It’s hard to shake off the thrill of the Los Angeles beat, especially when there are so many crimes to solve. Thankfully, Rockstar Games and Team Bondi have released yet another DLC case for L.A. Noire to feed gamers’ desire to keep the streets clean. Dubbed ‘Reefer Madness,’ this case takes place during Cole Phelps’ time as a Vice detective and is not unlike any of the cases from the game’s main campaign. It’s essentially more of the same. Reefer Madness delivers exactly what you’d expect out of a DLC case, which is a good thing or a bad thing.
The storyline of Reefer Madness is simple enough. Cole Phelps and his partner Roy Earle are slowly uncovering traces of a drug ring that stretches from soup manufacturers to a steel mill, and is typical L.A. Noire fodder complete with suspect witnesses, intense foot chases, and thrilling shootouts. If from the game’s trailer you felt that Reefer Madness didn’t look that much different from any of the cases in the main storyline, you’d be right. The case doesn’t do anything to reinvent the wheel, or break up the general progression gamers became familiar with, but it does keep the experience going.
If you were a fan of investigating crime scenes, interrogating witnesses, and rubbing elbows with the criminal underbelly of 1940s Hollywood, then Reefer Madness should help you get your fix. There are no general gameplay “improvements” to speak of, and the case plays out over the course of about an hour, but it’s engaging enough to warrant a purchase – that is, if you are a fan of L.A. Noire.
The impressive visuals and varied L.A. Noire gameplay are all showcased once again, but so are the problems. Hiccups, clipping issues, and finicky controls aren’t corrected, but they are less of a bother in such a small dose. If you purchased the Rockstar Pass or you were a fan of L.A. Noire’s main story, then Reefer Madness is right up your alley. It’s well priced considering its length, and it features a better blend of all the game’s mechanics than its predecessor, Nicholson Electroplating, did.
The Reefer Madness downloadable content doesn’t improve upon the game’s weak areas and much like some of the main game’s cases, is rather straightforward, capped off by an ending that is extremely unsatisfying. Still, it’s hard to pass up another opportunity to clean up the streets, but only if you enjoyed it the first time around.
Are you planning on picking up Reefer Madness? If you’ve already played through the case and wanted to share your thoughts, feel free to do so in the comments below. L.A. Noire is out now for the PS3 and Xbox 360, and is coming soon to the PC.
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