Rockstar: L.A. Noire the "Flashpoint" That'll Blur Games and Movies

Rockstar: L.A. Noire the "Flashpoint" That'll Blur Games and Movies

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Rockstar is hoping that L.A. Noire will be both a fun game and a compelling cinematic experience.

Rockstar and Team Bondi had delayed L.A. Noire so many times over the years that when a new trailer for the game was released in November, it was called the game's "first trailer" despite Rockstar having given us a look before. The reason behind the repeated delays was apparently so that Rockstar can build L.A. Noire up to be the greatest cinematic experience ever seen in a videogame.

By saying that L.A. Noire will be cinematic, Rockstar doesn't mean that it'll make players sit and watch for hours, Metal Gear style. Instead, its development process is using the same techniques, and actors, one would see in the production of a movie. Using a technology called MotionScan, L.A. Noire can display realistic performances from seasoned actors such as Aaron Staton from Mad Men and the loopy genius inventor from Fringe. A recent trailer available here shows off the incredible technique.

However, this technology isn't just being used to impress gamers visually. Team Bondi told the Telegraph that it's incorporating MotionScan with gameplay by asking players to analyze the faces and mannerisms of people they interrogate in the game. Players will have to remember these people's names and how they acted. Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara said: "It is risky, but hell, Rockstar has been taking risks in this industry since GTA III."

McNamara feels that L.A. Noire will truly be a landmark game that "blurs the lines" between videogames and movies. "I want this game to be the flashpoint where people start to think of games and film as being on the same level, because I'm confident they already are," he added. "With all our games... they've all been incredibly cinematic experiences, but it's been a challenge to be viewed as a legitimate medium."

Videogame cinematics have been cool since they were composed of pixels, but L.A. Noire's look to actually express the nuances of body language during human communication. Heavy Rain was a great first step towards games that have the realism of movies, but it still had a major case of uncanny valley syndrome. Watching footage of L.A. Noire doesn't give me the same feeling at all, which is eerie in its own right.

Source: Telegraph

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I just really hope they can avoid the uncanny valley.

From what I've seen, they have, but I'm still a bit worried.

Well, here's hoping...

the direction the characters are looking at still looks off. Seeing that the facial motionscan happens either b4 or after the mocap of the characters are done and added on separately.

If anyone has seen the trailers for this game, the characters kinda look like they are just staring awkwardly in the general direction of each other.

But the motionscan stuff definitely has to stay! this stuff is freaking awesome!

whilst it is amazing stuff the motionscan does kind of give the impression that everyone is blind as they aren't actually looking at anything.

Plus just had a thought, if this game is all about recognising facial and body language won't this bar autistic and other people who have difficulty parsing that language from playing the game?

Umm... see final fantasy for breaking the line, if thats not good enough all FMA games blur that line quit drastically, and a FMA offspring Heay Rain also blurs the lines......

Ah PR...nothing like living in a bubble....

Tom Goldman:
Team Bondi told the Telegraph that it's incorporating MotionScan with gameplay by asking players to analyze the faces and mannerisms of people they interrogate in the game. Players will have to remember these people's names and how they acted.

So basically this is just a really expensive way to implement Apollo Justice's Gotcha feature? Color me uninterested.

Although that's not just because of this feature. GTA4 tried to take the immersive and cinematic route, and whether that worked or not really depends on who you ask. Personally, I found it annoying to have tightly scripted events that you had no control over and a main character who's story and motivations actually conflicted with the free-roaming gameplay aspect and most actions he made.

Still, if they can make it work out, more power to them.

I love hearing news on this game. It looks like it's going to be amazing and 1930s style is my kind of game. I've already got it pre-ordered so I'm confident that it'll be a good game. Even if it isn't, this is the first time I've heard of facial expressions being a key part of a game, so it'll be the experiment we keep saying we want.

Yeesh, that's creepy.

Oh for fuck's sake. This is pretty much the same thing David Cage said. He was wrong. And Deus Ex HR is doing the same thing I believe with MotionScan.

Though I should say that Rockstar aren't arrogant about it, so I'll cut them some slack. I'm still looking forward to this game, just like Heavy Rain before it. I absolutely love film noir, and this looks like it will deliver. I didn't get round to playing HR though, but I will.

I'm starting to like RockStar more than ever. They don't even give a crap about turning profit any more, they just want to make quality.

Ha. Rockstar stopped taking risks after GTA III.

Wow... I see so much negativity in the comments here... I'm shocked.

Personally? The only game I'm looking forward more than this is Mass Effect 3. I can't fuckin' wait for this game. It looks fantastic.

I'm really hoping the gameplay is good too, like RDR's.

Impressive, now just releases a PC version in a reasonable time and in a non half assed and state, and I might actually care.

I think they're...... Telling the truth
This should be pretty sweet.

I am loving how L.A. Noire is looking, and since I'm a complete animation-nut, I absolutely love the facial animations. This is a huge blip on my gaming radar.

John Noble is a superb actor. I think he'll bring a lot to the table for LA Noire.
What I think looks promising about this game is that they are focusing so much on the graphics because they are integral to the gameplay; Not because they want to cover up a lacking in the gameplay department. I think it will be very good.

Those facial animations really look smooth...

...but I've never been particularly receptive to the uncanny valley (I never noticed the effect in Heavy Rain for instance), however in this case, eugh!
It's so creepy, it's like a real human made out of clay.

I'm really looking forward to watching/playing/seeing L.A. Noire. But did you really have to take another crack at MGS4, I mean the cinematics weren't that long, and its not like they were boring.

If only they were releasing it on the PC.

Tom Goldman:

Rockstar is hoping that L.A. Noire will be both a fun game and a compelling cinematic experience.

Oh dear. Yahtzee's going to have a field day when reviewing this game.

Ldude893:

Tom Goldman:

Rockstar is hoping that L.A. Noire will be both a fun game and a compelling cinematic experience.

Oh dear. Yahtzee's going to have a field day when reviewing this game.

Who cares?

I mean, I find his "reviews" to be entertaining, but nothing he says actually has any merit, it's just some guy's opinion. He makes good points, but he's not rating the games on any sort of a system. He just bitches about what he doesn't like or casually mentions what he does like. ANYBODY can do that... he's just funnier about it than most people.

Nerf Ninja:

Plus just had a thought, if this game is all about recognising facial and body language won't this bar autistic and other people who have difficulty parsing that language from playing the game?

Probably. Can't please everybody.

If anyone can make videogames as respectable as moives, it's Rockstar. They create compelling stories with great visuals, gameplay and characters. This game may help people say "I play video games" with more comfort.

You know what would help? Not including long stretches of gameplay where you expertly kill dozens of people. I would absolutely love it if this game had Heavy Rain-style minimalism with its violence.

The faces are certainly impressive, but they need to work on the shadows around the hat-area...

I'm still confused on how they are gonna pull off action in this game.

Is it gonna be a classic Rockstar game, pulling out your gun in the middle of the street and doing what you want, or is this gonna be like Heavy Rain?

Needless to say, this is looking good. I just wanna see some more gameplay of what the actual experience will be like.

If they look just as real in gameplay as they do in the trailer cutscenes, I'll be impressed.

The real question here is, how much interactivity do you prefer with your game? I personally loved using NPC spawning cheats in the subway station in HL2 and watching them kill the guards. I love how in read dead redemption I can go about 200 feet or more away from Casa Madragada and shoot birds whenever the hell I feel like it. I think my favorite thing about games is the ability to experiment with things without a real life risk. That being said, if you like your games to be just like movies except with a few quick time events sprinkled in, then enjoy away. I just don't want to see the entire industry heading towards the non-interactive direction, because I still like dual hooking things in just cause 2 and surviving plane crashes with the never die cheat in saints row 2 and seeing how many rollovers a car can take in Burnout Paradise. And please nobody tell me "If you want interactivity, why don't you try a different medium?", because games are supposed to have some kind of interaction, even if they're just quick time events.

I don't understand the obsession with trying to combine films and games. Well, apart from the fact that films are a multi-billion dollar industry. Either way, the word 'cinematic' doesn't do anything for me.

 

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