L.A. Noire is set to trail us home from local retailers around the country on May 17th – and, in anticipation of the game’s release, Rockstar has been ramping up the title’s media blitz.

Today, we’re getting another look at Cole Phelps on the job – this time investigating Candy Edwards, a character in the L.A. Noire case, “The Set-Up.”

A month ago, at PAX East, we mentioned that between stunning MotionScan technology and sharp story lines, L.A. Noire could be the most mature release in Rockstar Games’ celebrated history.

Centered on a series of cases that take Phelps around 1960s Los Angeles (recreated in painstaking detail), L.A. Noire challenges the player to respond to subtle physical cues from characters that, in some way, end up implicated in one of the investigations. While the cues can range from gritting teeth or rolling eyes, the game doesn’t linger on them – meaning that the on-screen action has to be sharp and lifelike.

Check out the screenshots below from ‘The Set-Up’ case as Cole Phelps investigates the ex-girlfriend of Albert Hammond who disappears after winning a fixed boxing match he was supposed to lose. Click the images to enlarge:

The screen shots are certainly impressive, in terms of detail but the characters look much more fluid (i.e. less robotic blank stare) in the game – as they’re constantly moving and reacting.

It goes without saying that a title is usually going to look better in context. Following our demo of the game at PAX, it’s been surprising to see how bland the screenshots (and even some of the trailers) look, compared against the real game, which is saying something – since the L.A. Noire screen shots still look better than most games on the market.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @gamerant and let us what you think of the new screenshots.

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

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