L.A. Noire Shows Cole Using The Wrong Gun In World War 2 – Screen Rant

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L.A. Noire's attention to historical detail is incredible, but there was a small oversight in the game's WW2 flashbacks, as Cole uses the wrong gun.

Rockstar Games and Team Bondi's L.A. Noire has superb historical accuracy, but its WW2 flashbacks get something wrong by showing Cole Phelps using the wrong gun. L.A. Noire takes place in 1947-era Los Angeles, two years after the end of the Second World War. The protagonist, Cole Phelps, is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer now serving with the Los Angeles Police Department who fought in the Pacific, and the story dedicates plenty of time to his wartime experiences. Multiple flashbacks in L.A. Noire depict the incredibly shouty Cole and his unit engaged in firefights with Japanese soldiers, with fellow marines Jack Kelso and Courtney Sheldon also factoring into the story in a significant way.

L.A. Noire's attention to historical detail is considerable. The game features a period-accurate soundtrack, vehicles, and weapons, as well as an authentic (if underutilized) recreation of post-war Los Angeles. Real-life figures like Mickey Cohen also appear in the story, while the murder of Elizabeth Short - the infamous Black Dahlia - is the core focus of the game's homicide missions. Combined with its realistic facial-capture technology, L.A. Noire is one of Rockstar's most immersive titles. It's immaculately researched and depicted, and more unique than most other immersive open world games.

Despite its historical accuracy, though, L.A. Noire doesn't get everything right - particularly when it comes to its WW2 flashbacks. The game starts off with Cole having returned from the war, serving as a rank-and-file uniform cop with the LAPD. He's equipped with a .38 caliber revolver for these opening missions, before making the switch to a Colt M1911 when he makes detective. This is meant to be a callback to his days in the war, as the standard-issue sidearm of the U.S. military during the conflict was the Colt .45. However, Cole is only seen using that weapon occasionally in flashbacks, with himself and the other infantrymen in his company wielding BARs instead - a weapon that wasn't used by officers. A mistake like this would make sense in a game like CoD: Vanguard, as its depiction of WW2 is less than realistic, but it feels out of step in L.A. Noire.

Cole Phelps Uses A BAR In L.A. Noire's WW2 Flashbacks

LA Noire BAR WW2 Flashback

It makes sense for L.A. Noire to give Cole an M1911 as a detective due to his military service, as it would be a weapon he'd be more familiar with. U.S. officers in World War 2 would carry a sidearm, but would also be equipped with a Thompson submachine gun or an M1 Carbine as their main weapon, due to their lighter weight. The standard infantry weapon of the U.S. Armed Forces during WW2 was the M1 Garand, with BARs also being utilized in large quantities as a support weapon by machine gunners. These weapons would not be used by officers or most infantry, but L.A. Noire strangely depicts them as standard-issue, making it one of the only noticeable historical errors in the game.

Rockstar titles like L.A. Noire and Red Dead Redemption 2 are generally historically accurate, and although it's a relatively minor mistake, it still feels like a weird oversight. Cole could have just as easily been depicted wielding his trademark sidearm or even a Thompson in L.A. Noire's WW2 cutscenes, as that weapon also features heavily in the story. It doesn't detract from the game's immersive qualities, but for those players more familiar with the history of World War 2, it may prove weirdly distracting.

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About The Author


Ewan Paterson
(39 Articles Published)

Ewan is a Gaming Features Editor for Screen Rant and may in fact have way too many interests. His love for comic books, video games and Dad Movies also instilled in him a love for writing, which he's been doing since he was about 16. Originally from Liverpool, Ewan made the move to Newcastle in 2014 to study History at Northumbria University (which he loved), and has stayed there ever since. You may have heard/seen him on YouTube a bunch as well.

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