One of the common complaints about L.A.Noire is the sense that players have of the title being more an example of interactive fiction than of it being a game. Certainly there is something to this observation, as despite having some tactical shooting elements (especially in its secondary missions), most of L.A. Noire‘s gameplay boils down to activities that do not require successful mastery of the game’s mechanics. Both the actions of searching for clues and interrogating suspects do not really have a fail state. If you do not turn up all of the clues in a case or if you fail to properly deduce whether you should trust a suspect’s response, doubt it, or accuse that person of lying, you will still ultimately resolve any given case that Cole Phelps is investigating.
Again, certainly your performance will be evaluated by the close of the case (which speaks a bit to a more game-like quality to the overall experience, as “following the rules” results in being acknowledged as a “better detective”), nevertheless, success, like justice (in the game’s world apparently), is inevitable. You can get through the entire story (barring the initial tutorial interrogation, which does require correct answers to move forward) by being the least competent detective in the world. The story will unfold, as it were, despite you.