L.A. Noire is set just after World War 2, Hollywood is booming and everyone is looking for their fortune in the streets of L.A., but just like with other big cities there are dark corners and alleys that can’t stand the light of day. Luckily there are men like Cole Phelps, a decorated war veteran who wants to uphold the law with the LAPD. He starts as a simple street cop, but as cases get solved you reak in promotions and can move to other departments.
At Rockstar we got to see one of those cases, which are all based on true event, titled Fallen Idol. The introduction movie of the case shows how a car with two females in it drives off a cliff while a man is running away from the scene. As if it’s a miracle, God’s female creatures remain unharmed as the car remains stuck against a huge advertising billboard from Coca-Cola. As Cole Phelps at the time is working at Traffic, he and his partner Stefan Bekowky get assigned to the case. The first investigation at the crime scene quickly unveils this isn’t an ordinary accident. The gas peddle was sabotages with an object from the movie world and a torn piece of underpants smell fishy.
The looking for evidence can be compared to a modern adventure of a point&click; adventure. However, instead of some pointless clicking you walk around and know from the tone of a piece of music that there’s more hints to look for. A subtle but effective move from Cole’s head leads you to the object. When you finally have the piece of evidence in your hand you can check it out, and confront possible suspects with it.
Interrogating those involved is done with previously found clues and evidence. The more you know, the easier the interrogation and and the more you find out. Asking the right questions is key, but also the behaviour and facial expressions of the characters are important. Thanks to Team Bondi’s Motionscan emotions are beautifully portrayed and you can easily deduct whether or not the women are speaking the truth. After each interrogation you also get the chance to have Cole believe what was said, accuse the interrogated, or to doubt their words. The better you play in on their words, the more you find out and the faster you can close the case. If you’re not such a good detective you can still close the case but will have to search for other leads that sometimes take a bit longer. It’s never a lost case though. All roads in the end lead to Rome, it’s just that one is a bit longer than the other.
Asking questions and searching for clues and evidence isn’t the only thing you need to do. Throughout the case I encountered a classic shootout, noticed that listening in on a conversation was of utmost importance, we got chased by a couple of gangsters, and you sometimes can even help the arm of the law in other interventions. Fed up with all the violence and deception? Than you can do some sightseeing in the nearly perfectly recreated Los Angeles. People who’ve been there will quickly recognise streets like Wilshire boulevard, Figueroa street or Hollywood boulevard thanks to the beacons or tourist hangouts that are present.