I beat L.A. Noire a couple weeks ago, but I’m not going to be talking about the game as a whole or its ending just yet or all the things I loved slash hated. That will all have to wait until I get to it on my 2011 Completed Games list. In the meantime, I’ve dipped back into the game to play clean up for Achievements, as well as just drive around Los Angeles without the constant pressure of finding clues, undermining suspects, and closing cases. It’s been really nice.
Team Bondi and Rockstar’s 1940s Los Angeles is bland in terms of things to do other than driving from point A to point B, but brimming with beauty and buildings to look at, observe, eye hump, and be amazed with. Aesthetics is the name of the game here, and hoping into a car, tuning in to Billie Holiday, and driving down busy city streets is a little like time-traveling. It’s also quite relaxing because, unlike Grand Theft Auto IV, bumping into a car or accidentally swerving over to the sidewalk does not get the black and white chasing after you; in fact, you’re the black and white, and the game does quietly reprimand you for reckless driving, but never enough to put the fear in you to drive as straight and narrow as they come.
I do try to drive safe and civilian-like, but sometimes I get sleepy and veer into another car. Or some dinkhead begins to turn, but suddenly decides to stop in the middle of the road; that seems to happen a lot. No worries. Cole and his partner are always fine, never thrown from there car or anything, and the cars don’t ever explode like they would in Liberty City. Crash a car, find another, and so on. The developers have made it extremely easy to stay in the game, to keep exploring and listening to those snazzy, jazzy tunes, and that’s pretty amazing as most open-world games get boring real fast. Die a few times in The Saboteur or Grand Theft Auto IV, and seeing that I’d have to re-drive (or re-walk) all the way back to where I was is more frustration than I need, and off goes the system. However, with L.A. Noire, there’s none of that. The only pain, I guess, is having to switch out between three different discs to “free roam” certain crime desks.
Anyways, last night, as the heat and sleepiness wore me down, I found out that I’d been driving a whole lot so far, unlocking this fun Achievement:
Miles on the Clock (15G): Drive more than 194.7 miles.
Obviously, this took some considerable time, especially since I reveled in the fact that, during the game’s main missions, you could totally make your partner drive to the desired location without fear of ruining your car or losing your way or simply getting distracted. However, doing so did not count towards your total mileage for this Achievement. Post-game, finding hidden cars and completing more street crime cases definitely helped with this. I think I was mindlessly driving around near the Hollywood sign though when this nugget pinged. Vroom vroom.
I still have a few more somewhat attainable Achievements to go after, meaning I’ll be spending more time in the glitz and glamor of L.A. That sounds fine to me. Locations, newspapers, more street crimes, hidden cars, golden film reels–here I come!