Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"L.A. Noire" Switch Review

Rockstar's stunning 2011 period police procedural "L.A. Noire" has been blessed with a late-2017 renaissance, with a 4K upgrade on its PS4 Pro and Xbox One X debuts.

But leave it to the Switch release to steal the thunder from the better-looking counterparts.

With HD rumble, touchscreen controls and dual-screen play seamlessly adapting the dated title to Nintendo's new system, the developers managed to make the game feel as though it was designed from the ground up for the handheld/home console hybrid.

Set in the grim, dank 1940s Hollywoodland era, the game pits your mildly corrupt cop character -- a grizzled World War II vet -- against the Black Dahlia murderer. You scour crime scenes, hunt down clues and grill witnesses. At the end of an episodic scene, you decide which suspects to arrest. The choice-based gameplay adds replayability and ratchets up the intensity of choices you make.

Enough time had passed for me from my initial playthrough to make the missions seem new again. With only a vague recollection of where clues were hidden or what questions and responses I needed to ask to get the most out of witnesses I grilled, the story seemed fresh rather than like a rehash. The less familiar you are with the original release, the more you'll be able to enjoy the new version.

A hefty 14GB install file puts up a significant barrier to entry to players, pretty much requiring players to pony up for a massive SD card to expand the Switch's memory enough to take on the game.

"L.A. Noire" is such a resonant accomplishment that Switch owners shouldn't let the SD card requirement keep them from taking it on. Further rounding out the console's ever-expanding library, it's now the home of a true classic.

Publisher provided review code.

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