Get in the Game: New technology with an old school feel
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 08:04
Rockstar Games, publisher of the popular Grand Theft Auto series, is often known for causing controversy with its games. Casting the player in the role of a common criminal, players can rob citizens, shoot cops and nail hookers in the backseat of a stolen vehicle. But now, Rockstar Games has ambitious plans for an old-timey adventure that will put players on the other side of the badge.
L.A. Noire is an old school detective game, being developed by Team Bondi, that is scheduled for release May 17 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game puts the player in the shoes of Detective Cole Phelps shortly after the conclusion of World War II during one of the roughest crime eras of the city's history, according to www.ign.com. As a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, it is up to Phelps to uncover the city's dark side and clean up the streets with the use of both firepower and clever detective work.
Being a good guy, it does not seem to make your job any less dangerous, though. Along with rampant crime in the streets, a player must battle corruption within the police department. Players get in car chases, shootouts and the occasional donnybrook or two in order to fight their way toward closing a case.
The city of Los Angeles is structurally revamped in the game, giving the city an authentic 1947 feel. The level design will feature classic L.A. landmarks of the time as well as classic vehicles, signs and dress of the era, according to www.ign.com.
From the look of both the gameplay and theatrical trailers, the game looks downright beautiful, especially when it comes to the facial features of each character. According to IGN, the game uses something called MotionScan, which allows for characters to emote hyper-realistic facial expressions, even tracking the eye movements and subtle twitches that would otherwise go unrecognized. Using this technology, a player will have to read the face of a suspect and ultimately determine if that character is lying or telling the truth, an important aspect of any interrogation.
The game's trailer shows how a player will have to work his or her way up the ladder of the LAPD to gain access to different kinds of cases. According to the trailer, players will begin as a patrolman and work their way to different jobs like traffic, homicide, vice and arson. The player will be paired up with a partner who will aid him or her in becoming accustomed to the different aspects of each department. The partner will also point out subtle things a player may have missed, as well as help out when things get violent.
To solve a case, players will have to closely examine a crime scene and uncover clues to find a lead. Interrogating characters and making accurate judgments on their credibility will lead to a higher chance of solving the case. There are several different ways to go about solving a crime, and the decisions a player makes will ultimately affect how a player goes about uncovering the truth in a case.
Many of the cases are based on true crimes committed during the time period. Crimes like the infamous Black Dahlia murders will be referenced throughout the game along with several other real cases. While the game is almost certain to take liberties with them, the crimes being based on actual events give the game an even grittier sense of authenticity to it.
L.A. Noire is a refreshingly new idea for a game that garners many points for its originality. It appears to be going away from a 1947-style GTA game and looking more and more like a unique game all on its own. If the game turns out as good as it is looking, L.A. Noire will be another great groundbreaking Rockstar game to keep gamers entertained all throughout the summer months.