rockstar leeds

#4 L.A. Noire (PS3, 360, PC)

Publisher: Rockstar Games – Developer: Team Bondi, Rockstar Leeds

Our Review

Every year, Pads & Panels list of top games is dominated not only by quality titles but also by a special few that try their damndest to reinvent what we can expect from mainstream games. It’s no surprise that Rockstar Games has found itself perennially among those special few. This year’s offering from the publisher is L.A. Noire. In addition to a ridiculously detailed recreation of 1940s Los Angeles and a plot worthy of its name, L.A. Noire works to reinvent what we can expect from gaming by pioneering facial technology that allowed its creators to add in-depth, emotional interrogations to what might have otherwise been a simple third-person action title. The DLC support for the title cannot be ignored, but even without it, L.A. Noire would stand out as one of the year’s absolute best. (more…)

rockstar leeds

Title: L.A. Noire

Platform: PS3 (360, PC)

ESRB Rating: M

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Developer: Team Bondi, Rockstar Leeds

Rating: ★★★★½

Review by: Bill Jones

Rockstar Games, as a developer and publisher, has been no stranger to pushing the boundaries of the gaming industry. Whether it’s pushing the envelope of what type of content is acceptable in games, breaking open the 3D open-world genre or reinventing the Western, Rockstar has often found itself ahead of the curve, boldly trying new ideas. So it’s no wonder the publisher’s collaboration with Team Bondi is such a riveting success and arguably reinvents what video games can be once again.

L.A. Noire is part open-world, part 1940s Los Angeles recreation, part noir revival, part third-person shooter and part detective simulator. And not only does it excel at all of these things individually, but, more impressively, it excels at bringing them all together in a fantastic manner that feels like something truly fresh for the world of gaming. (more…)

rockstar leeds

Title: Beaterator

Platform: PSP

Publisher: Rockstar

Developer: Rockstar Leeds

Review by: Bill Jones

Much like KORG DS-10 Synthesizer, Beaterator isn’t really a game. Rather, it’s a collaboration between Rockstar and Timbaland to create a powerful music mixer that can be used on the go with a PSP. Beaterator gives players a solid arsenal of tools – thousands of loops and sounds with which to create songs, a “Live Play” mode with pre-arranged templates, as well as an option to import vocals, not to mention a programmable drum machine – and lets them go wild. The casual fan will get a kick out of the Live Play mode, as it has the feel of stepping into a Best Buy and simply jamming with the pre-arranged melodies on a Casio keyboard, making one feel like more a musical genius than he probably is. Those who take the time to really learn the system, though, will find an incredibly in-depth creation mode, and the option to export songs for the world to hear. Thanks to support from the PlayStation Network and the Rockstar Social Club, this option actually seems worthwhile. (more…)