Rockstar Games and Team Bondi have just released a new orientation trailer for their upcoming open-world detective title, LA Noire, which features an in-depth look at the investigation and interrogation mechanics of the game.
Considered to be the meat and potatoes of the game, these two mechanics had been assumed to be very rudimentary up until now. In fact, when combined together, they make up one of the most exciting elements of the game.
After thoroughly investigating a crime scene — discovering key pieces of evidence — the player, as Cole Phelps, will be able to question various witnesses and suspects. By using Phelps' notebook of questions/evidence, and their ability to read the very realistic facial expressions of the interrogated party, the player will be able to determine the accuracy of statements made during the interrogation.
Determining accuracy in LA Noire, previously assumed to be similar to Phoenix Wright’s objection mechanic, actually requires the player ascertain if what the suspect says is true, doubtful, or a flat out lie. What will allow the player to make those judgment calls are the various pieces of evidence and information they have gathered leading up to the interrogation.
Essentially, like a real detective, the player must first gather clues to build up enough questions for their notebook, and once they have done so they can then use those questions to get to the truth behind each case.
Break out your pencil and paper, here's orientation trailer number two:
As stated in the trailer, the player can experience a variety of case-solving endings dependent on how they chose to interact with their suspects. The ending they are going to be looking to receive the most is a promotion. After a promotion, not only will the player eventually move up to various levels of crime investigation within the force (Vice, Homicide, etc…), they will earn intuition points.
The trailer isn't exactly forthcoming about how those intuition points will be spent, but some of the “power-ups” on which those points can be used include an ability that makes pieces of evidence shine, and the elimination of dead-end questions from Phelps’ notebook.
Combining this reveal of intuition points with what is already known about some of the abilities associated with pre-order bonus suits, it can be assumed that LA Noire, on top of a rich series of gameplay mechanics, will also feature a role-playing element in some capacity.
It’s only the second of what is hoped to be a long line of orientation videos, but just these two mechanics could make for a compelling game by themselves.
What are your thoughts on LA Noire’s investigation and interrogation mechanics? Do you think either is too overly simplistic? What type of “power-ups” would you like to see intuition points be spent on?
LA Noire releases May 15, 2011, for the PS3 and Xbox 360.