‘Whore of the Orient’ Details Confirm Next-Gen Project from ‘L.A. Noire’ Dev

By | 4 years ago 

It hasn’t been smooth sailing recently for L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi, but it appears that the studio’s next game has washed ashore in a fascinating new land.

Having been liquidated and purchased last October by the multimedia production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell, Team Bondi has finally released the first screenshot and details for its nebulous project, Whore of the Orient. Not only is the game being developed as a brand new IP for next-generation consoles and published by Warner Bros. Interactive – it’s traveling back to 1936, to the splendor and spectacle of Shanghai, China.

We’ve known about Whore of the Orient for a while – Brenden McNamara, Team Bondi founder and development director, spoke last year about the game’s plot, calling it “one of the great untold stories of the 20th Century.” – but the new screenshot and information write-up posted to Team Bondi’s website today has laid a more concrete foundation:

Shanghai, 1936. Whore of the Orient. Paris of the East. The most corrupt and decadent city on the planet, where anything can be had or done for the right price. Plaything of Western powers who greedily exploit the Chinese masses. Boiling pot of Chinese nationalism, with the Kuomintang ruthlessly trying to suppress Communism and the labour movement. Home to the International Police Force, a group of Western cops hopelessly trying to keep the lid on and keep the peace.

From the development team who brought you L.A. Noire and The Getaway, along with the Academy Award winning film production team of Kennedy Miller Mitchell comes a completely new and original IP being developed for next generation games consoles and PC.

Other than a profoundly foreign setting and a lust for photo-realistic lighting, the screenshot doesn’t appear to reveal much about Whore of the Orient. However, even if attention to detail is only a quality of the game itself, that familiar noirish tone can still be felt reading Team Bondi’s description: a far-away city in a forgotten time; an intoxicating miasma of posh and filth, wealth and grit, power and greed; and a police force fighting more than just crime in a maze of political and social upheaval.

But does that mean we’ll see another brooding detective thriller, cut from the same three-piece suit and fedora of L.A. Noire? Again it’s still too early to say.

The critical acclaim and commercial firepower generated by L.A. Noire in 2011 was booming, but muffled in a mere month after allegations of “hostile and brutal” work conditions during development were brought to light by Team Bondi staff. The controversy soiled the studio’s ability to lock up another project at the time, leading to their eventual liquidation and sell-off to KKM. True, most of the original team has been kept in place, and the story was carved out well in advance, but even if Whore of the Orient plans to explore the latest in facial expression technology like its cousin (as McNamara’s past comments suggest), the new setting and publisher is perfect for a group no doubt ready to turn the page.

Ranters, how would you like to see Team Bondi develop Whore of the Orient for next generation consoles and the PC?

Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Team Bondi