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L.A. Noire 'Blurs the Line' Between Story and Game 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-little-blurrier-every-time dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "Rockstar, never a studio to shy away from risks, first tackled Westerns with Red Dead Redemption, and is now about to launch a film noir-based title called LA Noire. IndustryGamers posted a feature on the game's unique storytelling method. 'One of the things we wanted to do was move away from exposition cinematics,' said Rob Nelson, art director at Rockstar Games. 'We incorporated the exposition into the gameplay, which blurs the lines between story and game. There's a lot of dialogue and exposition while you're playing the game. This was a pivotal focus for us and I think we've done it reasonably successfully.'" L.A. Noire has been seven years in the making, and is due to launch in the US next Tuesday. The Guardian recently spoke with two of the developers about the process behind their story-driven approach, and a launch trailer has been released.
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L.A. Noire 'Blurs the Line' Between Story and Game

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  • LA Noire (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aahpandasrun (948239) on Friday May 13, 2011 @11:28PM (#36124472)
    Games that try way too hard to be realistic usually don't come out well, but if LA Noire can do the story game thing as well as Heavy Rain then it will be a success.
  • Re:Welcome to 1998 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Friday May 13, 2011 @11:52PM (#36124592)
    As usual, the summary completely misses the point.

    The thing I would call the "big deal" in LA Noire is the facial animation technology. For (AFAICT) the first time, actual facial mocap is being used. While mocap isn't that new for broad animations, its use for facial expressions really could be revolutionary. Just watch some of the gameplay trailers - the facial animation in them is literally better than some pre-rendered cutscenes in other games. Hell, it's better than some CGI movies I've seen. The ability to make faces that genuinely seem alive like this is potentially game-changing (if you'll pardon the pun). I've done stuff with facial animation in other game engines - even with a HUGE amount of work, they still don't seem quite right. If you could just record an actor's performance, instead of having to make ramps for every muscle in the face...

    The summary seems to be claiming that, in LA Noire, cutscenes ARE gameplay (and vice versa). Half-Life was the first game to have the cutscenes be continuous with the gameplay (there's no break, and there's no shift in view), but the cutscenes are still segregated from gameplay. You aren't playing the conversations, just watching them. If LA Noire actually pulls this off, it would be another potential revolution. It's a longer shot, though - it would require drastic changes to game design to make it work, and even then many players may not like it. You'll note that, even a decade after Half-Life, many games still use the "end level, break to cutscene" style, because it does have it's own advantages.
  • Re:LA Noire (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Saturday May 14, 2011 @01:36AM (#36124988)
    I disagree. There were occasional times I felt the controls were bad, but on the whole I felt they were very suitable. In general, I was very happy with the game. I don't know that I'll ever be able to play through it again, because it's not nearly as much fun knowing who the killer is at the end of a murder mystery, but it was an amazing game nonetheless. Worth the $60 I spent, certainly.

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