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article imageCreators of Grand Theft Auto release highly-rated detective game

By Holly Goodwin     May 17, 2011 in Entertainment
Rockstar Games, creators of the controversial Grand Theft Auto series, released the 40s themed detective game L.A. Noire on May 17th.
According to Rockstar's website, L.A. Noire's plot centers around an ex-military man turned detective named Cole Phelps who joined the LAPD at a time where corruption is abound, the drug trade is exploding, and murder rates are at an all-time high. Phelps battles L.A.'s underworld to regain the city, quite a different plot change from Rockstar's crime-based franchise Grand Theft Auto.
Rockstar Games have been branching out of its usual theme that made Grand Theft Auto such a controversial but popular franchise. In Grand Theft Auto the player was a criminal selling drugs, stealing cars, and shooting at cops. Last year on May 18th Rockstar released Red Dead Redemption, a wild west themed game with much of the same formula that made Grand Theft Auto a fun free-roaming game. Now the creators have picked a different place in history and are experimenting with new game play options in L.A. Noire, based in post-war L.A.
L.A. Noire has received outstanding ratings from G4 (5/5), 1UP (A), and other game reviewers (the lowest so far being from Wired magazine at 8/10). G4 reiterates that L.A. Noire is not "GTA with hats." The pros of the game range from wonderful story telling, an interview system unlike any other game, and being claimed as the most satisfying Rockstar game to date. The only con G4 listed was the immediate response given after being wrong in an interview detracting from the experience.
The game has two main parts: Investigation and action. The investigation is what sets this game apart from the others. G4 says, "This can result in the mundane examination of a hairbrush or the grotesquely cold process of looking for clues on a desecrated corpse." Once the evidence is collect individuals are interviewed and the player can decide how to treat the suspect, be it as guilty, innocent, or something in between. According to G4's reviewer, "Never have I been so transfixed to the screen or so absorbed in the minutiae of the moment. The desire to have the upper hand over obstinate or self-possessed witnesses became compulsive and success at breaking them was a thrill that no perfect headshot can replicate." In short, fans of Heavy Rain would probably enjoy L.A. Noire.
For those that care about graphics more than game play or story, L.A. Noire's L.A. was designed around real photos taken by Robert Spence in the 1920s, and CNN declared the facial capture technology used to animate characters' faces as "Amazing." Over 30 cameras were pointed at actor Aaron Staton's face while he he read the game's 2,200-page script. Rockstar had to use the best technology available since eye contact and facial expressions are the main component of the game's interview system.
The game has been released for PS3 and Xbox 360.
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