L.A. Noire premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival as a special presentation last night. Staff from Rockstar were on hand to lead the gameplay and answer questions. The film festival served as the perfect location to market the game as “more than just a video game for gamers,” and as something special that the casual or non-gaming crowds could enjoy. Given the venue, Rockstar divulged information about the playability of L.A. Noire to a pack of potential gamers that might be put off by the game’s inherent, action-based challenges.
According to Rockstar Art Director Rob Nelson, more casual players will be able to take advantage of a new-to-Rockstar Games feature in order to wade through the more challenging, frustrating portions of the game: “You can skip those action elements and still experience the bulk of the narrative…”
For a game that looks to blur the lines of interactive entertainment and draw on potential players that might not otherwise be intrigued by the gaming medium, a move like this one makes perfect sense. Consider Nintendo and their recent platforming efforts. Kirby’s Epic Yarn featured a no-death set of gameplay mechanics, yes. But, more related to Rockstar’s newest feature, Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns all featured different plays on Nintendo’s new Super Guide tool. If players found themselves too frustrated with a particular section of the game, they could tag the computer for help. The computer would take over, navigate the course and then relinquish the wheel upon the player’s command.
And that worked for Nintendo. They’re a company that, like it or not, is overwhelmingly played by a casual crowd. These guide features probably saved a lot of enraged gamers. Rockstar sees how that mechanic played out for the casual-bridging Nintendo, and they may have decided to apply the same to their genre blurring new detective title.
If the concept of being able to skip action sequences really bugs you, remember that you don’t have to. This is a feature that’s meant to play as a comfort tool for those that feel overwhelmed by the game and its gameplay mechanics. If you’re a consistent gamer, it’s likely that you’ll love the challenges as they come.
L.A. Noire is set to release for the 360 and PS3 on May 17th.
[via MTV Multiplayer]