L.A Noire is the upcoming hyped open-world crime shooter from the house of RockStar Games and an independent Australian developer – Team Bondi.
The story revolves around a series of murders that apparently look like accidents but upon close inspection things are not what they seem to be. Story’s protagonist “Cole Phelps” is retired World War II veteran, who decides to join the L.A.P.D. Cole Phelps in essence is ” An All American Hero “, who always plays by the rules. You will be placed in various sections of L.A.P.D going from traffic, Vice and will eventually move on to homicide cases.
It’s an open world game and the developers have tried not to make it a Sandbox. At times,you will feel like watching a movie as the events unfold in-front of your eyes. The best way to get into the game is to start from the crime scene. There may be times when players will be late to arrive at the crime scene and by that time the perpetrators would have fled but they would have left clues for players to collect and eventually apprehend them.
Interaction with the evidences that you collect from the crime scenes is something quite interesting. Depending on the type of evidence players would be able to interact with the evidence in different ways like they can zoom in, rotate etc.
Another great feature is the musical cues and vibration (given that you are using dual shock controller for the PS3) that the game provides (given that you have enabled these aides) when you are about to uncover potential evidences that may help to solve the crime. This clever use of musical cues is very satisfying as compared to glowing objects which are used in many notable games.
One of the most important tools for solving a crime and which would take a sizable chunk of the game is “Interrogation” of suspects and eye-witnesses at the crime scenes. While interrogating players, there will be three option to choose from, one they agree to what the person is saying, second doubt the statements and lastly to outright accuse the other person on telling lies.
Depending on which choice the player opts, the game will progress in a different way. An important point to note is – although there are three different options, the outcome would be one but arriving at that outcome would differ. This means while at times the interrogations might give you a description of a car and other times it will get you a description of a car with a license plate number. This would mean either going through 10 cars or just 1 car.
The most significant innovation in the game is the use of a new technology “Motion Scan” which is a form of motion capture for the facial movements of actors. This technology captures even the slightest quiver of the lip and even the change in the tone of the voice, creating a set of facial expression that can be passed for real expressions.
This plays a pivotal role in telling when during an interrogation the witness or the suspect is lying. This takes the game to another level of visual realism. It seems as if the player is looking at a real person.
Although the open-world games are a strong suite of Rockstar Games, but L.A Noire is not a GTA IV clone nor is it Red dead redemption without horses. It has a totally authentic feel of its own due to the Noire nature of the game.
The game is visually stunning with authentic backdrops and landscapes. The developers have spent a large portion of their hard work in collecting authentic 1947 L.A. pictures so that they could create a world that portrays the intended atmosphere for a truly exhilarating and engaging experience for the player.
L.A. Noire represents a potentially gigantic leap forward for the genre and not just from a technological standpoint either. L.A. Noire is a interesting example of what can happen when science and art meet in the hands of some very talented artists, coders and performers: the creation of original and challenging entertainment of an outstanding quality. L.A Noire is scheduled to be released on May 17 in US and May 20 in UK for PS3 and 360.