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10 things you didn't know about LA Noire

It feels like ages since LA Noire was announced. It went quiet for so long, we even agreed in the office that it would never see the light of day. But suddenly, Team Bondi's crime thriller has emerged blinking into the light (probably due to all the time it's spent in darkened rooms with only slits of Venetian blind light for illumination) and details are everywhere like scattered cigarette ash on a pulled-low Trilby.

So let's get you up to speed, detective. We've sifted through the evidence in Game Informer magazine's exclusive first-look and now present it to you in an easily-read dossier. Probably written on a proper typewriter. Um… try to imagine us silhouetted against a grimy, misty street while you do, OK?

 

1) You play as a good guy for once

The primary gameplay will see you solving crimes as Cole Phelps. You will go to people's houses, invite yourself in, interview them and then move on to your next witness/suspect. These encounters will range from well-mannered house visits to car chases, shootouts and rooftop pursuits. Sweet.

 

2) LA is rockstar's biggest environment yet

The city has been rendered almost 100% accurately to its 1940s layout. Using hand-drawn maps from the time and early aerial photography, Team Bondi has recreated the city right down to 3D shop fronts, but simultaneously making this a bigger environment than anything yet seen. And in this pre-freeway era, you'll even drive down streets that don't exist any more, which sounds kinda spooky to us.


Above: The atmosphere is typical film noir. Odd, that

 

3) It's got new facial animation tech

NPCs all converse with you in real-time, thanks to a 2,000 page script and new technology that allows dialogue and motion to be captured at the same time. The result is an ultra-fast process for Team Bondi's sister company Depth Analysis, who can record around 20 minutes of final footage a day, as opposed to the usual timeframe of two animators taking a month over one minute. The results are reportedly spectacular, with faces so realistic you can lip-read them and even tell if they're lying just from watching them.

 

4) The team is paying extreme attention to detail

Everything in the game, from the soundtrack to the prices of food on café menus has been researched extensively to make sure this is a believable environment. There are some 140 interiors in the game, many with multiple rooms, and each one will be full of lovingly-rendered items. Some of the clothes have even been modelled on loaned items from the wardrobes of Saving Private Ryan and King Kong.

 

5) Cole's character will change

In movies or literature, it's uncommon for a lead character to end as the same person they were in the beginning. Videogame characters, on the other hand, are much more likely to remain the same. Cole is a complex character, with regrets about his past (and particularly his actions during WWII), but who has the strength of his convictions. He's an ambitious man, too…


Above: Why don't gentlemen wear hats like that these days?

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32 comments

  • modernwarrior19 - March 3, 2010 1:48 a.m.

    I didn't even know this game existed until now but it looks really good. Plus any game that has mass effect style conversation to interrogate people i'm sold on.
  • D0CCON - February 28, 2010 10:34 p.m.

    @frmonth, it isn't exlusive
  • callofdo0bie - February 27, 2010 4:02 a.m.

    This game looks awesome :) GTA IV dissapointed me(I know i'm very along on that though). I'm glad to see they are trying to make it a more story driven game. I was personally never a fan of the "hey lets put in the cheat codes and blow up stuff with a rocket launcher till they have to send the national guard". I hope this game is good.
  • 4fromK - February 18, 2010 8:48 a.m.

    wow, number 7 makes me respect jay leno more. conan may have mentioned games, but I don;t think hes ever helped out devs to this level.
  • r0LLIN92 - February 18, 2010 3:28 a.m.

    Looks pretty good i gotta say.
  • RaIdEn - February 18, 2010 2:25 a.m.

    me wantee
  • BLOODmuffins - February 18, 2010 1:21 a.m.

    Wow. I just got excited about this game.
  • Gameguy94 - February 17, 2010 11:40 p.m.

    For the longest time i always thought L.A. Noire would be the Rockstar exclusive everyone's been buzzing about but then after E3 i had no idea what to think.
  • michaelmcc827 - February 17, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    HEY! I already read this article yesterday, so when I read it today, I knew all 10 of these things! What the fuck! Fail article is fail.
  • gigiosantos - February 17, 2010 7:12 p.m.

    MUST. HAVE. GAME. Hope they make it for PC too!
  • DriveShaft - February 17, 2010 3:57 p.m.

    Love this game already, leave it to Rockstar to dominate. I'm a little torn though, I've been waiting fo this and Heavy Rain since 2006.
  • frmonth - February 17, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    OK scratch that according to Wikipedia the game was announced for 360 on the 4th of Febuary (I'm out of date it seems)
  • frmonth - February 17, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    I thought this was a PS3 exculsive so why is it a "360 feature" when I heard it was an exclusive I was very dissapointed being a fan of classic noire (Murder My Sweet, The Lady From Shanghai ect.)
  • philipshaw - February 17, 2010 2:56 p.m.

    The fact it's coming out is something I didn't know
  • pikachu2000 - February 17, 2010 1:36 p.m.

    I always wanted to play as the old decative from the old crime flims and for once I can play as a good guy, a rare thing these days. Recaptcha: resigned smitten
  • curly_jefferson - February 17, 2010 11:03 a.m.

    It looks so classy. This is a great preview, i'm fully sucked in now
  • Vagrant - February 17, 2010 4:23 a.m.

    Conversation system and playing as a 'good guy' seem like great features. That's piqued my interest. But a lot of this article, especially number 5 just read like a bad advert.
  • PIZZAKING92 - February 17, 2010 3:55 a.m.

    Looks awesome. Hope it can live up to the hype.
  • JustTheBoBreaker - February 17, 2010 3:50 a.m.

    This game's story will surely be endlessly compared to Heavy Rain's when this comes out.
  • lovinmyps3 - February 17, 2010 1:51 a.m.

    Sweet!! Looking forward to this!!

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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