PlayStation Reviews

LA Noire The VR Case Files PSVR Review

Review Code Provided

Summary

Step into the shoes of Cole Phelps once more in LA Noire The VR Case Files. As a detective in 1940’s Hollywood, it’s up to you to tackle cases from different departments in the LAPD, only this time you can get up close and personal to the action and see every grim detail thanks to VR.

Gameplay

Much like the standard version of the game, in LA Noire The VR Case Files you will start out at the rank of a patrolman and gradually work your way up through the ranks of the LAPD, where this one differs though is that while you get to experience the whole story in the normal game, the VR counterpart is more of a sampler. You’ll get to play through a number of key cases and put your detective skills to the test from a more personal perspective. Right off the bat this version of the game is far more immersive than the regular game and graphically speaking it actually holds up really well, it doesn’t look like Rockstar had to sacrifice too much to literally put you in Cole’s shoes. While the world is a little more empty, the stellar facial capture performances are still present, though as close up as you get to be in VR you do notice their clever trickery a little more.

As with many VR games there are a number of comfort options to help ensure you don’t suffer any sickness effects, normally I tend to have them all off and play with my movements as free as possible but the turning in this one actually had me a little queasy so I had to revert back to using snapped turning. All of the other motion such as the walking and driving felt fine to me with no issues. When it comes to the movement you pretty much have free reign to go wherever you want to and not just while you’re on a case, I was surprised to find that I was able to walk about the VR incarnation of 1940’s L.A. at my leisure. If you get lost while you’re pottering about, it can be a little difficult to find your way back thanks to the absence of any sort of mini map, but luckily you can commandeer any of the roaming police cars and it’s in the vehicles where you’ll find a little map on the dashboard. Aside from the landmarks you can discover, there’s not really much point to walking around unless you just want to take in the sights and have a good look at everything close up.

When it comes to the cases in LA Noire The VR Case Files, you only get a handful of them to go through and there’s not much else in between, while the regular version of the game has many cut-scenes showing Cole’s back story and his ascension up the LAPD ranks, it’s disappointingly missing from this game. The cases that are included are pretty much exactly as they are in the regular game, just from a more personal perspective, but one annoying thing about it is that when you’re interviewing a suspect you have to select the questions manually with your pencil and it doesn’t seem all that responsive and can lead to you picking the wrong option. The first few times it happened I actually thought I may have been taking too long to pick a question but after playing normal game and seeing there doesn’t seem to be a time limit, I’m not so sure that was the case.

When you first start the game you find yourself in Cole’s office and you can interact with a number of items in there, such as listen to the different records you’ve collected or try on different outfits in the mirror. If you leave Cole’s office you can find another room that has a display cabinet for your trophies and you can find flyers to access the VR exclusive mini-games, these are a shooting gallery, which has four different rooms for different challenges, a race track with three different tracks to race on and finally a boxing ring in which you go round by round beating up all of the important characters in the game. If you don’t have time for any of that because there are crimes that need solving, then you can access the cases via the clipboard on Cole’s desk.

LA Noire The VR Case Files is far more interactive, as you might expect, than it’s standard counterpart and it makes everything seem much quicker, since you have free range of your movement and your hands you can inspect any of the clues personally and move on to the next set of items quite quickly. It’s also much more involved when it comes to fighting enemies since you can throw your own punches, or slaps if you’re feeling slap happy and you can also personally take the wheel when driving. While the driving is much more fun since you get to move your hands around as though you’re actually steering a car, it can also be quite finicky as you have to lock both of your hands to the steering wheel or risk the tracking flipping out and making you crash into a wall when you try to remove one hand to use the hand brake or the car horn. If you you’re not fond of the driving you can always choose to teleport to your destination when selecting a location from the notebook.

 

To Conclude

I personally loved playing LA Noire The VR Case Files but it is a little disappointing that so much of the original has been left out and while the VR specific modes and features are nice it doesn’t really fill that hole left by the absence of all that content. I would recommend everyone who has VR to play this game, despite its lack of content compared to the regular version, it’s still a fantastic play. It does occasionally have some odd tracking issues that can be more than a little annoying, but the fact it’s far more engaging than the standard affair makes it hard to put down. Truth be told, if this game had all of the same content the standard version has I would give it five stars and probably be hard pressed going back to playing it outside of VR.

If you want to learn more about it you can visit this link, otherwise you can visit one of the links below to purchase it;

PSVR

Steam

If VR isn’t your thing, you can find our review for L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition here, or if you want to buy it you can visit one of the links below;

PS4

Xbox One

Steam

Switch

Chris Bracewell
Been a gamer for a long time, is my favourite and oldest pastime. Occasionally, when the mood strikes; I enjoy dabbling in games design, primarily the artistic side.
http://www.northern-gamer.com