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It’s that time of year again. E3 is coming and the hype train is beginning to hiss. In preparation for this year’s maelstrom of new video game delights, which starts on June the 15th, we’re running a twice-weekly series of features highlighting the big hitters you’ll want to keep an eye on at the show.
Some you’ll know, some you won’t, but all will require your complete and undivided attention. So tune in to GamesRadar every Wednesday and Saturday, and have that attention primed and ready.
Today, we’re looking at Rockstar's PS3 and 360 urban detective drama, LA Noire.
Take a good hard look at the image above. While it's not the most exciting screenshot you'll see in your lifetime, it sure as hell gets us all giddy with anticipation. Y'see we've seen L.A. Noire running and those scarely realistic mugs you can see above play out with such expertly defined facial expressions and lip-synching that everything before it pales in comparison.
Strong words, sure, but the detail within the characters plays a far bigger role in Rockstar's detective 'em up than we could ever have hoped for.
Early scepticism suggests that although L.A. Noire looks real purdy, there’s a big question mark over how it will all be stitched together and whether it will work well or be a bit of a mess. Well, our current hands-on time with Team Bondi’s crime thriller gives us the perfect answer – it works and it does with aplomb.
Click on the image above for more evidence on how it all comes together nicely.
Let’s just hope the mainstream media doesn’t latch on to L.A. Noire with the same kind of misplaced rage they reserve for Rockstar’s other baby, because the imagery I witnessed in the first minute wasn’t just disturbing as hell, it’s damn sure something I’ve never seen done before...
So, let’s get this part out of the way: yes, Lara Croft’s appearing in a new game, and no, it’s not part of the Tomb Raider franchise. Why shed such an established brand? According to developer Crystal Dynamics, it’s because the download-only Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is going to be a completely different experience than what fans are used to, and the title’s intended to reflect that.
“Different” barely begins to cover it. The biggest change, however, is that Lara actually has someone along to help her this time. A dude someone.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is much more like an arcade actioner than any Tomb Raider title we can think of. In fact, if we had say which game it's most like, it would probably be Killzone Liberation on PSP. Like Lara, Killzone was a departure from the main series' mechanics to deliver a more immediate and arcadey experience.
Of course, The Guardian of Light has way more puzzles than Killzone, but look at all these aspects that weren't in any of the main Tomb Raider games...
"Damn! Just missed," comes the shout. But missed what? A platform? A headshot? Nope. I was trying to explode my co-op buddy with a remote mine.
Welcome to a new breed of Tomb Raider – one that focuses on fun instead of sobriety, but leaves in all the basic elements that made the Tomb Raider series so great.