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L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
04-22-2011, 11:49 AM (This post was last modified: 04-22-2011 11:51 AM by adamcs.)
Post: #1
L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
[Note: Pretty, formatted version can be found here: http://www.gta4.net/news/4405/la-noire-e...ew-event/]


[Image: 6708-la-noire-banner.png]

Last weekend, Rockstar Games kindly invited illspirit, Jevon, Andy and I to Los Angeles to experience L.A. Noire first-hand ahead of its release next month. We stayed at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (which happens to feature in-game) where we met up with various other fan site operators and contest winners. At previous events hosted by Rockstar, we played together in a single room, but because of the nature of L.A. Noire's gameplay, we were each given our own console to play individually (and at times in groups) in our hotel rooms.

The event consisted of a mini-tour of Los Angeles, a Black Dahlia crime bus tour (which did a good job of describing the period in which L.A. Noire is set), watching fellow webmasters cockblock themselves at the party by the pool, and last but not least, game-time with L.A. Noire. Speaking of the party, there were some rather interesting.. characters to laugh at there, such as the guy from Montreal claiming to be a music video producer—wearing a white dress jacket and jeans—who we took to calling "Canada Vice". But that story is worth an entire chapter by itself!

You can read our general thoughts on the game below, but as we don't want to give away too much about the game (it's really something that should be experienced first-hand) we have refrained from mentioning specific details concerning case and gameplay elements.

L.A. Noire – Our Impressions

It's been said before, but we'll say it again – this is not a Grand Theft Auto or a Red Dead Redemption-style game. L.A. Noire feels more mature than any other Rockstar title we've played, both in terms of the style of action and the content that is presented.

Fundamentally, it's very different, and the only similarities are the combat/cover systems, the fact it is an open-world, and the basic driving mechanics. Granted, there is still plenty of action which will make fans of Rockstar's other games feel right at home (our favorite in the early part of the game was an epic chase through an old movie set) but these are well balanced with things like the interrogations and such which require much more thinking.

In GTA and Red Dead, the map is arguably the most important component of the game, and is central as far as the action is concerned. In contrast, attention in L.A. Noire is very much focused on the individual cases and crime scenes, with the map, in effect, providing a context to those cases.

While the player may (and is often encouraged to) explore the world during cases and respond to other crimes reported over the police radio, the current case is active at all times. If one comes into this game expecting a total sandbox experience, it may be a bit shocking at first. But given the film genre which inspired the game, the narrative structure feels much more appropriate.

That said, there's still a good level of interactivity on the map – you can crash into lamp posts and such, and there are collectible items and explorable landmarks. We can't really comment on the accuracy of Team Bondi's recreation of LA in terms of a street by street comparison, since our knowledge of the city during the 1940s isn't great. Well, that, and the map is simply massive and we were all a bit overwhelmed!

At about 8 square miles, and covering an area from around the LA River to West Hollywood, there is a lot to see and take in. Not only is it big, but the sheer number of streets and alleys in the city is far beyond that found in any GTA to date. As before, our historic knowledge of the city is a bit limited, but the major roads and landmarks we expected to see were there. Likewise, the hotel we were staying at was represented perfectly. All in all, the game does a spectacular job recreating a city which was still growing at the time.

Stylistically, everything seems spot on. From the clothing and cars, down to the film noir slang, the research that went into this project must have been an enormous undertaking. We're not sure how many cars there are, but we saw a lot of them. Being that the game is set in the late '40s, they're obviously all classics, and it's readily apparent that lots of care went into modeling the fancy chrome trim and sweeping body lines which were more common at the time. If you're a fan of old cars, playing with these will be worth the price of admission on their own.

Furthermore, those concerned that the game will be too easy (based on what they may have read in other previews) need not worry. There are audio and controller cues which draw the player's attention to clues at places of interest, however these can be disabled via the options menu. Disabling the options makes the game rather difficult, especially, for instance, in one case we played, where the crime scene was a hideously cluttered house with hundreds of scattered items, the majority of which were irrelevant to the crime.

Interrogation is central to the gameplay, and L.A. Noire utilizes a facial capture system called MotionScan to ensure the experience feels real. Each character you interview has their own personality, and you must read their expressions carefully to decide if they are telling the truth, holding back information, or outright lying. For some characters, it's obvious if they are holding information, while for other characters it's not so easy. For those characters that are difficult to read, interrogations require close attention and an enormous amount of concentration. If you misread someone, it can change the whole way a case is played out. As we found out, it's a game best played on nights where you haven't just spent two days in airports with little sleep!

The End

On Sunday (the final day of the event) illspirit was rushed off to the airport at dawn, while the rest of us spent our final hours saying goodbyes and soaking in the lovely California weather. Needless to say, it was an exciting weekend, and we are all equally excited about playing the final version of the game next month.

In closing, we would like to thank Rockstar Games for the trip, and the opportunity to play the game before anyone else! We also had the pleasure, as we did in previous events, of meeting other fan site operators. You can read their own thoughts on L.A. Noire at the following links:


DrewRockstar Network
GeraldGTA Warehouse
JesseTeam Xbox
KyleL.A. Noire Gaming
PsyiGrandTheftAuto
ZeeshanRockstar DB

L.A. Noire arrives on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on May 17, 2011 in North America, and May 20, 2011 in Europe. Be sure to check out the official L.A. Noire website for more information, screenshots and gameplay footage, and you can discuss the game on our sister site, LA-Noire.net.

Screenshots

[Image: LA-Noire-screenshot-01_t.jpg] [Image: LA-Noire-screenshot-02_t.jpg]
[Image: LA-Noire-screenshot-03_t.jpg] [Image: LA-Noire-screenshot-04_t.jpg]
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04-22-2011, 12:03 PM
Post: #2
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Thanks for posting this. It's good to see that they kept the cover/combat system and the driving mechanics from previous games. I always loved those particular features in past Rockstar games.

Do we get a bit of on-foot chases from what you've seen? I seem to really like that.

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04-22-2011, 12:12 PM
Post: #3
RE: L.A. NoiExclusive Fansite Preview Event
(04-22-2011 12:03 PM)Peach Sherbert Wrote:  Thanks for posting this. It's good to see that they kept the cover/combat system and the driving mechanics from previous games. I always loved those particular features in past Rockstar games.

Do we get a bit of on-foot chases from what you've seen? I seem to really like that.

I only got through about 5 cases, but yeah, there appear to be a quite few. There are on-foot chases in the side missions as well. Smile
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04-22-2011, 12:13 PM (This post was last modified: 04-22-2011 12:16 PM by Hurrikane.)
Post: #4
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Thanks very much for the time to write this up adamcs it was a great read. It is interesting to note that the size of the map is bigger than those of GTA, and is a bit overwhelming. I didn't think the map would be as big as a GTA or RDR map, but that is gonna be amazing to cruise around and find those landmarks, and also to do those crimes in progress. I wonder if the crimes in progress will be a thing where they will always come over the radio or is it something that will eventually not happen when all the "crimes in progress" are completed. Also to cruise around and look for the hidden stuff that I am sure will be in the gameshould be fun. maybe some old classics stored far away in an alley way, or in some garage.

How did you find the environment if you can comment on that in regards to the npc dialogue, or just the cheer beauty of it, would you say the graphics are a step up from GTA?

Also Adam how long did the cases take you did?

Thanks again
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04-22-2011, 12:18 PM (This post was last modified: 04-22-2011 12:21 PM by Diesel311.)
Post: #5
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Thank you for the write up, you lucky bastards! Thumbs Up I cannot wait to get my hands on this game!
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04-22-2011, 12:29 PM
Post: #6
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
I wonder if the crimes in progress will be a thing where they will always come over the radio or is it something that will eventually not happen when all the "crimes in progress" are completed.
I'm not completely certain, but I imagine it will be like the GTA/Red Dead "random characters". The side-missions all have their own little cutscenes.

How did you find the environment if you can comment on that in regards to the npc dialogue, or just the cheer beauty of it, would you say the graphics are a step up from GTA?
Probably about the same level. Rockstar has their own artistic style, and Team Bondi has their own artistic style. Basically, what you see in the screenshots and videos is exactly how it looks. One thing that amazed me was how fluid the whole experience was. The cutscenes and gameplay run together smoothly - it doesn't feel disjointed like some other games do. Something else I forgot to mention in the preview was load times - there are virtually no loading screens!

Also Adam how long did the cases take you did?
Hmm, hard to say. I wasn't always dealing with a case. I stopped now and again to explore the map, explore interiors, do side missions, and raid the hotel mini-bar(!). I got stuck on one case and it took me a while to find the right piece of evidence, so it's different for each case I guess. It also depends on whether you have the music/controller assist activated.
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04-22-2011, 12:46 PM
Post: #7
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Based on your write up, I think I'm going to try playing with no assists. Based on your impressions, did it feel like it would take 30 minutes to traverse the map? I realize that you had a limited time playing, and may not have had enough time to assess the size of the map.
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04-22-2011, 02:26 PM
Post: #8
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
good preview adam. are we able to buy some clothes? And how the outfit works in this game? Is it like GTA IV or RDR?
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04-22-2011, 06:37 PM
Post: #9
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Very awesome stuff Adam, I'm sure you dudes really got to enjoy the game, even if sleep was minimal Tongue
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04-22-2011, 07:05 PM
Post: #10
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Thanks, Adam! Smile

I've been wondering though, how does saving work in the game?
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04-22-2011, 07:59 PM
Post: #11
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Nice Adam, good to hear you had such a good time, and nice write up! Smile

How was the interaction with other people in he game, for example if you drive towards a ped, if you're chasing someone how do the peds react, stuff like that?

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04-22-2011, 08:09 PM
Post: #12
RE: L.A. NoiExclusive Fansite Preview Event
(04-22-2011 07:59 PM).Trooper. Wrote:  How was the interaction with other people in he game, for example if you drive towards a ped, if you're chasing someone how do the peds react, stuff like that?
At 02:02 in the "Rising through the ranks" video you can see a pedestrian almost getting run over, and a few others in the background running away. Their reactions seems to be realistic enough. Smile
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04-22-2011, 09:28 PM
Post: #13
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Just a question about investigations, now, I know that you can turn off the musical cues and controller rumbling but will your partner still wander off a little as if to lead you in the right direction when you're stuck if you shut those other things off? Is there a partner-leading option so we can turn off our partners tendences to help?

Alright, i know I said one question but here's one about interrogations. Now, I read that since the interrogations happens in real-time, you can tilt the camera up to peer up out of your notebook while going over clues in order to simultaneously look at clues and read the suspect. My question is how fast is the dialogue and is there any way to review a statement if you miss it for whatever reason?
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04-22-2011, 10:27 PM
Post: #14
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Based on your impressions, did it feel like it would take 30 minutes to traverse the map? I realize that you had a limited time playing, and may not have had enough time to assess the size of the map.
I don't think it would take 30 minutes, but it's pretty big regardless. I travelled from one edge of the map to the hotel where we stayed on the other side and it seemed to take forever (however, when you're playing a game, what seems like a long time may only translate into about 10 minutes)

Are we able to buy some clothes? And how the outfit works in this game? Is it like GTA IV or RDR?
I don't think you can buy clothes. I'd be surprised if you could, it doesn't seem like that type of game to me. When I graduated to traffic cop my oufit changed automatically. I can't remember if you're able to change oufits after that - I'll ask the other guys and see if they know.

I've been wondering though, how does saving work in the game?
Hmm, not sure if I'm allowed to answer this. Don't think it's a big deal personally, but I won't say just incase. Try asking R* on Twitter!

I know that you can turn off the musical cues and controller rumbling but will your partner still wander off a little as if to lead you in the right direction when you're stuck if you shut those other things off? Is there a partner-leading option so we can turn off our partners tendences to help?
Good question, I never thought to test that. I didn't see an option in the menu. I only noticed my partner helping me on one occasion (during the first or second case). To be honest, I was so focused on doing my own thing that I didn't pay much attention to him.

How fast is the dialogue and is there any way to review a statement if you miss it for whatever reason?
An option to repeat statements would have been nice, but there isn't one as far as I'm aware. There's a textual log of everything that's said, much like GTA and RDR. And, like you said, you can continue to monitor facial expressions as you're examining notes.
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04-22-2011, 11:59 PM (This post was last modified: 04-23-2011 02:58 AM by Hurrikane.)
Post: #15
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Thanks for answering the questions Adam, i appreciate it much, you answering what you can has got me even more pumped for the game. I will throw some more Q's at you and whatever you can answer will be greatly appreciated, this is just awesome stuff by you.

Q) You mentioned interiors in the game, how would you describe the detail and interactivity of the interiors? Can we pick up different items and examine them while not on a case? Are there a lot of interiors you think we can go into?

Q) I am very interested in when you get to a crime scene Adam, Did you talk to the other members of your team, and how was that, in the last trailer you can see a lot of people already on the scene when Cole gets there, was a news reporter on the scene and try and ask you questions?

Q) Can you talk to an npc on the street who are near the crime scene? is a reporter also on scene and trying to ask you questions?

Q) If your on a case Adam, and say I am investigating the crime scene, how far away did you find evidence/clues around the crime scene? For instance could the clues be in places like on top of a building, inside a car, i think i did read that we have to climb up a building for clues at one point. i am hoping that this is a challenge, which i am sure it is.
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04-23-2011, 01:12 AM
Post: #16
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
How does lightning look like? It is said that L.A. Noire would use Global Illumination.
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04-23-2011, 08:09 AM
Post: #17
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Awesome recap on the experience and the game! "watching fellow webmasters cockblock themselves at the party by the pool" made me laugh.

You said there were times when turning off the audio and controller cues made finding clues really difficult. Did you prefer to play with the cues on or off and what would you recommend for a first-time playthrough since I wouldn't want to fail a case miserably because I missed most of the clues by turning it off.

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04-23-2011, 10:10 AM
Post: #18
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
Speaking of clues, can you pick up everything or do you have an inventory/evidence limit in the notebook?
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04-23-2011, 10:14 AM
Post: #19
RE: L.A. NoiExclusive Fansite Preview Event
(04-23-2011 10:10 AM)The New Blueguy Wrote:  Speaking of clues, can you pick up everything or do you have an inventory/evidence limit in the notebook?

Awesome question, i also just suggested in the suggestions topic that there should be a Q and A session or a podcast, this would be awesome. Cant wait just about three weeks to go
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04-23-2011, 08:58 PM
Post: #20
RE: L.A. Noire: Exclusive Fansite Preview Event
How was the grass and the bricks and street lights textures like?

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