breath of fresh air that values narrative and story above all else in an age where scripted action sequences and online deathmatch rule the day. It's the closest thing Xbox has to PlayStation's unique adventurer Heavy Rain.
  72. May 19, 2011
    80
    And though the final hours are somewhat trite and contrived in the way they weave seemingly unrelated threads together, L.A. Noire won't be remembered for its slightly disappointing finale – it'll be remembered for its pioneering technology, its adept fusion of genres and the respect and talent with which it opens a window on the past.
  73. May 18, 2011
    80
    If you want a period piece action-adventure with a great story then Mafia II is still the game of choice. If you prefer a slower-paced game that requires you to collect evidence to fill your notebook then subsequently check off those items in your notebook one by one, either through travel or intense conversations, then L.A. Noire is the game for you. Loaded with style but short on substance, L.A. Noire is definitely worth checking out, if only to witness the best facial mo-cap in gaming history, but you can do that with a rental.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. May 25, 2011
    77
    There's not enough actual game underneath the lavish setting and interactive movie trappings to elevate LA Noire to the heights reached by GTA, and the crime scene formula soon loses some of its shine.
  77. Jul 13, 2011
    75
    In attempting to ape the triumphs of another medium, it overlooks the triumphs of its own. The result is disappointing game, but an impressive interactive experience.
  78. May 23, 2011
    75
    L.A. Noire is a game you should play, if for no other reason than to experience how one game can be both brilliant and yet relentlessly tedious.
  79. 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.
  80. May 28, 2011
    70
    While it feels like it falls short of its potential, it provides a solid enough foundation that can be developed on and improved in future titles, and is still one of the most wildly innovative and daring experiences to be released this year.
  81. May 16, 2011
    70
    Quotation forthcoming.
  82. 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.
  83. Jun 1, 2011
    65
    In closing, L.A. Noire's ambitions far outstrip its abilities, and it's a frustrating failure most of the running time. That being said, the shooting is exceptional, the occasional fistfighting is functional, and the foot chases are endearingly dynamic.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 758 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 250
  1. May 17, 2011
    10
    The people who rip the "feel" of this game, obviously don't understand it was not intended to be your stereotypical video game. It was designed to be an interactive detective story, much like "Heavy Rain" on the PS3. Both games are very innovative. Rockstar took it a step farther and included more gameplay, even allowing you the ability to wield your weapon and personally drive throughout the city. I would not knock this game until you beat it, as your involvement becomes greater as you progress. Initially, it does get repetitive, but later on, the game changes just as you are about to become bored, and it'll capture your attention again, entirely. Full Review »
  2. May 17, 2011
    10
    A few hours in, I'm falling in love with this game. First, I'd like to say that the facial expressions due to the MotionScan tech is spot on. Interviews are interesting and you feel like a true detective when you get someone to admit they're hiding something. Aside from the interviews, the animations during the in-game cutscenes are amazing and honestly unlike anything I've seen. The gameplay is great from the shootouts to the driving. Clue collecting before interrogations feels rewarding and for those who have played a GTA/RDR, the controls will feel right at home. The story is compelling so far along with the back story and other bits of info you find along the way. It really makes me look forward to seeing how everything comes together when I make a dent in the game.

    I can't wait to sink more hours into it, but this will definitely be a game I fall in love with.
    Full Review »
  3. May 17, 2011
    10
    A revolutionary title that exceeds expectations on all levels, L.A. Noire takes a leap forward in the adventure genre, as well as the technology genre. This video game is a prime example where art influences the technology, and the technology influences the art. Its very rare when video games, or any media for that matter, pull this off effectively, but this game has. It's a new form of game-play all together, not something many are used to, and that is why there are less than deserving reviews out there. People need to realize that this game isn't meant to build off of the past, but instead move to the future, and to be honest I like where this game is taking us. Full Review »