L.A. Noire will be releasing in North America next Tuesday, May 17th, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The title stands as this year’s massive effort from Rockstar Games and Team Bondi. Those with rock-solid memories will recognize the May 17th launch date as it’s the same one that the hugely successful Red Dead Redemption enjoyed.
The trailer above is high on action and smart one-liners designed to pique the excitement of gamers. I’ve been pumped for this game since its announcement. Players will play as Cole Phelps, a cop working his way through the ranks of the 1947 Los Angeles Police Department. Each rank involves a new detail, each detail involves a new crime desk and each desk hosts a variety of cases.
However, it’s my opinion that the gaming world will be split where L.A. Noire is concerned. Fans of Rockstar Games are used to open-world mayhem, exceptional characters and bombastic combat. There’s usually tons of driving, shooting and flying off of ramps of some kind. L.A. Noire is different. I watched a 45 minute demo of a single case within the game at PAX East this year. In the entire 45 minutes, Phelps pulled his gun once. During that time, he never even encountered an enemy.
For some, that may be bad news. They want action and shooting and smashing as much as possible. For others, like myself, the fact that gunplay isn’t the primary focus of the title is downright exhilarating. Rockstar Games has been known to challenge the norm, and the best way to challenge the current norm is by removing the focus on shooting and action and make this title more about drama, thinking and detection.
L.A. Noire, honestly, looks like a brilliant diversion from what gaming is today. There’s likely nothing like it on the market right now, and that’s awesome.