L.A. Noire

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L.A. Noire
LA-Noire-Box-Art.jpg
Developer(s) Team Bondi
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive
Director(s) Brendan McNamara[1]
Producer(s) Naresh Hirani
Designer(s) Alex Carlyle
Programmer(s) Franta Fulin
David Heironymus
Artist(s) Chee Kin Chan
Ben Brudenell
Mondo Ghulam
Writer(s) Brendan McNamara[1]
Composer(s) Andrew Hale
Simon Hale[2]
Engine Custom engine[3][a]
with Havok physics
Platform(s)
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Blu-ray Disc (PlayStation 3)
DVD-DL (Xbox 360)[10]
2× DVD-DL (PC)[11]
Download

L.A. Noire (pronounced [ˌɛl ˌɛɪ ˈnwaʁ]) is a neo-noir detective video game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games. It was initially released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms on 17 May 2011; a Microsoft Windows port was later released on 8 November 2011.[5][12][13] L.A. Noire is set in Los Angeles in 1947 and challenges the player, controlling a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer, to solve a range of cases across five departments.[12] Players must investigate crime scenes for clues, follow up leads, and interrogate suspects, and the players' success at these activities will impact how much of each cases' story is revealed.

The game draws heavily from both the plot and aesthetic elements of film noir, stylistic films made popular in the 1940s and 1950s that share similar visual styles and themes, including crime and moral ambiguity. The game uses a distinctive colour palette, but in homage to film noir it includes the option to play the game in black and white. Various plot elements reference the major themes of gum-shoe detective and mobster stories such as Key Largo, Chinatown,[14] The Untouchables, The Black Dahlia, and L.A. Confidential.

L.A. Noire is notable for using Depth Analysis's newly developed technology MotionScan, whereby the actors portraying the game's characters were recorded by 32 surrounding cameras to capture facial expressions from every angle.[15][16] The technology is central to the game's interrogation mechanic, as players must use the suspects' reactions to questioning to judge whether or not they are lying. L.A. Noire is the first video game to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.[17][18] Upon release, the game received wide acclaim for its advances in storytelling and facial animation technology. As of February 2012, both PC and console versions had shipped[b] nearly 5 million copies combined.[19][20]

Gameplay[edit]

L.A. Noire is an action-adventure neo-noir crime game played from a third-person perspective. Players complete cases—linear scenarios with set objectives—to progress through the story. The game takes place in the city of Los Angeles, in the year 1947. The game features a mode which allows players to freely roam the open world. In this mode, players can also engage in optional activities.[21] The world features multiple landmarks, which are all based on real monuments from 1940s Los Angeles.

Players assumes the role of Los Angeles Police Department Officer, and later Detective, Cole Phelps.[22][23] The game starts with Phelps as a uniformed patrolman,[24] and follows his career as he advances through the police department bureaus (desks) of Traffic, Homicide, Vice and Arson. Each desk gives players a new partner who will help Phelps in his investigation of a number of cases based on a specific type of crime. The game assigns players with cases that they must solve. After each case, players receive a rating of 1–5 stars depending on their performance in both interrogations and searching for clues. In some cases, when searching an area for clues to the crime, players can also find newspapers. Besides reading the story, the newspapers give access to a short cinematic that either covers a part of the game's overarching plot or a flashback to Phelps' war memories. Near the end of the final desk, players assume control of private investigator Jack Kelso, who becomes the player character for most of the rest of the game; although different in appearance and personality, he controls identically to Phelps.

When interrogating witnesses and suspects, players have the option to believe them, doubt them, or accuse them of lying.

The game blends investigative elements with fast-paced action sequences, including chases, combat, interrogations and gunfights.[22] Players use melee attacks and firearms to fight enemies, and may run, jump or use vehicles to navigate the world. In combat, auto-aim and a cover system can be used as assistance against enemies. Should players take damage, their health will gradually regenerate. Weapons can only be used in appropriate circumstances, such as during firefights. When driving vehicles, players have the option to skip directly to the destination by nominating their partner as the driver. Players can also ask the partner for directions. In addition to storyline cases, players may engage in option side-investigations known as Street Crimes that are not related to the case that they are working on; there is a total of 40.

During interrogations, players ask questions. When the interviewee responds, players are given the option to either believe them, doubt them, or accuse them of lying. If players accuse them of lying, they must submit evidence to prove it. When interrogating two suspects at the police station, players may decide who to charge with the crime; charging the wrong suspect affects players' end rating. Players have the option to skip past an action sequence and continue through the narrative if they fail it three times.[25]

Plot[edit]

The story begins with Officer Cole Phelps (Aaron Staton) on the Patrol Desk at the Wilshire Division 7 Police Station as a fairly new member of the police department in 1947 Los Angeles, California, successfully investigating a murder with his partner, Officer Ralph Dunn (Rodney Scott). The game follows Phelps' progress through the ranks and through different departments, and shows the collapse of his reputation and marriage after being publicly exposed as falling for German lounge singer Elsa Lichtmann (Erika Heynatz).

When a U.S. Marine from Phelps's former unit is found brutally murdered, Phelps discovers many of his former squad members are being assassinated as well, and after meeting with his old comrade, Jack Kelso (Gil McKinney), he deduces that the men in his unit were selling surplus morphine after stealing a large supply of morphine syrettes from the USS Coolridge, the ship that carried the unit back to Los Angeles at the end of World War II. The men are being killed by mobsters who are working for Mickey Cohen (Patrick Fischler) who controls the drug trade and resents the competition.

The Suburban Redevelopment Fund

The Suburban Redevelopment Fund, publicly has good intentions — to build houses for homecoming American servicemen — it is actually a front for an insurance fraud scam, run by a tycoon named Leland Monroe, where sub-standard houses are built and then fall victim to arson in order to claim the insurance money. This is eventually revealed to be only a small part of the fraud, as the true fraud was against the federal government regarding eminent domain. The Suburban Redevelopment Fund aimed to build entire communities, albeit with matchstick houses, to fool the federal government into paying much higher prices for the land where they were constructed, as they are in the path of the proposed Whitnall Parkway in the Wilshire district of Los Angeles.

Further investigations by Phelps and Kelso lead them to discover that the money from the morphine sales is being used to fund a program known as "The Suburban Redevelopment Fund." The scam, run by a tycoon named Leland Monroe (John Noble), involves local businessmen, dignitaries and even the police chief. It also involves a pop-psychiatrist named Harlan Fontaine (Peter Blomquist) and a headstrong member of Phelps and Kelso's unit, corpsman Courtney Sheldon (Chad Todhunter), who is later killed by Fontaine. After a shoot-out at Monroe's mansion by Kelso, it is revealed that the arsonist has killed Fontaine and has kidnapped Elsa Lichtmann. It also revealed that the arsonist was Ira Hogeboom, a former flamethrower operator from Phelps' and Kelso's unit, suffering from PTSD and schizophrenia after inadvertently killing a large number of civilians in what was thought to be an enemy encampment at the Battle of Okinawa on Phelps' orders. Hogeboom was unknowingly being manipulated by Fontaine to torch the houses of holdouts who refused to sell out to the Suburban Redevelopment Fund, in order to aid the insurance fraud. However, after Hogeboom inadvertently incinerates a house with an entire family inside, he goes completely insane.

At the Los Angeles River Tunnels, while trying to rescue the kidnapped Elsa, Phelps and Kelso fight their way through corrupt policemen and thugs trying to stop them from exposing the Suburban Redevelopment Fund scam. Outside the tunnels, the Assistant DA blocks the corrupt chief of police from sending additional officers after Phelps, and makes a deal where he sells out the other Fund conspirators. Kelso kills Hogeboom to put him out of his mental anguish and he and Phelps rescue Elsa and flee from the tunnels while struggling against a sewer level that is rising after heavy rain. Eventually, the trio finds an open manhole that they use to get Elsa up to the surface. As the water begins to rise, Phelps voluntarily lifts Kelso to the surface as well; as there is no one else to help Phelps, he says a final goodbye to his comrades as the current sweeps him away.

Later, a funeral is held for Phelps. One of Phelps' former partners, Herschel Biggs, says to Kelso that Phelps was never his friend. Kelso acknowledges that, and says that he was never his enemy. Biggs says that Phelps knew that, as the speech for Phelps finishes. It is revealed during the funeral ceremony that Leland Monroe was brought to justice, but the other Suburban Redevelopment Fund conspirators have apparently escaped justice, as they are all present at Phelps' funeral, hypocritically speaking in his honour.

In an epilogue flashback scene, Kelso, Sheldon, and their other fellow G.I.'s find surplus morphine on their ship home. Sheldon convinces the others to sell the drugs, making a profit. However, Kelso refuses, telling Sheldon and the others that his respect for them as soldiers will be ceased if they go through with the drug profiting. They do, leading to the events of the game.

Development[edit]

L.A. Noire had a protracted seven-year development, which included a change of publisher, expansion from a single platform to three, and numerous cancelled release dates.

"L.A. Noire is nothing like other games in the genre. It isn't a game about action and firefights. We really wanted to nail the detective aspect of the game. Each object, each street, each investigation is a result of research using archived images and film as to make the perfect illusion that you are there. While playing L.A. Noire, you'll quickly realize that you must first investigate before shooting."

—Brendan McNamara, founder of Team Bondi.[26]

In October 2003, Brendan McNamara, director of the PlayStation 2 game The Getaway, left his position at Team Soho in London to form his own studio in his native Australia. McNamara named the new six-person studio Team Bondi and immediately announced that the company had begun work on its first project, a game for "a next-generation Sony platform". In February 2004, McNamara said in an interview that "the project is wholly funded by Sony Computer Entertainment America. We have a long-term exclusive arrangement with SCEA."[27]

A year later in June 2005, the developer revealed that the game would be called L.A. Noire, and it would be an exclusive PlayStation 3 title. Little was known about the game except that it was described as a "detective thriller". It was also revealed that Team Bondi was in an exclusive agreement with Sony to produce two more PlayStation 3 games.[28] A further year later in September 2006, the publishing arrangements changed when Rockstar Games announced that it would be publishing L.A. Noire. Rockstar's announcement only referred to it as a "next-generation crime thriller", with no platforms specified.[29]

During 2007, Take-Two Interactive, the sole publisher of Rockstar Games, re-confirmed the release amongst its "announced to date" titles for "fiscal 2008",[4] implied that both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases were likely,[30] and announced the game had been delayed until their 2009 fiscal year.[31]

Despite the game being missing from Take-Two's updated release list for 2009, speculation of a release increased when Team Bondi increased its staff levels in 2009.[32]

On 4 February 2010 it was announced that L.A. Noire would be on the cover of the March 2010 issue of Game Informer, which also finally confirmed that the game would also be available on Xbox 360 and would arrive in September 2010.[33] The cover was followed by Take-Two confirming that L.A. Noire would be released during the August–October quarter.[34] Although this joined the growing list of missed release dates in September 2010, when Take-Two delayed the game until the first half 2011.[35]

An in-game trailer was released on 11 November 2010, which stated the release date as Q1/Q2 2011.[36][37] L.A. Noire was featured on the cover of the February 2011 edition of PlayStation: The Official Magazine, which gave a new release window of March 2011.[38] A trailer for L.A. Noire, called "Serial Killer", was leaked on 16 January 2011. The trailer shows 90 seconds of gameplay footage as well as a release date of 17 May. Rockstar officially confirmed the release date a few days later.[39]

Speaking to the UK Official PlayStation Magazine, Brendan McNamara talked about why L.A. Noire took seven years to make. McNamara said L.A. Noire's ambitious scale and proprietary technology caused development to expand to seven years. "One [thing] is the size, it's a huge game – probably too big. The map's massive, and so that's probably my fault". As well as sheer scope, L.A. Noire's pace was hindered by the team's devotion to getting the feel – if not all the details of 1940s Los Angeles just right. "I'd say the first year and a half – [maybe] even longer – was just research", McNamara commented.[40]

When asked by PSM3 about how Team Bondi came up with the idea to make L.A. Noire, Brendan McNamara stated, "We wanted to do something new, something that nobody had developed before. To do this, we looked at what people watched the most (on TV). And then, we realized that police dramas had become increasingly popular nowadays. So our game had to be like these series so that everyone could benefit from the experience".[26]

Technical[edit]

L.A. Noire features Depth Analysis's newly developed technology for the film and video game industries called MotionScan that utilizes 32 cameras to record an actor's every wince, swallow, and blink which is then transferred to in-game animation.

Team Bondi recreated 1940s Los Angeles by using aerial photographs taken by Robert Spence.[41] In a career spanning over 50 years, Spence took over 110,000 aerial photographs of Los Angeles.[42] The developers used Spence's photographs to create traffic patterns and public transport routes as well as the location and condition of buildings.[41] While striving to recreate an accurate model of 1947 Los Angeles, the developers also took some artistic licence, such as including the appearance of the film set for D. W. Griffith's Intolerance; the set had actually been dismantled in 1919.[43][44]

L.A. Noire has a considerable amount of voice work, over 20 hours according to Game Informer. Aaron Staton lent his voice and likeness to the main character, Cole Phelps.[45][46] A number of actors in the game star in the AMC series Mad Men. These actors include Aaron Staton (Cole Phelps), Vincent Kartheiser (Walter Clemens), Rich Sommer (John Cunningham), Michael Gladis (Dudley Lynch), Patrick Fischler (Mickey Cohen) and Morgan Rusler (Charlie Conway). Singer and model Erika Heynatz plays the main female character, Elsa Lichtmann. Various American actors also play parts in individual cases, such as Greg Grunberg who plays a character falsely charged with his wife's murder.

Two additional desks, Bunko and Burglary, were cut from the final version of the game as the game would not have fit on one Blu-ray Disc. This decision caused the removal of 11 cases.[47]

Development of a PC version by Rockstar Leeds; with improved graphical enhancement and stereoscopic 3D support, was announced on 23 June 2011.[48] It was released as L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition in November 2011 on PC, Steam and OnLive. In addition to the original game, The Complete Edition comes with a code to access all previously released downloadable content from the console versions.[49]

Staff complaints[edit]

Shortly after the game's release, a group of former Team Bondi employees launched a website called lanoirecredits.com, containing 100 names which had been left off or incorrectly listed in L.A. Noire's credits.[50] This was followed by a series of claims and counter-claims about working hours and company managerial style during the game's development,[51][52] along with leaked company emails concerning the state of the relationship between Team Bondi and Rockstar Games.[53][54] The domain name has since expired.

Marketing and release[edit]

Prior to its release, L.A. Noire was marketed and promoted heavily through the use of numerous Internet and TV trailers and through promotions that played on its noir and film background. L.A. Noire was selected to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, the first videogame to be recognised by the festival.[17] L.A. Noire was screened as a sixty minute long film on 25 April 2011, followed by a question and answer session on the game's story and the technology used to make the game.[18] Continuing the movie theme of its promotions, Rockstar ran a competition to win a trip to Los Angeles to attend the Festival of Film Noir Grauman's Egyptian Theatre (which is actually featured in-game as a location), and play the game a month before its official release.[55]

The original (top) and the final (bottom) logo for the game. The original logo was created by Team Bondi, but Rockstar redesigned the L.A. Noire logo for visibility and commercial reasons.

Rockstar collaborated with several retail outlets on preorder bonuses available through store chains throughout the world. The pre-order bonuses were the bonus case The Naked City, the side quest The Badge Pursuit Challenge, the bonus detective suits "The Broderick" and "The Sharpshooter" and the traffic case A Slip of the Tongue. The official online Rockstar Games store, the Rockstar Warehouse, offered a L.A. Noire T-shirt as the pre-order bonus. Target offered a $5 gift card, and a free Rockstar Games t-shirt if the game was purchased in-store during launch week.[56]

In addition to the pre-order bonuses, all new North American copies of the PlayStation 3 version of the game came with an extra traffic case, The Consul's Car. The Consul's Car traffic case became available for purchase from PlayStation Store on 27 July 2011, for European players.[57] On 6 June 2011, Rockstar published L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories, a collection of short stories from noted crime authors, all based on the L.A. Noire universe.[58][59] The Rockstar Games Social Club is a website that displays the gameplay statistics of registered users and feature competitions and awards based on player activity within the game.

Downloadable content[edit]

On 31 May 2011, Rockstar announced that through the summer months, several standalone cases, collectibles and challenges would be released via PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, including all of the pre-order bonus content as well as a free downloadable weapon. All of the pre-order downloadable content (DLC), with the exception of The Consul's Car, became available to the general public on 31 May 2011. Each item was released individually, as well as in a pack called the L.A. Noire Rockstar Pass.

Rockstar launched the Rockstar Pass; the first "season pass" for video game DLC. It allows players to buy all the DLC at once for a discounted price. The Pass also includes access to two post-launch downloadable content cases; the Arson case Nicholson Electroplating that was released on 21 June 2011, and the Vice case Reefer Madness, released on 12 July 2011. Both cases were also released individually.[60] Rockstar was the first game company to introduce a Season Pass for DLC. The concept is described as "a long term, pre-paid, post-launch downloadable content plan" and was later adopted by most major publishers.[61]

In addition to the purchasable DLC, a machine gun, "The Chicago Piano", and a bonus suit, "The Chicago Lightning"; is available to players that sign up for the Rockstar Social Club.[62]

The Complete Edition[edit]

On 28 September 2011, Rockstar Games announced a PC version of L.A. Noire, dubbed The Complete Edition containing all previously released DLC from the console versions of the game. Enhancements include keyboard remapping and gamepad functionality, increased fidelity, graphical enhancements, and stereoscopic 3D support.[63]

The game was released on 8 November in North America, and 11 November internationally. On 20 October 2011, Rockstar announced that the same edition would be available for consoles a week after the PC release, on 15 November in North America, and 18 November internationally.[64]

On 16 February 2012, Rockstar released a patch that added support for DirectX 11 mode.[65]

Music[edit]

L.A. Noire Official Soundtrack[edit]

L.A. Noire Official Soundtrack[66]
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released 17 May 2011
Recorded Abbey Road Studios
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 55:21
Label Rockstar Games

L.A. Noire Official Soundtrack consists of an original score by Andrew Hale and Simon Hale, as well as original 1940s style songs composed by The Real Tuesday Weld and sung by Claudia Brücken.[67]

L.A. Noire Remixed EP[edit]

L.A. Noire Remixed EP[66]
Remix album by Various artists
Released 17 May 2011
Recorded Verve Records
Genre Remix album
Length 24:19
Label Rockstar Games
Verve Records

A second soundtrack album for the game, Verve Records and Rockstar Games presents L.A. Noire Remixed EP, was released, consisting of six jazz classics from the era, remixed by contemporary DJs. Advertised as a "special installment" of the Verve Remixed Series, the album includes songs by artists of the period, such as Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, remixed by DJs such as Ticklah, DJ Premier, and Moodymann.[67]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS3) 88%[68]
(X360) 88%[69]
(PC) 82%[70]
Metacritic (PS3) 89/100[71]
(X360) 89/100[72]
(PC) 83/100[73]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[74]
Edge 8/10[75]
Eurogamer 8/10[2]
Famitsu 39/40[76]
Game Informer 8.75/10[77]
GamePro 5/5 stars[78]
GamesMaster 92%[71]
GamesRadar 9/10[79]
GameSpot 9/10[80]
GameSpy 4.5/5 stars[81]
GameTrailers 9.1/10[82]
GameZone 8.5/10[83]
Giant Bomb 5/5 stars[84]
IGN 8.5/10[85]
Joystiq 4.5/5 stars[86]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 9/10[71]
Official Xbox Magazine 8/10[72]
PlayStation 3 Magazine 9.3/10[71]
X-Play 5/5 stars[87]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[88]
Awards
Publication Award
GameTrailers Best New IP[89]
VGChartz Best IP[90]
GameSpot Best Atmosphere[91]
Eurogamer 11th Best Game of the Year[92]

L.A. Noire received critical acclaim upon release. It holds an overall Metacritic score of 89 out of 100 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360[71][72] and an overall score of 83 out of 100 for the PC.[73] GameRankings rated the PlayStation 3 version 88%,[68] the Xbox 360 version 88%[69] and the PC version 82%.[70] L.A. Noire has been widely praised for its advances in storytelling and facial animation technology.[93]

The first review was published by UK newspaper The Guardian, which awarded the game a perfect score, and stated "Ever since it first worked out how to assemble pixels so that they resembled something more recognisable than aliens, the games industry has dreamed of creating one thing above all else – a game that is indistinguishable from a film, except that you can control the lead character. With L.A. Noire, it just might, finally, have found the embodiment of that particular holy grail."[88]

IGN gave the game 8.5 out of 10, stating "L.A. Noire may not reach the emotional heights of a game like Heavy Rain, but it's something everyone must try out. It reaches high and almost succeeds as a brilliant new type of video game narrative."[85] GameTrailers gave the game a 9.1 out of 10, concluding that "L.A. Noire floors you out of the gate, loses some steam due to repetition, but eventually wins the day thanks to its subtlety, attention to detail, and stunning character interaction."[82] Gamespot's Carolyn Petit awarded the game a 9 out of 10, concluding that "L.A. Noire's absorbing investigations and intoxicating sense of style make it an unforgettable journey through the seamy side of the City of Angels."[80] GameZone gave the game an 8.5/10, stating "The story is intriguing, albeit a little slow at first. L.A. Noire takes an old school approach toward its storytelling. It’s a much slower approach, similar to older movies, with a heavy emphasis on detail. It is that attention to detail that sets L.A. Noire apart from other games and makes it enjoyable to play."[83]

Edge praised the facial technology, and pointed out that while there are no other major aspects of the game that had not been done better elsewhere, the fact that Team Bondi had brought together such a wide range of game genres in such a stylish, atmospheric, and cohesive manner was an achievement that few developers had managed.[75] Joystiq gave the game a score of 9, and stated that "L.A. Noire may not always be 'fun' in the traditional sense, but it's also unsatisfied with being 'merely fun,' and the result of that aspiration is something that no one who cares about video games should miss."[86]

Official PlayStation Magazine gave it 9 out of 10, and stated that "In many ways, L.A. Noire is similar to an AMC series... It's a slow build, but once hooked, we couldn't get enough of this provocative adventure, with its compelling characters and innovative gameplay. It's not perfect, but it's also unlike anything else on the PS3 right now."[71] Official Xbox Magazine gave it 8 out of 10, and concluded with "Yes, it's flawed, but L.A. Noire is an honest-to-goodness detective crime thriller – a genuine breath of fresh air that values narrative and story above all else in an age where scripted action sequences and online deathmatch rule the day. It's the closest thing Xbox has to PlayStation's unique adventurer Heavy Rain."[72] GamesMaster gave the game 92%, and concluded that L.A. Noire is "Rockstar's most mature take on open-world fun to date, brought to life with incredible tech."[71]

Despite the overall positive reception, some reviewers thought that the game had too many redundancies in the cases and left too little control to the player,[85] leading to the game being boring at times.[94] Although 1UP gave it a perfect score, they also warned that the extended cut-scenes in the game could make some players feel they lost control of the action.[95]

Responding to criticism that accused the character's bodies of being lifeless, despite the game's use of motion capture, Brendan McNamara stated in an interview with Eurogamer, "People were saying people were dead from the neck down. That's because we had all this animation in the neck and all this animation in the face, but the clothes don't move. Once you get to the level that people can actually see that level of realism, then people expect to see clothes moving and the rest of the body moving in a way we can't replicate in video games." In the same interview McNamara also responded to queries about why Phelps sometimes responds with particularly aggressive lines of dialogue during interrogation scenes. "It's funny. A lot of people say Aaron turns into a psycho. When we originally wrote the game the questions you asked were coax, force and lie. It was actually force because it was a more aggressive answer. That's the way we recorded it. But when the game came out it was truth, doubt or lie. Everyone always says Aaron on the second question is a psycho. So that's not his fault."[96]

Technical issues[edit]

Shortly after the release, a minority of players on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 experienced game freezes due to overheating of the consoles.[97] After initially judging that the problem was due to the latest PS3 firmware, Rockstar later acknowledged the problem on their game FAQ.[98] In a subsequent joint statement, Sony and Rockstar declared that the problem was caused by neither the PS3 firmware update nor the game.[99] In a statement on 20 May, Rockstar reiterated that neither the game nor the console manufacturers were at fault. It also stated that the troubleshooting tips on its website had been "erroneously picked up by some news outlets as a 'story', and that those stories were "categorically untrue".[100]

Sales[edit]

On the day of the game's U.S. release, shares in Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games' parent company, closed up 7.75% on the day; a three-year high for the company. The rise was attributed to the positive reviews that L.A. Noire had been receiving.[101] In the last available figures from February 2012, the game had shipped almost 5 million copies.[20]

According to NPD Group, L.A. Noire was the best-selling game in the United States in May 2011,[102] at 899,000 copies across the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.[103]

L.A. Noire went straight to top of the UK games chart and became the fastest selling new intellectual property in the UK[104][105] (a record it held until the 2014 release of Watch Dogs).[106] It stayed top of the UK game chart for three weeks.[107] In Australia, video game stores in major cities reported that the game was going out of stock after a week.[108] L.A. Noire debuted in Japan for the week of 4–10 July and sold a combined 71,057 units on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The PlayStation 3 version topped the chart, with 58,436 units sold, and the Xbox 360 version moved 12,621 units.[109][110]

Possible sequel[edit]

On 22 May 2011, McNamara said that a sequel to L.A. Noire would take less than the five years it took to develop the first as the technology already exists. He also stated that they are considering using the MotionScan technology for full body performances rather than only faces.[111][112] The same week, in an investor conference call, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said that L.A. Noire was "a very successful release" and that they "have every reason to believe that L.A. Noire is another strong franchise for this company". He reiterated that they "do see L.A. Noire as a powerful new franchise".[113]

During an investor call in November 2011, Zelnick re-iterated the importance of the game to Take-Two, stating that the game "has become an important franchise for the company." He announced that the game was Take-Two's "most successful new release" in the past fiscal year and has become a key property in its portfolio.[114] Also in November 2011, it was announced that McNamara's next game would be titled Whore of the Orient, which is described as "one of the great untold stories of the 20th century". It will be published by KMM Studios.[115]

On 13 February 2012, Rockstar Games answered numerous fan questions about their games, including a question regarding the future of the L.A. Noire franchise. Rockstar said that they are "considering what the future may hold for L.A. Noire as a series", adding that they "don't always rush to make sequels". They also announced that no further DLC or additional content would be developed for the current edition.[116] In March 2013, Karl Slatoff, chief operating officer of Take-Two Interactive, revealed that the company has an "extensive pipeline of unannounced titles in development" and mentioned that the L.A. Noire franchise was important to the company.[117]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ The custom engine used for L.A. Noire includes a combination of facial motion capture and animation software.
  2. ^ Accurate figures for sales to the public are rare. Most publishers only release "shipped" or "sold-in" figures, which reflect the amount of stock moved to stores for sale and are not the same as sales to the general public.
Footnotes
  1. ^ a b "L.A. Noire Tech Demo Trailer (Xbox 360)". GameSpot. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Oli Welsh (4 May 2011). "L.A. Noire Review – PlayStation 3 – Page 1". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Matt Helgeson. "Exclusive New L.A. Noire Screens". GameInformer. 
  4. ^ a b "Second Quarter Fiscal 2007 Financial Results" (Press release). Take-Two Interactive. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "L.A. Noire No Longer PS3 Exclusive, Hitting Xbox 360". Shacknews. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
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