Following up what we thought was 2010's best game of the year is no small task, but if there's one developer/publisher powerhouse that can handle the pressure, it's certainly Rockstar Games. From a pairing with Sydney-based developer Team Bondi, L.A. Noire was born, with preproduction dates ranging as far back as 2004.
It's certainly been a long road for the massive title, involving more than 400 actors, more than 20 hours of voice acting, and the invention of a whole new technology to capture realistic facial expressions. Our eyes having been glued to the TV for every waking hour of the past few days, we're ready to share our final thoughts.
First, a little background: L.A. Noire is a crime drama-thriller set in 1940s Los Angeles. Players assume the role of Cole Phelps, a war-hero-turned-cop who is in the process of making his way up in the ranks of the L.A.P.D. In a notoriously violent time in L.A.'s past, Phelps finds himself confronted with an unsettling number of possibly connected murder cases.
Of course, the game borrows its name from the film noir genre, dating back to crime dramas of the '40s and '50s that used stylized cinematography and the high contrast of gritty black and white for dramatic effect. While L.A. Noire is presented in color, players have the option of choosing black and white in the display settings.
Every effort was made to recapture the Los Angeles of 1947, from the painstaking details of a residential kitchen to the historic landmarks on the outskirts of town. Aerial photographs, blueprints, public records--just about every resource available--was consulted in the game's reconstruction of the city and the result is absolutely astonishing.… Read more