L.A. Noire Rockstar Pass Review

L.A. Noire Rockstar Pass: Bargain or Bogus?

Rockstar has finally released all of the pre-order DLC packs given out to various retailers on both XBL and PSN.  They are selling each piece individually as well as offering a “Rockstar Pass” which nets purchases ALL of the available DLC, plus 2 more cases to come for one low bundle price.  Currently set at a limited time price of 800 msp or $9.99 until June 14th when it increases in price, presumably to 1200 msp or $14.99.  This price means a 50% savings over buying each piece of DLC individually but is it worth it?

Included right now in the Rockstar Pass bundle are the following items:

* “Chicago Lightning” Detective Suit (Free via the Social Club)
* “Chicago Piano” Machine Gun (Free)
* “The Naked City” Vice Desk Case ($3.99 PSN / 320 MS Points)
* “A Slip of The Tongue” Traffic Desk Case ($3.99 PSN / 320 MS Points)
* The Badge Pursuit Challenge ($1.99 PSN / 160 MS Points)
* “The Broderick” Detective Suit ($0.99 PSN / 80 MS Points)
* “The Sharpshooter” Detective Suit ($0.99 PSN / 80 MS Points)

The following 2 cases are slated to release in the coming months, but if you purchase the pass, you will be able to download them for free upon release:

Available June 21st
* “Nicholson Electroplating” Arson Desk Case ($3.99 PSN / 320 MS Points)

Available July 12th
* “Reefer Madness” Vice Desk Case ($3.99 PSN / 320 MS Points)

The question here is, is it worth it to purchase the Rockstar Pass to get everything all together, or is some content worth less than the rest and can be skipped.  The simple answer is yes the Rockstar Pass is certainly worth a purchase.  The real meat of the content are the 4 extra cases which if purchased individually would run about $12 so you’re saving $2 right off the bat and getting a bunch of extra costumes and an extra collectible item hunt for free.

Let’s get this out of the way first, the extra costumes and weapons aren’t worth the money.  I don’t recommend anyone purchase those items individually as they don’t really add anything to the game.  Some of them give you slight advantages such as shooting better with the machine gun, or being able to take more punches in the brawling mini-game but I wouldn’t call any of these suits must have items.  Think of them as an incentive for buying the full pack of cases.

As for the cases they are certainly worth owning.  If you were a fan of L.A. Noires unique gameplay you will not be disappointed here.  Currently available are a new Traffic case and a new Vice case.  In “A Slip of the Tongue” you and your partner will be chasing down a car theft ring that has spread across the city.  In “The Naked City” you will be investigating the apparent suicide of a beautiful young model, though all is not as it appears to be.

Both of these cases are as long as any other case found in the full game so you aren’t being given small throwaway cases to work on in the DLC.  They also fall neatly into the storyline, which is my biggest complaint with this DLC actually.  The cases presented are good, but the problem is they honestly feel like they were ripped out of the full game in order to be sold back to us as DLC.  While I don’t condone these kinds of actions it is the state of the industry today.  Unfortunately it feels like you really do have to pay an extra $10 to get the full L.A. Noire experience.  Both cases present some character development for Cole that helps explain his arc throughout the full story.  It’s like a deleted scene from a film that gives some important insight into the plot but we don’t get to see until the director’s cut is released.  I assume that since the next 2 cases aren’t ready for release yet this will be a minimal factor with those.  As it is though the 2 cases given really do add to the overall story of the game and should be experienced.

Final Thoughts

As a bundle the Rockstar Pass is a great bargain.  You get every piece of currently available DLC for about 50% off its full individual price, and you’ll be receiving 2 morecases over the next 2 months extending the playability of the main game.  These cases aren’t simple throwaway cases either, they are interesting fully fleshed out cases that feel like they were cut from the game full of character development and even a glimpse at what has become of old characters from previous cases.  While the suits and extra modes aren’t really worth anything, it is certainly worth $10 to play through these cases, I just wish it didn’t have the overall feel of being cut out specifically to be re-sold to us as DLC.

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