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LA Noire Makes Perfect Sense for Switch and VR

LA Noire Makes Perfect Sense for Switch and VR
From IGN - November 9, 2017
By Ryan McCaffrey

Repurposing LA Noire as a $30 VR game (called LA Noire: The VR Case Files, exclusively for the HTC Vive for now) is as fun as Id hoped it would be. And on the Nintendo Switch (priced at $50, including all of the DLC ever released), it runs and feels like it belongs, even if its Switch-exclusive featureslike motion controls and touchscreen functionalitydont add a lot to the experience. I played both ahead of their imminent launchesNovember 14 for Switch and December for VR Case files, though remember that the 4K Remastered release is also out on November 14 for Xbox One X and PS4 Pro.

LA Noire looks nice and clean on Nintendos newest console when running at 1080p in docked mode. Its got every piece of content ever released for the detective thriller, and its (mostly) slower pace make it a great fit for an on-the-go game in handheld mode. Its aged reasonably well; the motion-captured facial animations that LA Noire hung its hat on in 2011 have held up best. The rest of the game world shows some last-gen cracks, but nothing I'd knock it for. The most obvious issue was the object pop-in on the horizon when youre speeding down the streets during driving sections.

In handheld mode, Noire is a smooth 720p (per the Switch screens own limitation). It also adds motion controls, optionally activated by pressing the SL button on the top of each Joy-Con when separated from the Switch. They let you move the camera aroundsort of like a PC mouse in 3D space. It works well enough, but if you dont want it you can always go back to the good ol thumbsticks.

The same cant quite be said of the touchscreen controls, at least in my brief demo. When youre investigating a crime scene, you can touch the Switchs screen to click on items, drag the camera around, or exit the investigation. The former two work just fine, but exiting a close-up examinationdone by tapping the screen with two fingers close togethercontinually gave me trouble. At least theres always the B button.

But these Switch-specific extras are just that: extras. Theyre optional and take nothing away from the fact that LA Noire remains an engaging, unique gameeven six years later. It should be an excellent addition to the Switch library (bring an SD card, however), and one that hopefully portends future Rockstar releases on the console.

I was very excited to see how LA Noire would translate to VR, and The VR Case Files largely didnt disappoint, starting with the fedora brim you can see at the top of your field of first-person view. Movement, meanwhile, is handled in one of three different ways, none of which gave me the slightest hint of motion sickness: you can teleport, aim a cursor and click the Vive wands touchpad, or walk around by swaying your arms back and forth. I chased a suspect down by running after him, and I have to say it was quite fun!

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