L.A. Noire – This is vice
The latest reason to get excited comes by way of the game’s third official trailer centered around Cole Phelps’s tour at the vice desk.
Any and all criminal activity involving actions that offend the moral standards of a given community are considered to be vice crimes. The most notorious of such crimes being are related to gambling, pornography or prostitution. As the LAPD’s golden boy you are tasked with polishing the city’s grimy underbelly.
Mr. Phelps quickly learns that line between criminal and cop is not as vivid as he had been led to believe. Underneath the shiny badge and dark blue uniform lie twisted morals and guilty consciences. Those charged with keeping the city on the up and up represent little more than power, greed and opportunity.
The game looks great especially if you find yourself a fan of a Dashiell Hammett novel or perhaps even the late, great HBO series The Wire.
L.A. Noire has not been short on press or praise in the past few months leading up to the release. Going so far as to be invited to a major American film festival. Many a hope is pinned on the Rockstar Games and Team Bondi collaboration as the game represents a potential evolution for the medium.
Yes, video games have tapped into the mainstream conversation but much of that conversation is focused on experiences related to games like Call Of Duty. Not to take anything away from the supremely popular FPS franchise as it is innovative in its own right and deserves its success.
What L.A. Noire stands to accomplish is getting people outside of the industry’s reach interested in the medium as a unique and formidable way of storytelling. To most of us the video games require no such validation amongst the populous. Increased mainstream attention may even be met by cynicism, much the way that one’s favorite band can fall out of favor once they reach the limelight.
The fact is that if a game like L.A. Noire can garner mainstream attention it can act as a magnet which draws talent from places outside of the industry’s prior horizon. Quite simply greater talent behind a game more likely than not equates to a better game.
It may be unfair or perhaps even unreasonable to place such prospects onto a single game but the high production value of the experience place it in a discernible position.
Like it or not L.A. Noire may change the way the public views video games. Well at least until they see Duke Nukem Forever.
Give us your thoughts on the matter. Is the potential to significantly affect the public impression of the video game industry possible with a single game? Is this burden misplaced on the shoulders of L.A. Noire?