L.A. Noire, Team Bondi’s foray into the world of hard-boiled detectives and femme fatales, looks to blend publisher Rockstar Games’ signature sandbox gameplay with the gritty storyline of a James Ellroy novel. Recently, a new trailer was revealed that gave brief teases as to the story along with a better look at the game’s amazing graphics. Details and screenshots have just been released that shed more light on the story and the unique mission structure the game will be utilizing.

Set in the 1940s, at the beginning of Hollywood’s Golden Age, L.A. Noire has players inhabiting the persona of Cole Phelps. Having recently returned home from service, Phelps takes on a job with the LAPD and begins to rise in rank case by case.

These ranks and their respective cases will serve as the missions Phelps will take on. As Phelps moves desks inside the precinct he will not only gain access to new cases but also new partners. In the game, the various partners Phelps teams up with will help him by giving clues and providing assistance during shootouts and chases.

In order to solve these varied cases, Phelps is going to have to use his brains as much as his guns. Making great use of a new motion-capture technology known as MotionScan, Team Bondi has been able to create some of the most realistic facial expressions seen in a video game. By analyzing a character’s facial expressions, Phelps will be able to decide the best way in which to interrogate them to gain information.

With a clearer view of the big picture that is L.A. Noire, the anticipation for the game is sure to build. The combination of Team Bondi’s ability to faithfully recreate large cities (see The Getaway) and Rockstar Games’ well known pedigree of delivering compelling open world games should be a recipe for success. Exploring a time period specific genre that many games shy away from might have its risks, but it looks to be paying off.

With a better idea of the storyline of L.A. Noire, are you more or less excited for this title? Would you rather it have a more linear streamlined story structure or a broader one?

L.A. Noire releases some time in the first half of 2011 on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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