Cole starts off as a simple cop on the beat. He'll be at street level, trying to solve and stop crimes for the first missions, but you'll soon move to higher, more important tasks. Each 'desk' in the police department has its own crime theme and you'll move through traffic, arson, vice and burglary until you reach your ultimate goal – homicide detective. Each desk job will give you a new partner to work with, although some may be typically corrupt so you should be careful who you trust. One of them might even pull the blinds up, which is clearly unacceptable in a film-noir setting.
No, really. While most of the game's several thousand in-game objects have been painstakingly rendered in 3D thanks to some 180,000 photos from newspapers of the time, the game's vehicles are Jay Leno's. The late-night comedian apparently gave the team access to his personal collection of vintage vehicles, from cars right through to a fire truck to make the game as authentic as possible. Well… it's nice to find some use for them, right?
The game seems to be mostly a tense but verbal affair, although the team has recognised the need for gunplay and more traditional action in order to placate the GTA crowd. Rockstar has given Team Bondi the benefit of its exhaustive knowledge on the subject to make sure there's no shortage of thrills. However, the game definitely won't be the kind where you can go on a rampage in the street with a chainsaw and knuckleduster. Aww.
Above: Feel the tension mount as the guns come out
While interrogating characters in the game, you'll have three options at your disposal: coax, accuse and force. These can be used to steer the conversation as you go, so it's entirely up to you how you go about getting the answers you need. Careful, though - the wrong choice will see your target clam up. There will be unique voices too – some 300 actors and actresses have lent their talents to the game.
Although some alterations have been made to protect the still-living relatives of those involved at the time, the majority of crimes in LA Noire actually happened in 1940s Los Angeles. Newspaper stories have been scoured for interesting events, and although some of the nastier stuff like child abuse has been omitted, the remaining material looks set to cover the harrowing and the ridiculous in just the right amounts.
Above: Without forensics, can you be sure this is a murder weapon?
The game's on target for a 2010 release and – assuming the game lives up to its developers' bold claims – could make the likes of Heavy Rain look like a college media studies project. More soon.
16 Feb, 2010
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