One Of L.A. Noire's Murder Mysteries Is A GameStop Exclusive

There are a million stories in this naked city, but the Naked City story for L.A. Noire is only yours if you preorder the game through GameStop.

Since L.A. Noire's particular flavor of police investigation action is episodic, standalone cases make excellent preorder gifts. That's what Rockstar Games is doing with Naked City, which sees Detective Cole Phelps investigating the murder of a gorgeous model.

Preordering the game from GameStop also unlocks the Badge Pursuit Challenge, scattering 20 police badges around Los Angeles for players to collect in exchange for fabulous prizes.


I wouldn't worry too much about the episode being exclusive for long. That's far too much work to limit it to a select group of customers.

L.A. Noire is coming in May to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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I don't pre-order games. We should not EVER pre-order games collectively. I will explain why:

Let me preface this by saying I'm old compared to most of you. My first game system was an Atari 2600 just for some perspective. OK. I remember buying games that completely sucked. You know what I did with them? I took them back to the store and got my damned money back. That cannot be done anymore. As consumers we have accepted the fact that game makers do not give refunds no matter how bad the product sucks.

OK so I say fine, I'll read the reviews. I know which magazines, or web sites these days, that I trust and if they say it's good then I'll plunk down my hard earned cash for it. Oh wait... no reviews are allowed before the game releases even though the reviewer got their copy two weeks ago? Fine, I'll wait until the day after release to see what the verdict is. Well now the publishers try to snooker you into pre-ordering it no matter how bad it is because you got some bonus content. You can't make a judgement call based on reviews and you can't return it. They are trying to train you to buy anything they publish for whatever price they ask regardless of quality.

We as a group have to put a stop to this madness. We are following the marketing blather like a bunch of lemmings. Make them produce a high quality game and verify that they have done so before you buy it. The whole purpose of this pre-order crap is to get you suckered in by basing your purchasing decision on the size of their marketing budget rather than the quality of the game. Buzz is bought and paid for not earned. Good review scores from responsible and moral media outlets are earned.

We are spiraling down a serious bottomless pit with no refunds, no reviews allowed prior to release, no demo, and thousands of people paying for the game a month before it hits the shelf. That is great for the publisher and very foolish for the gamer in my opinion.

I'm speaking of preorders in general and not this game specifically. Some gamers love all things Rockstar and KNOW it is right up their alley before it is released. That's fine. I'm just saying that the more we promote this practice the more we will have to complain about and we have no one to blame but ourselves.