Why L.A. Noire is a Game-Changer

L.A. Noire, arriving May 17th, is raising the bar for storytelling in video games to an entirely new level. We’ve heard that kind of hyperbole before, but this time the hype matches the product. Because you have never, ever played a game like this before. I guarantee it.

Developed by Team Bondi in association with Rockstar Games, L.A. Noire is blurring the lines between video games and movies like never before. The biggest buzz about the game is over the advanced motion capture technology being employed to bring the enormous cast of characters to life. Using methods similar to what James Cameron used for Avatar, Team Bondi not only put the actor’s voices and likenesses into the game but also their movements, capturing detailed facial expressions at a level never before employed in a video game.

The result is a video game that features acting on par with the best movies Hollywood has to offer, even though every human you’ll see on screen was made inside the computer. Over 400 real actors — many of them character actors you may recognize, such as Fringe‘s John Noble — appear in L.A. Noire, an 8-square mile free-roaming version of 1947 L.A. that’s teeming with opulence and corruption.

You play as L.A.P.D. Detective Cole Phelps, fighting through the ranks of organized drug trade, murder, racketeering, and arson to uncover a dangerous secret hidden somewhere in the city. You’ll hunt for clues, find suspects, interrogate witnesses, and solve 20 high-profile crimes. It’s a game that took five years to develop and create, but coming from Rockstar Games — the masters of free-roaming realism (Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Bully) — I expect nothing less than a finely-tuned masterpiece.

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Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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