Why did Red Dead Redemption never make the jump to PC? The game sold millions of copies, and Rockstar's Old West would have looked amazing in super-high resolution. It's a mystery that will likely be left unsolved, and it's certainly not one that Cole Phelps will ever look into; he's too busy inspecting dead ladies, and turning over beer bottles in his hand.
On the plus side, Phelps himself will be making the jump to PC later this year - on November 11 in Europe, to be precise. Consolephobes have waited four months (so far) for their helping of bodies, broads and bullets, but the visual payoff is immediately evident. LA Noire's appearance was always one of its greatest assets, and the game certainly benefits from to a top-of-the-range display. Naturally, this will only matter if you're lucky enough to own a high end setup in the first place, and there's no way of knowing yet how the game will fare on lower-spec computers. Still, it looks undeniably impressive on Rockstar's demo machines, the crisp textures complimenting the insane levels of period detail.
If you're the kind of PC gamer who has deep pockets and resilient retinas, you'll also be pleased to hear that you can put your 3D monitor to good use. I'd be lying if I said I'm a big fan of 3D graphics in general, but LA Noire certainly gains something from their inclusion. This is a comparatively slow-paced game, after all, one in which you spend a lot of time carefully sifting through locations, pausing over minutiae. The stereographics go hand-in-hand with Rockstar's 1940s dollset, a world where case-solving clues hide amid everyday clutter. While the addition of 3D is hardly a game-changer, it's a nice feature if you have the tech.
Visual pleasantries aside, perhaps the biggest boon for PC-owning latecomers to LA Noire is the fact that this is more or less a Game of the Year Edition. The PC version contains all of the DLC cases and challenges released thus far, including The Consul's Car, which was previously a PS3 exclusive. Aside from adding to the game's already-considerable duration, the extra cases supplement the labyrinthine plot. This is especially true of the Nicholson Electroplating case, which provides a fresh shot of exposition at a late stage of the overall story.
While LA Noire is one of the more divisive projects that Rockstar has released in recent years, it's also clearly one of the definitive releases of 2011. It's an important game that follows Heavy Rain in blurring the lines between video game and interactive cinema. If you're a PC gamer who's been eagerly waiting to delve into the seedy underbelly of post-WWII Los Angeles, November will deliver your chance - and a load of dead bodies, to boot.
LA Noire will be released on PC on November 11.