L.A. Noire Previews and Screens

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Check out some previews of Rockstar's upcoming game, L.A. Noire.

A police photographer records the grisly evidence while Detective Phelps looks on.

A dark detective thriller set against the most violent years in L.A.'s history, L.A. Noire's revolutionary marriage of gameplay and advanced capture technology is coming in spring 2011. The first proper trailer was launched last week, and recently, members of the gaming press worldwide got their first look at the game in motion. Here's a roundup of what they discovered, alongside some brand new screenshots released today:

Every now and then in gaming, a concept comes along that makes you totally reconsider your preconceptions of gameplay within specific genres and settings. It doesn't happen very often mind you... But then, once in a blue moon, there's a flash in the pan; a videogame that reinvigorates your fascination and faith in the medium. LA Noire is one of these games.

In L.A. Noire, you play the seemingly incorruptible Cole Phelps, a beacon of integrity in a police department mired in scandals. But that's not the only departure from Rockstar's traditional formula. Not only are you a good guy out after the bad guys, the city itself is not your playground. Though L.A. Noire is an open-world game (explore L.A. if you like, see the sights, admire the pedestrians), there aren't mini-games to be played or side quests to complete or pigeons to shoot. L.A. Noire is a far more linear game, that puts an emphasis on the journey, moreso than the destination, and one where the narrative and the characters take a central role, with far fewer distractions. It's different, but that's what makes it look so promising.

A meticulously detailed 1947 Los Angeles is the backdrop for L.A. Noire's dark story, with incredible attention invested in recreating the scene of each crime.

The core component of L.A. Noire is the city itself, a staggeringly beautiful recreation of late-40’s Los Angeles, brimming with the small, historical details that ultimately make any open world believable. Whether it’s trolley wires criss-crossing above the street; vintage cars speeding by at a brisk 30MPH; or the classic advertisements for real-life products that litter the billboards and buildings, there is a genuine sense of place in L.A. Noire... All of that, however, simply sets the stage for a series of crimes – many of which have been modeled after, or are, in fact, entirely based upon, real-life cases – ranging from brutal murders and blackmail mysteries to horrifying assault investigations.
- G4TV

L.A. Noire is the story of Cole Phelps and his rise - with each successfully completed case - from beat cop up through the ranks of the LAPD.

This game might feature some of Rockstar’s grittiest content ever. However, before you accuse them of being shock merchants, consider the fact that every case in the game is actually pulled from the newspapers of 1940's Los Angeles. This stuff really happened; it’s just been adapted and slightly altered for the game (most of the time this involved writing endings for unsolved cases). In addition, we got a few hints of the game’s larger, overarching plots, which seem to center around Phelps’ struggles to combat the internal corruption that plagued the LAPD during this time in history. At one point, Phelps has an interaction with a vice cop that suggests the lines between cop and criminal in L.A. are very blurry indeed.
- Game Informer

Our little hobby [videogaming] is one that's been able to stick realistic faces onto static character models for some time now, but it has struggled mightily with showing them talk and express emotions in a way that really reflects the actors providing the voices. But apparently nobody told Rockstar that because the publisher's upcoming 1940's detective-thriller L.A. Noire uses some ambitious new image-capture technology that puts a stark focus on those sort of subtle, nuanced facial expressions to not only drive the game's story, but also the gameplay itself.
- Gamespot

Set in the Golden Age of Hollywood, 1947 L.A. was also among the most violent and corrupt years in the city's history.

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 ... 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.
- Gamesradar