Rockstar has just posted the release date of their next massive project. L.A. Noire will see the light of day on May 17th in North America and May 20th in Europe. Those dates are, of course, in 2011.

This news comes after a bit of speculation around the web once the trailer above leaked on Saturday. As Joystiq reported, this trailer showed off the very same May 17th, 2011 release date that has been announced today. The video was quickly taken down before the world could truly bask in its glory. The video you see above accompanied the official news release from Rockstar this morning.

But that post did include a nice description of the game and its premise. From Rockstar:

Set amid the violence and corruption of post-war Los Angeles, L.A. Noire seamlessly blends crime-solving, clue-finding, car chases and shoot-outs with revolutionary new interrogation-based gameplay that will allow players to read characters’ emotions in order to reveal the truth. Players will take on the role of Cole Phelps, a decorated World War II veteran who rises through the ranks of the LAPD, solving a series of gruesome murders and other crimes that bring him face to face with the dark heart of Los Angeles during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

May 17th is actually the same day that saw the release of Rockstar’s most recent titan, Red Dead Redemption. That game brought open world exploration, storytelling and art direction to new heights. But the thing about L.A. Noire is that it’s aiming even higher.

L.A. Noire has been done up with this incredibly unique motion capture system that will provide spectacularly more realistic facial animations for the characters on screen. As a detective, according to Rockstar, players need to read characters in order to gain information. This new motion-based facial animation setup will facilitate that ability.  Check the video below for a mini-featurette done up about this same subject. The results are both wonderful and oddly creepy.

Keep it locked to TechnoBuffalo as we bring you more.

[via Rockstar]