Ever since finishing L.A. Noire, I can't stop thinking about it. It's unlike any other game out there, but I feel like it's the perfect artistic counterpoint to 2010's Mafia II. Mafia II takes place in 1940s/1950s New York, and L.A. Noire takes place in 1940s Los Angeles.
In Mafia II, you play as Vito Scaletta, who enlisted in the army when the court gave him the choice between that and jail. He gets injured and returns home, where his friend Joe "arranges" his full release, and he does work for the mob. In L.A. Noire, you play as Cole Phelps, who enlisted in the navy and earned the Silver Star in Okinawa. He returns home and becomes a police officer, and gets promoted to detective soon after.
Most of the way through Mafia II, Vito botches a drug deal and basically fucks his life up. Most of the way through L.A. Noire, Cole gets suspended from the police force for having an affair with his wife, basically fucking his life up.
Both parties must atone for their wrongdoings by finishing what they started. Cole gets help from his war rival, Jack Kelso, to expose corruption (fostered by another war rival, Courtney Shelton), and sacrifices himself to save Jack and his girlfriend. Vito gets help from his childhood friend, Joe, to kill his old boss. His employers celebrate and drive him and Joe to a celebration in separate cars. Joe's turns off onto another road (the guy orchestrating this saying "Joe wasn't part of the deal"), and the game ends. The player is meant to assume that they killed Joe.
Both games feature unforgiving action segments and a variety of characters. Both focus more on story than gameplay, using the gameplay as a bridge to advance the plot. Both games end with a death of an important character present from the beginning.
Another game I've noticed similarities with is Rockstar's own Red Dead Redemption.
- Towards the end, the protagonist is shoved aside and you play as JACK for the last mission
- The protagonist is helped by a colourful band of characters (not all of whom he actually likes)
- The protagonist attempts to atone for his sins and sacrifices himself to save those he loves
These games were released a year apart. I'd be able to overlook these, if not for the JACK connection. You know another game that replaces the assumed protagonist with JACK for the ending and suchlike? Metal Gear Solid 2, which received an HD remake last year.
Also, based on my readings, most people hate JACK (Raiden) and JACK (Marston). I hated JACK (Kelso)'s suit. I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP