A protracted development cycle normally means one thing – RED FLAG! DANGER! POTENTIAL STINKER APPROACHING!
But LA Noire exists to prove that there’s always an exception to the rule.
The game endured a highly troubled seven year development cycle that saw it begin as a Sony-funded PS3 exclusive in 2003 only to become a Rockstar-published by 2006.
In 2007 Take-Two then hinted that the game may spread its wings and become multiplatform, although new information remained thin on the ground until the title finally made a grand reappearance in 2010 before finally hitting shelves in May 2011 on both PS3 and Xbox 360 (and later PC).
So why has MCV chosen to pick a 15 month old game for its Games of the Day? Well, its developer Team Bondi (or at least the studio that emerged from its ashes) has today confirmed that its next title, the provocatively titled Whore of the Orient, is in production for Xbox 720 and PS4.
And you should be excited.
LA Noire is a modern classic. The headline feature was its ground-breaking motion capture tech that allowed its characters to ‘act’ in a way we’ve never seen before in a game. Rather than simply speak the lines of the script, Cole and co would perform them.
And this acted as more than simply eye candy. Playing as a police detective, part of your role required you to make judgements on the truthfulness of those you questioned. How could you tell? Well, were they avoiding eye contact? Notice any shifting in the chair? Basically, you relied upon the same physical queues as you might in real life.
The game offered a fantastic blend of recognisable game types and neat innovations. For instance, one moment you’d be bombing it around LA in a manner akin to Grand Theft Auto – albeit in cars dated from the 1940s. The next, however, you’re chasing down a rogue gunman or combing a crime scene for clues and examining the battered and bruised body of a murder victim.
Moments later you’re grilling a suspect in custody and not long after that you’re deciding who to send down.
One of the most pleasing things about the game was that it didn’t forget the basics in attempting to push the boat out. The shooting is solid and the driving is great – and everything feels all the sharper and more substantial thanks to a believable cast and terrific atmosphere.
Admittedly, the pacing at times felt a bit off and the middle section was a bit of a drag, but LA Noire’s unique achievements ensure it’s a game you really shouldn’t miss out on.