This week, the highly-anticipated video game L.A. Noire is finally released.
The game, a joint production between Australian developers Team Bondi and Rockstar Games (responsible for the Grand Theft Auto series, among other titles) is an extremely engaging experience that is currently racking up great reviews on Metacritic.
The game, set in 1940s Los Angeles, is a deeply-layered and complex role-playing-type game in which the player acts as Cole Phelps, a famed LAPD detective. Throughout the game, Phelps investigates crimes, questions witnesses and suspects, and explores the detailed landscape of a graphically-recreated Los Angeles, circa 1940.
L.A. Noire is also notable for its technological advancements, which have helped it amass a high level of anticipation among gaming fans.
As this article from CNN explains, the game utilizes some pretty impressive motion-capturing technology to create an unrivaled sense of realism. The actors involved in the game recorded their content in a studio surrounded by cameras that captured every nuance, vocal inflection, and eyebrow twitch:
Rather than asking animators to manipulate facial designs in 3-D rendering software as they’ve done for years, Depth Analysis uses the footage from all of those cameras, situated at various angles, to replicate an actor’s face. Servers automatically map the faces, which greatly reduces how long the process takes, McNamara said.
Read the rest of the CNN piece to get a full understanding of the gadgetry involved in making the game as astounding as it is.
The innovative technology is apparently going to be licensed to other developers, including noted Japanese video game director Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series of games. What Kojima intends to use the technology for remains to be seen, but Japanese gaming fans should probably assume it will be something as impressive as L.A. Noir, given his track record.
Here’s the game’s official trailer for those not familiar with the much talked-about game.
*Note* L.A. Noire might not be appropriate for all gamers, due to its crime-related content, so keep that in mind when watching the video below.