As previously mentioned, LA Noire could have easily riffed on the conventions of the genre its so heavily inspired by, leaned on the novelty of its setting and called it a day. The mechanics and the gameplay would have still ensured that it sold like hotcakes, but the developers instead attempted to deliver a biting narrative which still feels contemporary, despite its period setting.
Unafraid to tackle difficult topics like sexual assault (with one particularly salient case involving a pervy Hollywood producer that hits way too close to home in 2017), domestic violence and social oppression, each investigation always has something to say underneath the pulp action driving it.
Not only are the cases themselves heavy, but the game also doesn't shy away from accurately portraying and exploring the politics of the time, digging deep into these conservative characters and pulling apart the hypocrisies and ideals of the American Dream.
Despite the gimmicky gameplay and world-changing animations, LA Noire has a rich thematic core to mine if you so wish, and more than rewards players looking for a critical portrayal of 1940's America that isn't masked by the sheen of its noir presentation and cinematic influences.