Regina Wu

Weekend Gaming – Playing Detective in LA Noire

The weekend is upon yet, once again! This week I have spent quite a few hours playing L.A. Noire, the latest entry by Rockstar Games, and I plan to spend much of the weekend playing through it as well.

In L.A. Noire, you play as a police detective named Cole Phelps as he makes his way through the ranks of the LAPD in the 1940s. The game is a bit of a departure from their past games, which were very focused on an open world that you could explore. L.A. Noire is a bit more guided, with an overarching story linking together standalone cases. You collect clues and evidence and interrogate witnesses and suspects to determine what really happened at the crime scene. The game uses a new technology called “MotionScan” to capture real actors’ facial movements while they deliver their dialogue, resulting in some eerily realistic computer generated characters. There were times that I forgot that I was playing a game and thought that I was watching actual film. The detailed facial animations are not only pretty to look at, but they are integral in playing the game – you need to read the faces of your witnesses and suspects to determine if they are telling the truth, hiding a fact, or lying to you. Dishonesty can be read with shifting eyes, a smirk, looking upwards, or many other traits. The better you are at interrogating people, the quicker you can solve the case.

The game has a load of recognizable actors, with the main character Cole being played by Aaron Staton, of Mad Men fame. In fact, there are several more Mad Men actors in the game, as well as many others whose faces you may also recognize as you play. The stellar performances from the actors really adds to the immersive experience of the game, and it’s quite easy to forget that you’re playing computer generated characters.

What are you playing this weekend?

Regina Wu

About Regina Wu

Regina Wu is a performance engineer in the Performance Benchmarking Group at Intel. She works on gaming performance testing; identifying and testing what gamers love and want for system performance. She is also a part of the world-renowned PMS Clan, where she is the division leader of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band division. She has competed in several high profile tournaments, such as the World Series of Video Games, Championship Gaming Series, World Cyber Games, and online leagues like CAL and CEVO.

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