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10 things I wish I knew before playing L.A. Noire

Secrets, newspaper locations, easter eggs, hints, tips, actors, guides, links and MORE

Okay, so you've been playing L.A. Noire all weekend and you're like "Pfft, I know everything there is to know about this game. What can these jerks teach ME?" Well, maybe you're right; in which case, respect. But what if you missed something? How could you live with yourself? Or maybe you've just started the game and you're bewildered by the sheer amount of stuff to see and do in Rockstar's vast virtual City of Angels. Either way, we're here to help.

1. You can talk to people

You can talk to NPCs in L.A. Noire by approaching them and pressing square. There's no button prompt, and Cole won't say anything, but wait a second and they'll spout a line of random dialogue; usually a corny joke or an observation about Phelps. This works with random pedestrians on the street as well as the people you find sitting around in buildings.

2. You can steal cars

Well, 'steal' is the wrong word. Any vehicle you see on the street, whether it's parked or being driven by an NPC, can be commandeered. Phelps will flash his badge and you'll be able to take their car hassle-free. Parked cars are never locked, so you don't have to worry about the alarm going off like in GTA, and you can 'borrow' passing squad cars too.

3. Always drive a police issue vehicle

If you're chasing 100% completion you'll want to finish all 40 of the game's street crime side-missions. While it may be tempting to ditch your police issue vehicle at the earliest convenience and skid around in a speedy convertible, you won't have access to your police scanner, and thus no street crimes will become available. You won't be able to take advantage of the siren either, which makes driving through busy streets less stressful.

4. Keep your eyes peeled

Just because the moody 'detective music' has stopped in a crime scene doesn't mean you've found absolutely everything. This just lets you know that you've found enough to proceed with the case. Look at your notebook; is there a line drawn through the name of the location you're currently at? If not, there's still something to be found - either another, less obvious clue, or one of the game's 13 plot-expanding newspapers.

Incidentally, here's where you can find all of the papers if you're worried about missing one...

01. Upon Reflection - In the alley, sitting on top of a crate
02. The Driver's Seat - On the table in Margaret Black's house
03. A Marriage Made in Heaven - On the counter in Ray's
04. The Fallen Idol - Near the prop heads in Hopgood's place
05. The Red Lipstick Murder - In Celine Henry's house
06. The White Shoe Slaying - Ackerman's shack in the camp
07. The Black Caesar - In the Ramirez Removals warehouse
08. The Set Up - On a table in the American Legion stadium
09. Manifest Destiny - In the alley
10. A Walk in Elysian Fields - On the Morelli lawn
11. A Polite Invitation - On Leland Monroe's desk
12. A Different Kind of War - Inside Rapid Exterminations
13. A Different Kind of War - On Harlan Fontaine's desk

5. There's a free roam mode

Whenever you finish all the cases in a given desk - be it traffic, homicide, vice or arson - a new option will appear in the detail's case folder, accessed from the main menu, called Streets of L.A. This is a free roam mode that lets you mop up any partner-specific street crimes you might have missed, or work on finding landmarks and secret cars.

6. Control yourself

If you want to ace a mission, try and drive sensibly. While it may be tempting to bomb around the city ramming cars and uprooting telephone poles, you'll get a shitty rating at the end when the fines are added up. The worst possible crime is knocking people over; this can incur the biggest fines, especially if you're going all 'Carmageddon' on the locals.

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