Saturday, March 12, 2011

Games of 2011: L.A. Noire

Release: May 17th

Adventure games, that is point-and-click Adventure games are largely dead. A game where you find clues and progress the story (like a detective) is rare these days. A few titles such as the Sam & Max on Xbox Live; the Strong Bad game on the Wii and the recent Back to the Future game, are examples of old-school Adventure games. L.A. Noire seems to be the evolution of the investigative Adventure mechanic. And I’ve been waiting for a game that makes you feel like a real detective.

L.A. Noire has that open world feel similar to GTA or Red Dead Redemption. The emphasis is on being an investigator and solving crimes and murder mysteries. A game where you actually sit down, go over a notepad and scour the city of Los Angeles for clues to a murder really sounds intriguing. Finding out how items fit together is why a game like Monkey Island is so fun; when you find out how things work—without any help—it’s a very satisfying feeling. L.A. Noire looks like it may deliver that same “eureka!” moment. 

The “Motion Scan” system that is used to capture each actor’s mannerisms and facial tics makes the interrogation scenes look realistic. “Motion Scan” introduces a new dynamic, one in which you ask, “can I tell whether or not this person is lying to me just from looking at their face?” I can’t wait to test that theory. 

Creepy, yes! But effective? We'll just have to see.

L.A. Noire looks different from most of Rockstar’s games. Well it may feature an open world, you don’t seem to have the ability to “go anywhere and do anything”, like many of Rockstars other titles. But if Red Dead Redemption showed us anything it’s that Rockstars main focus is on storyline. That’s actually how L.A. Noire can be unique; the story can change based on how you solve a crime. That’s really an interesting set-up one that leads to a lot of replay-ability in a game. And any game that has multiple outcomes is one that I will definitely check out.

Being a true detective and solving crimes is not a unique concept for movies—for games, on the other hand, it is unique. Being able to dictate the pacing and flow of an investigation and searching for clues; solving a crime and gaining admiration for doing so makes L.A. Noire one of my most anticipated games of 2011.

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