L.A. Noire is a pretty big game set in 1940s LA. You play as detective Cole Phelps, a rookie who is just starting out on his career as one of LA's finest, following his career in the Marines. As you follow Cole's path through the police, you'll be assigned to various desks, which provides you with new styles of crime to investigate namely Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, Administrative Vice and Arson. With each desk comes a new partner, one of the cynical veterans of the force who is there to help you through your tasks if you get stuck, but most of all, get on Cole's nerves.
To accomplish your goal of taking down the various criminals and general scum of the populous, you have a variety of things at your disposal.
General movement is as you'd expect for a sandbox game. You can examine objects while you are investigating a crime scene by pressing , and rotate these objects to take a closer look at them with the . It is fairly straight forward.
Combat takes two forms in Noire: brawls and gunfights. Brawls are hand to hand fights, usually in tight spaces and often against just one opponent, although you can face two occasionally. Lock on with and swing away with . Dodge incoming blows with , and use grapples and finishing moves when prompted with and respectively. Gunfights are as you would expect. You can enter cover by pressing the against a wall, minimizing damage taken; aim with and shoot with .
Driving is also as you would expect. Enter cars with , then accelerate with , brake with . If you press the , you turn on your siren.
Interrogations are an integral part of LA Noire. They are straightforward to do, but fairly hard to master. You ask questions through your notebook, and then after hearing the answer given, you have the chance to believe the suspect (Good Cop), doubt their claim (Bad cop), or outright prove they are lying with collected evidence (Accuse). Good Cop and Bad Cop are simple answers, which require no backing up with evidence afterwards, and if branched correctly, will cause your suspect to bring forth more information if needed. Accuse has to be backed up with the correct evidence to prove that a person was at a scene or knows a person. For example, if you have seen a picture of the suspect and victim together, and they are denying that they know the person, you use the picture as evidence. When you have 19 pieces of evidence however, it can sometimes be a pain choosing the correct one.
How do you know which to pick out of Good Cop, Bad Cop or Accuse? Sometimes it is obvious. As with the picture scenario, you know without question that it is a lie, so you Accuse , as you have evidence. Truths can often be read by the relation that the person has with the victim. A nosy neighbour or concerned citizen will often give more information than a witness or family member for example. However, this is not always the case, so don't assume that because the suspect is gutted about the victim's death that he will give out all information, they may still be hiding things.
For those that are harder to figure out, you have to use L.A. Noire's unique facial recognition engine. You may have noticed that the graphics in LA Noire are pretty good, especially with people. This is because you are supposed to be able to read them like you can your best mate, and know a fib when you see one. Good Cop statements often have the suspect holding your gaze, looking directly at Cole, and show no signs of nervous behaviour. Bad Cop or Accuse statements will often look elsewhere, down or up for example, not holding your gaze, and perhaps a few body movements like wringing hands etc. Things that you know mean somebody is nervous. This, combined with L.A. Noire's fantastic voice acting, gives you plenty of options to sort out the liars from the trustworthy. Listen out for quivers in people's voices, sudden outbursts, or odd pauses while somebody thinks of an excuse to sort them out.
Of course, you come across some master criminals in the game, who can lie to a police officer's face very convincingly, and these can undo your perfect interrogation technique. This guide will be providing every correct answer if you become stuck.
Finally, each case is scored at the end, based on the questions you answered right, clues you found and damage caused to the city. Ideally you want every question right, every clue found and no damage at all, which should net you the 5 star. However, there are a couple of cases where you get a choice at the end of which suspect you need to charge after a number of cross-examinations. If you choose wrongly in these situations, you could do everything perfect, but only get 4 stars and have to go again with it. The guide will give you the correct options for 5-stars.
Now that that is covered, some small hints for completing this game as quickly as possible:
1. When investigating crime scenes, music plays quietly in the background. You have found every clue in the area if the music crescendos and stops.
2. Clues are nearby if you hear a little chime. After a clue is found and you walk nearby again, the chime will be different. Get used to the two noises.
3. Avoid causing damage wherever possible for that 5 star rating. Do this two ways. Firstly, make your partner drive everywhere. Any benefit you get from driving yourself (stumbling upon landmarks for example) is lost if you only get three stars on a case because you ran over a pedestrian. You can make your partner drive and skip the driving scene by holding Y next to the car.
Next, if you do have to drive, hit the left stick and stick your siren on. This will cause cars to move over into the other lane and pedestrians will jump out of your way, meaning you can concentrate on driving. Also, stay on the road, because driving on the pavement at all will often mean to run over a person or knock over a small item. While breaking a bin isn't too bad, break 300 in one case and your chief won't be happy.
4. Use your intuition if you get stuck. Pressing the while in an interview or crime scene will allow you to do three things. Firstly, you can remove an answer from an interrogation, meaning you can choose from 2 options instead of 3. This can be useful if you can't decide if the answer is Bad Cop or Accuse, use this and if Accuse disappears, you know to hit ,
Secondly, you can Ask the Community, only if you are signed into Xbox LIVE. This gives you the percentage of people who answered what answer to each question. However, if 94% of people chose Accuse, but you don't have the correct evidence to back it up, you still can't get the question right.
Finally, at a crime scene, you can show all clues on your map. Useful if you have no idea where the last clue to make that music go away is.
So, without further ado, let's get on with the walkthrough!
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