LA Noire: An eyes-on preview of Rockstar's detective-thriller

The gumshoes head to the hospital to see young Jessica. At anytime you can check your notebook, which contains all evidence you've found, people you've met and leads you need to explore. You can also talk to your partner whenever you like and he'll give you help - not in a super-direct 'maybe you should do that again' kinda way, but more to give you genuine advice on what's happening. It's this option that advises Phelps to treat Jessica with care as she's shook up.

You can't help but feel for the deluded young girl, not just because her story of achieving star status means everything to her but because her model is so realistic. You almost want to reach in the screen and give her a hug to let her know it's going to be alright. Just another example of the incredible facial mapping that has gone into L.A. Noire.

Above: Lead man, Cole Phelps as a beat cop. A bad-ass looking, shotgun-wielding, beat cop

If it seems a bit too pedestrian for your liking then the next bits of the mission might be up your street. Phelps races to the scene of a suspect as he's got wind that June Ballard's bad ass husband is sending goons to mash up chief suspect, movie producer, Mark Bishop. Phelps and Bekowsky rough up the hired-muscle ( which looks rather meaty) before interrogating Mrs Bishop and then racing to a prop house to investigate an infamous casting couch, which doubles as a porn set for unsuspecting actresses.

There's an adrenaline-fuelled chase through the streets of L.A. as hitmen try to take you out and even a good ol' fashioned shootout on a movie set, which fits perfectly into the game and crucially doesn't feel crow-barred in. Think Red Dead Redemption levels of action and you're on the right track.

Above: The attention to detail in recreating 40's L.A. is nothing short of brilliant

I know it may seem we've rushed the final bit of the mission, but it's worth the gap in knowledge so that you can fully appreciate L.A. Noire when it releases in 2011.

I will divulge that the much-publicised, MotionScan technology, is awesome. For L.A. Noire to be an accurate detective-sim it needed the facial expressions to be spot on and this ground-breaking technology is perfect for doing just that. If you've ever watched Mad Men then you'll recognise several folk from the series because Rockstar used the same actor's agency as the award-winning show. This includes thousands of words of dialogue, hours of motion capture and of course time in the studio with the MotionScan. The result will be the benchmark for all games that follow.  

Above: As well as interogating people on the streets you'll also do it down at the precinct. Time for a punching?

As it is, L.A. Noire may take some people by surprise. Mostly the people that see the Rockstar name on the box and expect balls-out, gun-filled action. It looks far more concentrated than GTA and the direction that Team Bondi have taken it will play up to the fans of Heavy Rain as it's similarly story-driven. There are a few blots on it's early record, like the escalation of events at one part of the mission where you're talking to some goons only for a full-on car chase with guns erupting seconds later, but it's a small flaw in what is otherwise shaping up to be a stunner for 2011.

18th November 2010




  • kor2disturbed - November 30, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    I couldn't keep myself from giggling from excitement while reading this. I really hope it lives up to expectation!
  • fallenink - November 22, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    "For starters, L.A. Noire isn't a free-roaming game in the traditional GTA style." Anyone Else See The Problem Here?
  • nathanieladams - November 20, 2010 9:24 p.m.

    it looks really bad i wont be lokin forward to it
  • GangsterJew92 - November 20, 2010 8:47 a.m.

    I REALLY want to play this game. I'm in the same boat as flabslapper, I love 40s and 50s stuff. I'm also glad to see this is the first game of that era to license more than just the music.
  • ackbarsoup - November 19, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    With this writeup and the new trailer, this has escalated into one of my most anticipated games! All the interrogation and detective work sounds great, and the facial work is crazy good!! (though I'd have to see more of it to say it's better than Enslaved's facial features) Hopefully they're able to meld the detective work into the action sequences and not make it janky. But Rockstar tends to work hard bringing out quality titles, so I'm sure this one will be no different. Here's to getting more info soon!
  • GamesRadar_NathanIrvine - November 19, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    @wkdtkd There will be musical clues and a close-up camera angle to confirm the evidence too. Though these are still being tweaked by the developers.
  • Shadowsedge117 - November 19, 2010 6:37 a.m.

    From what AI've read so far, this game will be a cross between Heavy Rain, Mafia II, and GTA IV. I'm really excited about this game. This was actually one of the reasons why I bought a PS3 to begin with. Now I just have to wait and see which console I should get this for.
  • lobsterhunt - November 19, 2010 6:17 a.m.

    this is now a launch day purchase instead of a launch week/month purchase.
  • DanteofFlorence - November 19, 2010 5:27 a.m.

    this sounds very intriguing; i will have to check this out.
  • TrixR4Kidz - November 19, 2010 4:46 a.m.

    Feels like a free roaming 3D Phoenix Wright game, which spells awesome!
  • ElAmmoBandito - November 18, 2010 9:45 p.m.

    Knowing Rockstar they'll never disappoint me
  • GayforGilbert - November 18, 2010 9:10 p.m.

    I'm now looking forward to this game, more than ever.
  • Rhymenocerous - November 18, 2010 8:16 p.m.

    Hmmm...Could very well be one of the best games ever made.
  • Letter11 - November 18, 2010 7:23 p.m.

    This looks so amazing and I'll get it regardless but I hope they don't go with auto targeting again. But gunplay is clearly not the focus here so I guess it won't hurt.
  • hybr1dgamerx - November 18, 2010 7:12 p.m.

    reminds me of playing phoenix wright or hotel dusk on my ds,haven't seen a game like thit on consoles besides heavy rain,very promising title
  • Felixthecat - November 18, 2010 6:28 p.m.

    I get butterflies in my stomach every time I think about L.A. Noire.
  • wkdtkd - November 18, 2010 5:30 p.m.

    Maybe a stupid question but...if the sweet spot is identified by a rumble, then what happens if you're using an old sixaxis without duelshock? How is the sweetspot detected then? :/ This game looks amazing tho!
  • flabslapper - November 18, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    I really really really REALLY want to play this game, I don't get too excited about a lot of games anymore (the last one being Fallout 3), but I love 1920s - 1940s stuff (one of the main reasons I was excited about Fallout 3), so I can't wait for this, especially because it seems to me from the trailer that they paid a lot of attention to the sound quality, it sounds like a movie from that time period and that makes me all warm inside my pants.

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