After the amazingly well received release of Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare; Rockstar brings us a completely new game to look forward to: L.A Noire. Set during the 1940’s, you play as a detective in L.A attempting to solve a series of cases in a classical film noir background. As you solve more and more cases you climb higher and higher in ranks in the LAPD. Playing as a detective your job will be to solve several murders in the area, which in turn will help you to complete the main storyline. Seeing as Rockstar is almost synonymous with Grand Theft Auto a majority of gamers might be expecting the same style of game play but set in the 1940’s, and even though there are several shootouts and car chases, Rockstar deviates from their debut title’s recipe by using new MotionScan technology as well as creating a darker and more serious atmosphere. Besides, this time you play the cop rather than the robber.
MotionScan seems to be extremely promising and has the potential to make L.A Noire the most exciting release of spring, 2011. Where this new piece of technology comes into action is during intense interrogations with suspects. MotionScan allows full facial and vocal recognition of the actors that play the different lead characters in the video game, so players will be expected to analyze their suspect’s facial cues, tone of voice, etc. and then make decisions on whether they are telling them the truth or lying straight to their face. This is where your human relation skills will be tested to their full capacity. Each player will then be able to make decisions based on how well they read their suspects, causing the storyline to vary. With over fifty hours of voice recordings (the equivalent of about two seasons of a television show) there is a huge incentive to replay this game over and over again.
Other than the primary missions, there will be secondary missions, which do not move the game to it’s conclusion, a trademark aspect of all sandbox games. While L.A Noire does seem more linear than other sandbox-styled Rockstar releases (Red Dead Redemption, GTA), players will have full freedom to move around the city as they please. As a detective the interrogation scenes as well as the player’s ability to scour a crime scene for every single clue will be extremely vital to solving all the different cases. L.A Noire, based strongly on old film noir titles, is going to be intense and difficult as the players will be expected to remember names, dates and events, so my advice to you is to keep a notebook close at hand, or play the whole game in one sitting.