Taking place in the late 1940's, L.A. Noire details the story of Cole Phelps' rise through the LAPD ranks.
L.A. Noire's ending is the biggest culprit of abrupt storytelling. As stated in promotional material for the game (so it's not much of a spoiler), Cole Phelps is a man who is known as a war hero but doesn't consider himself to be one. The game offers flashes of his past, unlocking the story of who the man was before he donned the dark blues of the LAPD. When players finally find out the real story and redemption is offered, the game ends. You don't get the payoff for the entire journey until the last three minutes of the game--and it's all offered in a cutscene. I actually liked the ending, but this (and far too many other narrative threads throughout the game) just end by slamming the brakes and hitting a solid, concrete wall. It was disappointing to fight so hard for the answers and get a piece of the overall puzzle during each police division's ending, but not be rewarded with more for my hard work. It was the overall journey that captured my attention, though. L.A. Noire is a mature game on many levels. It doesn't give players command of weaponry at all times, rather it forces players to stop what they're doing and think. It's a new form of interactive media, pulling in threads of inspiration from everything from film and novels to adventure games and the past of the game's publisher. It offers the chance for people to test their power of intuition, deduction, and dexterity. Though these are elements found in a lot of games, it has never been as prevalent as it is in L.A. Noire. [This L.A. Noire review is based on a retail copy of the game for PS3, provided by Rockstar Games.]