The review embargo for Rockstar's LA Noire has finally been lifted and the game is on track to be one of the highest rated of the year.
At the time of writing the game has a 91 per cent average on Metacritic.
"There's something entrancing about the way this game plunges you into the violence, the corruption, and the sadness of post-war Los Angeles," Videogamer's 10/10 review explained.
"As you stoop to inspect the naked body of a mutilated young woman, as you shakedown a gambling racket in a dusky backroom, as you pick through the skeletal cinders of a burnt-out building… as you do these things, you'll silently admit the truth: you don't want to stop the bleakness, you want to revel in it."
Giant Bomb also awarded the game full marks.
"LA Noire is a bold release, because it defies the expectations not just for the type of game Rockstar usually releases, but also for the type of game that receives this degree of care and proficiency in its execution," it wrote.
"The world already has enough open-world action games, but a game which marries that open world to such a methodical style of gameplay, with a budget this big, is a rare thing indeed."
GameSpot awarded the title 9/10, adding: "LA Noire is a unique game with a terrific sense of period atmosphere, absorbing investigation mechanics, and a haunting tale with plenty of moments that would be right at home in a classic film noir. Those smoky nights spent listening to jazz at the Blue Room, and the price you paid for them, will stay with you long after you've retired your badge and gun."
CVG, while awarding it 8.9/10, warned that though a brilliant title it may not be to all tastes.
"If you hated Heavy Rain's strand of video game innovation and you're coming to this with cars and horses on the brain, then you're likely to be disappointed," it outlined. "If you can forgive some linear foibles and missed gameplay opportunities, it's definitely worth a try.
"But if you loved Quantic Dream's PS3 adventure – or any of the old classic narrative point and clicks, for that matter – and hunger for a touch of Rockstar's mature class amongst 2011's spate of gun-heavy blockbusters, you can consider LANoire very much a must buy."
Eurogamer scored it 8/10, saying: "LA Noire is slow but quietly engrossing; its mechanics are suspect, but you can't fault the ambition, attention to detail and commitment that went into its making.
"LA Noire may owe its vision of the city to Ellroy and others, but as a game, it can depict it in a way those others can't. McNamara, Team Bondi and Rockstar have taken that responsibility seriously, convincingly peeling away the layers of a sick society over the game's length. That – not the curse words or the grim subject matter or the naked corpses – is what makes LA Noire a genuinely mature game."