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Old 03-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
Kragg
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PAX East 2011: L.A. Noire Preview



Most people eat lunch at noon on a Saturday. The crew at Evil Avatar watched a guided demo of L.A. Noire instead. Here's my write up of the hard boiled new Rockstar joint!

Click the headline for full disclosure!
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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While on the show floor Saturday the friendly folks at Rockstar Games had us sit down for a private showing of their new detective adventure game, L.A. Noire. Having read very little about the game beyond the impressive tech it utilizes, I walked in with an open mind. I walked out impressed.

To just clear things right up, this game is absolutely not Grand Theft Auto set in the 1940ís. It is an adventure game in an open world. You play an ex-soldier who returns home and is hired by the LAPD with a fast-tracked career. The game unfolds through a series of crimes, but there is an overall story arc spanning between cases.


The first portion of the demo began with you being promoted to detective in the homicide division, and then investigating the scene of a graphic murder. Highly detailed, you can examine everything from clues on the individual parts of the victims body, to small details about the crime scene. Clues and other information are recorded in your trusty notebook. These clues will lead you to new locations around the city, and to interactions with new characters. This is where the motion capture technology really shines. I have never seen facial expressions like this in a game before. The level of detail was astonishing, and characters emotions and expressions are a core part of interrogations, which are a mini game of sorts. You need to figure out whether somone is telling you the truth or not based on how they act towards you. Options include believing them, doubting them, or flat out accuse them of lying. However, if you call them a liar you will need evidence to back up your claims. Correct deduction will lead to intuition bonuses and new options and information being available.

This leads me to one issue I wonder about with the game. Not all clues and details are written in your notebook, so you have to actually listen to the dialogue and remember certain facts that may become relavent later in the case. Thatís right. Rockstar actually wants you to pay attention and THINK. While I felt this was a really refreshing idea, Iím not completely certain it will be for everyone. I believe that a more focused open world experience that stresses minutae may turn off people who are looking for the traditional gangster sandbox playground. The level of open world exploration remains to be seen, as the demo we watched was very concise due to the massive lines outside. Driving portions were skipped to showcase other portions of the game.


I think Rockstar is taking a serious chance with this game, but they have a history of success even when flying in the face of convention. As I explained while I was leaving the viewing room, ďI am always skeptical of Rockstarís announcements, then exit their demos absolutely excited.Ē
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #3
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Awesome, that's what I was hoping to hear.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:35 PM   #4
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I hope this is a hit because I'd love to see what these guys do next too.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:47 PM   #5
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It'll sell well, whether the people who buy it like it or not is another thing. It'll be like GTA4 in that respect, though at least they're trying to do right with this one.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #6
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I hope it is nothing like GTA4.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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It should be noted that while the engine appears to be the same as GTA, it isn't. Also, PS3 is lead platform here. The gamble that Team Bondi and Rockstar are taking is big, but from what we saw, this appears to be a new-age adventure title unlike what Telltale is doing by just relying on old mechanics.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
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You say PS3 is the lead, is there any reason to believe that we are going to miss anything on 360, and was there any info about a possible PC release?
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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I thought I was looking at some PC screens there. Ironically 360 ports are better than the PS3 ones, this might be the exception.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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God i hope this comes to PCs. If they're aiming for the "smart players" demographic, they're gonna need to.

And the game looks really, really cool.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:24 PM   #11
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I'm looking forward to this one.

I heard that the world is open to you, you can go anywhere at any time. The order of each case is linear and you can't go onto the next one until the current one is solved. But within a case or mission there's different people and places to visit based on the evidence you find, and you can visit those in almost any order.
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