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L.A. Noire – The truth behind the fiction

Submitted by on Sunday, 13 March 2011One Comment

By now you know that Rockstar’s forthcoming L.A. Noire is different than any of the studio’s previous games. Not completely divergent but unquestionably distinct.

The narrative is a tightly woven journey through 1940’s Los Angeles as seen through the eyes of fast-rising officer Cole Phelps. Given the period and serious nature of their game Rockstar sought to breathe an air of realism into the experience. What better way to insure authenticity than finding inspiration from L.A.’s vivid crime history.

This past weekend at PAX East in Boston, Mass. Rockstar displayed one of the cases that Mr. Cole Phelps will encounter while at the Homicide desk.

‘The Red Lipstick Murder’ is an incident that, like other cases featured in the game, has been based on past real-world events. This particular case is based on the 1947 homicide investigation surrounding the murder of Jeanne French, a veteran army nurse. French was discovered one morning stripped and stomped to death in a lover’s land type area in Los Angeles.

Of particular concern in this case was the fact that investigators discovered the letters ‘B.D.’ written in lipstick on Mrs. French’s body, thought to be in reference to the infamous ‘Black Dahlia’ murder. What followed was a media frenzy regarding the possible meaning behind the message.

Although the LAPD went to great lengths to solve the case of Mrs. French’s untimely murder the case was never solved.

In L.A. Noire, virtually all of the cases you’ll play are inspired in some part by real life incidents that happened in and around Los Angeles circa that crime-plagued era of 1947. Team Bondi meticulously researched stacks of original articles reported in the newspapers of the day to cull authentic elements of real life crimes that would inspire the in-game cases.

Obviously immersion is the aim here. The never before seen motion capture techniques of Team Bondi combined with the utilization of established actors and a story that is representative of 1940’s Los Angeles have a chance to provide gamers with a uniquely engrossing game the likes of which has never been seen.

Give us your thoughts on Rockstar’s historical approach to the story. Does the fact that L.A. Noire will feature historically driven cases make a difference to you?