It’s been a long time coming, to the point where L.A. Noire has nearly entered the realms of vaporware. The game was first announced in 2004, and we’ve only seen a few small bits and pieces in the six years since.
…until today. Rockstar Games and Australian developer Team Bondi have finally taken the wraps off of the game’s first trailer, just over a minute of footage lifted completely from the game. And, while I know many people will be keeping their emotions in check until the game’s in their sweaty mitts – it don’t look half bad.
In case you’ve forgotten what it’s all about (and couldn’t work it out from the trailer), L.A. Noire is a “dark and violent” detective thriller, set in the late 40s, post-WWII. That is, of course, the most corrupt period in the city’s history, which makes the whole thing even more fun.
The reason it looks so awesome is the ground-breaking performance capture technology used behind the scenes. No more simple mo-cap for these gangsters – new methods are being used to grab each nuance and tiny subtlety in an actor’s facial expression. While it treads the line of the Uncanny Valley at times, L.A. Noire aims to use this amazing facial animation to let gamers “truly explore” what it’s like to be a detective. The game combines clue-finding and interrogation with classic action, and it’s down to the player to scrutinise the actors and determine which ones are telling the truth.
As you may have noticed, L.A. Noire is currently in development for both Xbox 360 and PS3, having shed its PlayStation exclusivity a while ago. We’ve heard too many release windows before to accept this one without a fight, but it still might be wise to keep an eye out around Spring of next year, some time around April or May if we’re lucky.