May 6, 2011
It was a cold day in May. The sun was threatening to scare its way through the clouds that had mercilessly soaked the earth for the past couple of days. I looked up at the calendar and that’s when it hit me, I blocked the upper cut that would have knocked me senseless before following it up with the old one-three. As I looked down at the unconscious calendar I realised something…. 11 days until LA Noire is released (17th May 2001 – US, 20th May 2011 Europe)
LA Noire is the new release from RockStar, the developers behind the Grandtheft Auto series, Bully, Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club, Manhunt, Max Payne, and… Rockstar PingPong (which was actually quite good). They’ve teamed up with Team Bondi the guys behind The Getaway on PS2 to recreate Hollywood in the 1940′s to play as a WWII hero turned rookie cop.
LA Noire changes tack from being another Grandtheft Auto clone in two ways. First you play as the law, ostensibly as the ‘good guy’, although if history is anything to go by, in the 1940′s the ‘good guys’ was a fairly abstract term in law enforcement. Secondly, Rockstar and Bondi have upped the gaming ante by using state of the art capturing techniques to bring the characters to life. They’ve gone to all that trouble to ensure that the main reason for playing the game will work: being a detective.
Watching the Detectives
The main concept of the game is that you do detective type things, find clues, follow leads, interrogate suspects and question witnesses (or interrogate witnesses and question suspects if the situation requires it). In order to do that questioning bit the ability to detect deception or truth is fairly critical, hence the advanced motion capture.
Anyone who ever played the CSI games will know how unrewarding questioning is when it comes down to simply asking the questions in the correct order. Although it’ll probably be a similar route in LA Noire you’ll be able to see where you’re going in the line of questioning and know when to play bad cop or good cop.
On the whole, LA Noire looks as though it is going to push some boundaries and set some standards without moving away from the tried and tested formula that has worked time and again for the RockStar team. For those who enjoy a healthy dose of story, conspiracy and problem solving along with shooting people in the face and being a badass then you’d better add LA Noire to your must buy list for May 2011.