The burglars and con artists of Los Angeles got a lucky break; LA Noire’s Cole Phelps had to skip them over entirely.
Brendan McNamara, head of LA Noire developer Team Bondi, says that the studio axed an entire desk – representing a full eleven cases – from the game because it was never going to fit on a single Blu-Ray disc. The studio also left a system where you had to bust muggers and other petty criminals to appease your captain after failing a case.
The missing desk was to be “Bunko and Burglary” – bunko is a slang term for a con – which would have covered fraud and, unsurprisingly, burglary. According to McNamara, Team Bondi had started work on the writing and design for the cases, and even finished some of the art. He also thought that the game might have had a better arc had the desk remained in the game, as it would have allowed Team Bondi to introduce more things. However, he said he was pleased with how the game turned out.
While Bunko and Burglary got the boot because it was too big, Team Bondi dropped the system for mollifying angry captains because it was a distraction. Remnants of the system can still be found in the game, however, such as when the player picks the wrong person in one of the game’s murder cases.
Eleven cases seems an awful lot for a single desk; the other desks have maybe half that number. Maybe five or six cases would have fit on the disc, but maybe not. I would have been nice to have played through them, but it’s not like the game is lacking in things to do.