Great premise, sloppy execution.
Being a decades-long fan of film noir and '40s Los Angeles, I was eagerly awaiting this melding of the two in an investigation-oriented sandbox game. The end result comes across as a bit of a disappointment, I'm sad to say. Before we get to the bad points, though...
The game's recreation of '40s LA is nothing short of stunning. The short-lived Team Bondi claim to have recreated 90% of central LA and some surrounding districts, and seeing is indeeed believing. Just driving around doing nothing in particular, and listening to the genuine period soundtrack is worth the price of admission... as long as you bought it on sale. The atmosphere is palpable, and it doesn't rose-tint anything. It is what it is. A pleasant, colourful exterior belying the worst aspects of Man.
And the character models and animation puts pretty much anything out there, including next-gen titles, to shame. In fact, chances are you're going to be suffering from "withdrawal" and become fixated on the comparatively shitty efforts of other games in provididing convincing facial animation. That being said, the process they went through to achieve this technical splendour seems understandably financially inefficient and probably played no small part in the project's considerable time spent in Development Hell
As a story, however, it's juggling way too many balls at once and drops more than a few of them. The various cases often connect with pleasing results, and there's a good sense of continuity, but the main character's entire story arc just seems shoehorned in there. In the end, nothing much is learned about anything, and certain elements just seem cliched and derivative. And most of all, they commit the cardinal sin of incorporating the Black Dahlia mystery to laughably wall-banging results. The whole inclusion of BD, and how they choose to handle it, just seems to indicate the writers don't have enough faith in their own ability to tell a story, and rightly so.
Lastly, as a game, the actual fun factor is a bit on-off. It's fun sweating perps and witnesses and stuff, but the action-y parts just seem chucked in there for the sake of living up to the Rockstar legacy, and feel somewhat unsatisfying at that. It'd probably have been better off being a purely adventure-oriented sandbox game, flaws and all. A good attempt, if nothing else.