Up until now the focus of Rockstar’s marketing campaign for their upcoming Hollywood crime title, L.A. Noire, has been on the revolutionary Motion Scan technology. Now, with the first in a series of gameplay trailers, the publisher has given players a look at L.A. Noire’s gameplay in action, and boy does it look incredible.

The gameplay of L.A. Noire blends the traditional shooting and cover mechanics from past Grand Theft Auto titles with new features like evidence gathering and interrogating. While many gamers feared that L.A. Noire would simply revert back to the run-and-gun formula of Rockstar’s past, by the looks of this trailer, there seems to be a nice blend of each type of gameplay.

Throughout protagonist Cole Phelps’ promotions — from L.A. beat cop to homicide detective — the player will experience missions by way of cases. Each case will require that the player first investigate the crime scene, question witnesses/suspects, and then work towards apprehending the one(s) responsible. Essentially, L.A. Noire is the closest players have gotten to playing as a real life detective yet.

What’s even more important to note is just how incredible the world and characters of L.A. Noire look in action. Sure, trailers for the game hinted that Team Bondi, a developer known for their meticulous attention to detail, had truly outdone themselves, but seeing L.A. Noire in action brings a new meaning to perfection. See for yourself:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJjot7azOgc

Something that has only been hinted at, but was never really shown in action, was the interrogation mechanic in the game. Using the aforementioned Motion Scan technology, L.A. Noire requires the player read the facial expressions of their suspects in order to determine when they are lying.

These interrogation sequences play like an advanced form of Phoenix Wright’s gameplay, with the player using strings of information discovered from the evidence-gathering portion of the game and then pressing a button when they have determined a statement to be a lie.

From the looks of it, the Motion Scan technology is actually doing too good a job, with characters’ facial expressions telegraphing every emotion they are feeling. Still, it’s fantastic to see a developer blend standard features with some non-traditional gameplay.

So, now that gamers have been given a fairly in-depth look at the gameplay of L.A. Noire, they can breathe a sigh of relief that this isn’t going to be GTA: Hollywood. With so many mechanics to work with and gameplay styles to choose from (car chases down Hollywood Blvd? Yes, please.), L.A. Noire rightfully deserves its place on Game Rant’s most anticipated titles of 2011.

What do you think of this first look at L.A. Noire’s various gameplay mechanics? Which of the various stages of case-solving are you most excited to try out?

L.A. Noire releases May 17, 2011, on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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