Further to yesterday’s announcement that Rockstar’s LA Noire would be released here in spring, details around the long-awaited game have been disclosed in this month’s Game Informer magazine.
As you may know, LA Noire is set in post-war Los Angeles, against a backdrop of crime, jazz and drugs. You play Cole Phelps, who moves up through the ranks of the LAPD from beat cop to homicide detective, and ends up on the trail of a series of gruesome murders.
“It’s not only creating the largest, most detailed open world game to date, it’s also attempting to resurrect the long-lost Los Angeles of the 1940s while adding an engaging new adventure-style investigation system to the familiar drive-and-shoot gameplay model,” writes Game Informer.
Developer Team Bondi is working with Depth Analysis, who is employing “groundbreaking” new technology to capture all aspects of the game’s more-than 300 actors' individual performances simultaneously.
"Traditionally, one minute of facial animation could take a couple of animators a month. The idea is that we can mass-produce. We can produce about 20 minutes of final footage a day, and it's seamless - I don't even have character artists or animators working with me," Depth Analysis' Oliver Bao told Game Informer.
This quicker method has freed up the developers to churn out a staggering 2000 page script – many hundred times larger than your average Hollywood production.
The aforementioned interrogation system allows Phelps to gather evidence and statements from witnesses throughout the game. In time, Phelps will be able to challenge the statements of witnesses in a manner similar to that seen in Mass Effect 2, choosing between forced, coaxing and accusatory responses.
In order to accurately recreate post-war Los Angeles, Rockstar have tracked down over 180,000 archival photos. Additionally, more than 90 percent of the crimes players see in-game are based on real events from the period, reports Game Informer.
"Some of them were too wild to use. One was about a preacher walking down Broadway with a bullwhip, whipping non-believers. [Laughs] We thought that was a great story, but we didn't know how to work it in," says Team Bondi’s Brendan McNamara.
"There was a guy in Santa Monica who was driving a four-engine plane down the street at midnight. He had an accident because he didn't have lights on the plane - if you came up with that in a design meeting, people would throw you out!"
LA Noire is in development for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Thanks to Eurogamer.