The L.A. Noire box art is pretty uninspiring, given how experimental the actual gameplay is being hyped.

The cop drama videogame from Rockstar might be one of my most anticipated releases in the first half of 2011, but the box art doesn’t exactly make me jump for joy. As our own Yahtzee Croshaw pointed out, American box art doesn’t have an amazing track record, and the floaty images surrounding protagonist Detective Cole Phelps follows suit. L.A. Noire is set to reach store shelves on May 17th in the US and May 20th in Europe on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Would it have killed Rockstar to buck the trend by using images that are a little more evocative of the game? Nothing in these images suggest a game that offers the kind of investigative choice, facial animation, and depth of gameplay that the trailer for L.A. Noire seems to portray.

It’s not quite as bad as the Mass Effect 2 box art, but it’s damn close.

Yeah, I think I may just watch that trailer again to wash the bad taste out of my mouth … Yep, excitement restored!

L.A. Noire gameplay trailer.

Here are the images for both PS3 and Xbox 360 boxes in full resolution, in case you wanted a closeup of the mediocrity:

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