Sunday, April 24, 2011
L.A. NOIRE Video Game Coming in May 2011
L.A. Noire is an upcoming video game developed by Team Bondi in conjunction with Rockstar Games and published by Rockstar Games. Initially announced as only for the PlayStation 3, the game was later reported to also be scheduled for release on the Xbox 360. L.A. Noire is set in "a perfectly re-created Los Angeles" of 1947, with players being given an open-ended challenge to solve a series of murder mysteries.
As the title suggests, the game draws heavily from both plot and aesthetic elements of film noir - stylistic films from the 1940s and 1950s that shared similar visual styles and themes including crime, sex and moral ambiguity and were often shot in black and white with harsh, low-key lighting. The game uses a distinctive coloring-style in homage to the visual style of film noir. The post-war setting is the backdrop for plot elements that reference the detective films of the '40s (as well as James Ellroy's novel L.A. Confidential and the Academy Award winning Curtis Hanson film based on it), such as corruption and drugs, with a classical jazz soundtrack.
L.A. Noire is also notable for using Lightsprint's real-time global illumination technology, as well as Depth Analysis's newly developed piece of technology for the film and video game industries called MotionScan, where actors are recorded by 32 surrounding cameras to capture facial expressions from every angle.
The game takes place in Post-War 1940s Los Angeles, a city of glamour, fame and wealth, but also where crime, vice corruption is rife. The player assumes the role of Cole Phelps, an LAPD officer who rises through the ranks of the department. He has joined the police force to "right the wrongs" he committed during the Second World War. He starts off as a patrol-man, then a traffic detective, homicide, vice, and finally arson investigator. Each rank gives the player a partner who will help Phelps in his investigations, fights, and arrests. The game blends investigative elements such as mystery, and crime solving, with fast paced action sequences from chases on foot to car, as well as gun-play. As well as the storyline missions, the player can choose to work on optional side-investigations following a call from dispatch. The player can also travel on foot, as well as in different vehicles.
In February 2004, Brendan McNamara, Team Bondi's president, responded to an interview with Kristen Reed that "the project is wholly funded by Sony Computer Entertainment America. We have a long-term exclusive arrangement with SCEA." On 11 June 2007, Take-Two Interactive, the sole publisher of Rockstar Games, re-confirmed the release of the PlayStation 3 version by listing it amongst its "announced to date" titles for "fiscal 2008" in a press release regarding the company's second quarter financial results. However, during the shareholders conference-call, a spokesperson for Take Two implied that both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases were likely and that "L.A. Noire is being developed for next-generation systems." L.A. Noire had, however, only been officially announced for the PlayStation 3.
On 10 September 2007, as part of their Q3 2007 financial disclosure, Take Two announced the game had been delayed until their 2009 fiscal year. On 21 January 2010, in a Question and Answer section on their blog, Rockstar said "There will be something great to see soon - a proper in-depth look at the game and why it is so ground-breaking and innovative, both in terms of the game's design and the amazing new technology to support it. Expect to see a long-awaited reveal via a big cover story next month." On 4 February it was announced that L.A. Noire would be on the cover of the March 2010 issue of Game Informer and confirmed the game would also be available on Xbox 360.
L.A. Noire is expected to have a large amount of audio. Game Informer reported L.A. Noire to have over 20 hours of voice acting. Aaron Staton from Mad Men will lend his voice and likeness to the main character, Cole Phelps.
An in-game trailer was released on 11 November 2010, which subsequently confirmed the release date as Q1/Q2 2011. A developer diary was released 16 December 2010 which features the game's Director detailing the MotionScan technology.
L.A. Noire was featured on the cover of the February 2011 edition of PlayStation: The Official Magazine, which confirmed that the game would be released sometime in March 2011. However, several US retailers listed April 5 as the launch date, Rockstar commented with a "no comment". A trailer for L.A. Noire, called "Serial Killer", was leaked on 22 January 2011, two days before its planned official release. It showed 90 seconds of new gameplay footage as well as a release date. Take-Two later had the video removed from websites, citing copyright infringement. The video noted that L.A. Noire will be released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 17 May.
On 25 February Rockstar announced a number of pieces of additional game content for people who pre-order the game. The content differs depending upon retailer. One package will contain an additional case called 'The Naked City' where Phelps investigates the apparent suicide of a fashion model. It also contains the 'Badge Pursuit Challenge' where the player is tasked with finding 20 police badges hidden in the city. Upon completing the task the player is rewarded with the 'Button Man' suit; an in-game piece of clothing that allows the player to carry extra ammo. During the challenge each badge will add 5 XP points to the player's abilities which will help to unlock Intuition Points that can be used to gave an investigative advantage in the game.
The second pre-order pack is 'The Broderick' detective suit; a suit that boosts the fighting ability of the player's character as well as its resistance to damage. The third pack contains 'A Slip of the Tongue'; a traffic case where a simple car theft escalates into a large scale investigation into the largest car fraud racket in the city's history. The final pack contains a suit called 'The Sharpshooter' that enhances a character's aim with pistols and rifles. There are also other promotions involving T-Shirts and vouchers
Rockstar also ran a competition to win a trip to Los Angeles to attend the Festival of Film Noir at the Egyptian Theatre, take an Esotouric Black Dahlia bus tour, and play the game a month before its official release.
On 29 March 2011 Take 2 Interactive announced that L.A. Noire had been selected to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, the first videogame to be recognised by the festival. L.A. Noire will be screened as a sixty minute long film on 25 April 2011, to be followed by a question and answer session on the game's story and the technology used to make the game.
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2.^ Take-Two Interactive (2007-06-11). "Second Quarter Fiscal 2007 Financial Results". Press release. http://ir.take2games.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=248580. Retrieved 2007-06-15.
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5.^ January 24th, 2011 @ 13:04 By Johnny Cullen (2008-01-28). "Blog Archive » LA Noire confirmed for May 20 in Europe". VG247. http://www.vg247.com/2011/01/24/la-noire-confirmed-for-may-20-in-europe/. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
6.^ Jonathan Leack. "L.A. Noire is Mature Only". PlayStation Lifestyle. http://playstationlifestyle.net/2011/04/06/make-sure-the-kids-are-asleep-l-a-noire-is-mature-only/. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
7.^ Tim Ingham. "L.A Noire has nudity, violence and over 5 hours of cut-scenes". CVG. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/297750/news/la-noire-has-nudity-violence-and-over-5-hours-of-cut-scenes/. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
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14.^ "2011 Film Guide | L.A. Noire". TribecaFilm.com. http://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/la_noire-film36882.html. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
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17.^ Boyer, Brandon (2007-09-10). "BioShock A Long Term Franchise, LA Noire, Beaterator Slip To Fiscal 2009". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=15447. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
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20.^ "L.A. Noire's Lead Actor Says He Skips the Cutscenes". Kotaku.com. 2010-03-02. http://kotaku.com/5484236/la-noires-lead-actor-says-he-skips-the-cutscenes. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
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25.^ "PlayStation Move Heroes Shipping March 22nd, Pre-order Bonuses DetailedL.A. Noire Muscles Its Way Onto the Cover of PlayStation: The Official Magazine". Playstation Blog US. 2011-01-17. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/01/17/l-a-noire-muscles-its-way-onto-the-cover-of-playstation-the-official-magazine/. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
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