The designers of L.A. Noire answered questions after screening the game at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Everyone here at The Escapist office is looking forward to what L.A. Noire brings to the videogame industry. Using the facial animation tech combined with gameplay that promises more than just shooting a gun, Rockstar’s homage to the corruption of 1940’s Hollywood might just change the mainstream’s perception of games. Last night, L.A. Noire became the first videogame presented at the Tribeca Film Festival as an official selection and the game’s writer/director Brendan McNamara stayed for a panel afterwards to answer questions from the packed house. McNamara wants L.A. Noire to shoot the moon and become a seminal moment in the development of the medium.
“We wanna get out of science fiction, fantasy in the back of the bookstore,” McNamara said. “We want to get into the front, the more general section, and bring that audience in.
“One of the things we wanted to do was take exposition away from cut scenes and make that part of the game. We didn’t want to do ‘exposition, game, exposition, game.’ It’s all part of an attempt to address a potentially bigger audience,” he said.
McNamara knows that he can’t predict how his game will be received but he desperately wants it to be well-respected. “Ultimately, we’ll have to judge by whether the audiences buys into this – whether it’s a good game that they want to go out and buy, and a watershed-moment type of game,” McNamara said. “It might be hugely egotistical, but we’re hoping for both of those things.”
One of the reasons that McNamara thinks that L.A. Noire has a soul is because he could provide a singular vision by being the lead writer and director. “I think that as much as there are a lot of people working on a game, they are kind of personal statements in a way,” McNamara said. “If you have the opportunity to work on a big forum, you should have something that you want to say.”
I’m not sure that McNamara can be called a game auteur like Sid Meier, Warren Spector or Peter Molyneux, but if Noire works when it comes out on May 17th, he may get on the short list.