Saturday, 21 May 2011

Smash Hits | Rockstars of the North

God bless the publicity-shy Scottish entrepreneurs at the tumultuous helm of Rockstar Studios for using the game-changing engine and the tremendous commercial success of the last Grand Theft Auto to leverage entire new sub-species of video game rather than as a platform to put out sequel after dreary sequel, as so many other developers seem content to do.

First in Red Dead Redemption and now with the wonderful L. A. Noire, instead of making innumerable millions on Grand Theft Auto: Afghanistan or some other such silliness they've helped give a medium in real danger of disappearing up its own first-person perspective [redacted] the kick in the rear it's sorely needed for so long.

I can't tell you how excited I was to get my hands on L. A. Noire yesterday, when my copy finally came through, and though I only managed to play for an hour or so before certain other responsibilities kicked me off the couch, I'll say this much for free: if you play video games to any great extent, and the latest from Rockstar isn't on your radar simply because it doesn't have Grand Theft Auto in the title, you, sir slash madam, are a part of the problem.

That is all.


  1. You tease! :-p I've been eye-balling this game for weeks, and them my roommate said there's been some issues with the software and the PS3 (i.e., crashing).

    All the same, I've been waiting for someone whose opinion I like to say if this game's as good as it looks. More? :-)

  2. More opinion? Why, may I? :P

    Just as soon as I'm through with L. A. Noire, the plan is to put together a full review for another of the sites I write for. It's not like this game is speculative fiction, exactly, but if there's an appetite for the review hereabouts, sure, I should be able to repost not too long after that.

    But yeah, I've heard of the same problems with the PS3 version. I'd imagine it has something to do with the PSN being down, and some built-in online functionality therefore failing, but who knows? I'm playing on the Xbox 360. Points! :)

    That said, if PlayStation is the only platform you could potentially play on, I wouldn't let these reports put you off L. A. Noire, Bill. The worst case scenario is that your system crashes a couple of times... and I'm sure there'll be an update along to resolve those issues shortly.

  3. I've been looking forward to this game for months! Once I've got a good chunk of spare time on the horizon I intend to jump right in, PS3 issues or not :)

  4. A spare chunk of time? Say, how about when you're supposed to be sleeping? That's when I get most of my gaming done...

    The likes of L. A. Noire - though I'm no further in than when I wrote this post - makes the state of sleep deprivation totally worthwhile, though. Here's to patrolling the mean streets at 4AM courtesy some strong coffee and a good book to get me through in the interim! :)

  5. Your statements are sound, Niall. Any game done to the caliber that Rockstar delivers is spectacular, regardless if it's GTA. And we can't forget Team Bondi themselves, the real creators; a (7 year?)development process, from a potential PS3 exclusive to being bought by R*, to pitching the concept of a risky yet rewarding facial tech are major steps for this new developer.

    For what it does, tries to do, and what it will change (in terms of others trying to match that in-game facial quality in improving their games down the road) L.A. Noire succeeds. And it deserves more than an 8.5, you damn IGN reviewers!

    What confounds me is that this game actually exists.

  6. This game is SO. DAMN. GOOD.

    If you aren't already, go play it. In Black and White. Effing amazing.

    That is all.