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LA Noire A Huge Gamble For Rockstar

by William Schwartz on May 12, 2011


I can’t remember the last time I was as excited for a gaming experience as I am with LA Noire.  The promise that LA Noire holds is impressive.  With Team Bondi moving away from the traditional formula other games in the Rockstar family made famous, the gamble for both the publisher and developer is a big one.  Between the sky-high development costs and the extensive marketing ambush that the game has had for months, Rockstar has bet big with the upcoming title.

Why have they put so much faith behind LA Noire?  Well, if you haven’t had the opportunity to see the technology behind the game you’re missing the point.  In LA Noire you play the role of a detective that will work his way up the ranks of the Los Angeles police department.  The game consists of many cases, having you work different departments as you sharpen your detective skills.  So how does one venture into the world of virtual detective work?  As you may or may not expect, detective work involves extensive interviews with suspects.  In traditional games, this would seem like it would be a game filled with many awkward cutscenes.  In LA Noire the developer has invested heavily in a new technology that by many accounts could be a turning point for video games and the type of experiences that we can expect from them.  Have a look at the motion capture technology for LA Noire in the video below if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so.

Rockstar’s biggest gamble is introducing this type of game into a world full of gamers that have literally been raised on online multiplayer shooters.  Games that are fueled by twitch reflexes and repetition, are comprised of selling points that LA Noire just doesn’t have.  LA Noire is also not the type of game that the Rockstar name is associated with, it’s not GTA.  In fact, LA Noire is fueled by narrative.  So much so, that the developer gives you the option to skip the traditional platforming parts of the game that could give you trouble if that’s your preference.  With such a large step away from what defines a successful game these days, it will be interesting to see how LA Noire resonates with consumers.  Then again, the same thing was said about Heavy Rain last year and we all know how that turned out. The game was praised by almost everyone that played it from a critical standpoint, and sold well also.

The gaming landscape that we have five years from now could be quite different than it is now, and when we look back, games that took chances and invested heavily in the progression of our hobby are the ones we’ll look back at give credit to for blazing the trail, at a time when many were risk averse.  That being said, we haven’t played LA Noire but here’s hoping its as good as it sounds…and looks.

LA Noire releases on May 17th for Xbox 360 and PS3.

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  • Stevie

    4 more days till I have the Game of the Year

  • greenpeens

    brink has made me afraid. i’m scared now that every awesome looking game will suck ass. i have it preordered regardless, but if it turns out to be a flop i am not preordering a game ever again.(with the exception of bf3, duh)

    • Stevie

      don’t be afraid LA Noire will clear your mind of Brink

  • Duke

    Rockstar always makes big gambles when it comes to a new IP. Red Dead Redemption was a big gamble, not many people were really interested in playing a game set in 19th century, they went all out to make RDR great and it payed off. The same thing with Bully, even though there was so much negativity about a game where you play as a teenager going around causing chaos, starting fights and all that, it still payed off big time. I sure know that Rockstar for me, are the best developers in the business. They have so many major IPs that its incredible. Most developers have 2 or 3 really big IPs but Rockstar has so many and that’s whats great about them and there’s so much variety in what games they give us. Sure there is many Rockstar studios so thats why they seem to have an advantage.

    Also another great thing about them is, they don’t milk a franchise by bringing another game of the same name out year after year without making any considerable changes to their games. They take their time to develop games and they tend to come out as masterpieces.

    LA Noire will be absolutely brilliant and i can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    More games from Rockstar to be excited for, Agent, Max Payne 3, possibly Grand Theft Auto 5?.

    • the duder

      Rockstar honestly makes games they want to play, they dont really give a shit what people think, just like cliff and epic games. Thats why rockstar and epic are the best in the business

  • codez

    brink don’t look like much. and the graphics look outdated

  • abc

    to the writer, correction LA Noire releases on May 17th for PS3 and Xbox 360.

  • Ryan

    There is no gamble for Rockstar.. They always bring us the best

  • Hoppsy

    Agree with Ryan in a way, Rockstar are in the position where nothing is a gamble, untill they make a bad game of course then they would be back to square 1

    • Allen

      I don’t think Rockstar has made a bad game since before GTA 3 right?

  • dylan

    l.a. noire is going to be simply amazing, they want us to have all of these questions.. we are gonna buy it, not knowing exactly what to expect… and we’ll be swept off of our feet.. unlike most games where we know it like the back of our hand before it comes out, as crime (case) itself we have no idea what we are getting.. and thats good to me!!(:

  • njb, I tell it like it is

    Brink is not bad, IGN loves lone wolf games like COD

    Brink appeals to a select audience, it is not for everyone

  • Allen

    I’m not really into Brink but I have to say.

    Anything made by Rockstar I will buy up.

    Grand Theft Auto has always been one of my favorite games. Now with Red Dead Redemption, I truely feel that rockstar has two flagship franchises.

    Red Dead is huge, I mean huge. I can’t wait for a sequel to that as well as the next GTA.

    I am not sure LA Noire will have the style I usually like in a game, but since it’s Rockstar, I will give it a chance.

  • Jaden

    I agree with the previous posters that rockstar stands for quality. My only complaints is that their games tend to be a bit too easy and the Mexican campaign in rdr lasted way too long.

  • bujeezus

    i agree with the article in that this is something rockstar’s fanbase isn’t used to game-play wise. it’s going to be way more cerebral and less “shoot everything that moves”. i have purposely until just now, not followed it and i’ve got to admit, after seeing that tech video above, i’m floored. i can’t wait to play this “game”. never been a big gta fan but i loved rdr so i know rockstar is capable of making excellent games. this seems to be set to introduce a whole new genre of interactive entertainment. we’ll just have to sit back and wait to see if it’s embraced by the masses.

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