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The long cable of the law: L.A. Noire VR is out now

la-noir-vr

It’s an odd feeling, in a way, that ‘Rockstar releases VR game’ isn’t the biggest news in the world. One of the most successful games companies in history embracing what we were told was gaming tech’s most significant leap forwards in generations, and, well, there it is. L.A. Noire VR is out now, y’know. Deck the halls?
Clearly, GTA or Red Dead VR would be huge news; hell, I’d perk up for Bully VR. L.A. Noire, though? It’s Rockstar’s most ambitious title in a long time, but also their most flawed. (I should, however, note here that it wasn’t a Rockstar-developed title, in fact – they acted as publishers, but ill-fated Australian studio Team Bondi were on direct dev duties). Hell God baby damn no I do not want to play it again.

That said, it’s suited to VR – at least in terms of ease of transition – in a way that other Rockstars are not, given that it often inclines closer towards hidden object and Telltale-style game than third-person action.

L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files, as it is known, does not shirk the action, however – shootybangs and car chases are included, for instance. However, this version of the game is structured as seven standalone cases, as opposed to the inter-linking story and open world world elements of the flatscan edition. The biggest news, perhaps, is that L.A. Noire’s been modified from a third to first-person perspective, so you can get real up close and personal with those half-photoreal, half rice-pudding faces it was so famous for.

I’ve not had a chance to to L.A. VoiR it up myself just yet, but reception on Steam is ‘very positive‘ at the time of writing. Praise is heaped on the graphics and readable text, the redone combat controls and performance, although folk seem more hesitant about what sounds like slightly janky movement controls. The response is warm enough that it’s moved from ‘eh, can’t be fussed’ to ‘when I get a chance’ in my thoughts. Although it’s pretty weird to looking at a Rockstar game with only 139 reviews on Steam.

Out now, for £25/$30, via Steam, in any case. Officially, it only supports Vive, which has rubbed a few people up the wrong way, but, as with all Vive titles, you can trick it into running on a Rift (FakeVive invariably works for me).

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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