Many cinematic genres have migrated to games console experiences over the years, but the classic film noir is not one that springs to mind. Team Bondi, a new company whose founder (Brendan McNamara) was behind ‘The Getaway’, have been looking to fill that gap in the market with PS3 exclusive ‘L.A. Noire‘.
The early trailers throw us back to the post-war, 1940’s Los Angeles, a gritty city riddled with gangsters since the days of alcohol prohibition, 10 years back. Despite being in full colour, there’s a certain black and white feel from the subdued tones and strong shadows, accompanied with a periodically suitable jazz track to really nail down the feel of the classic film noir. The trailer features the seeming main protagonists, two gumshoe detectives, chasing down a criminal to his death.
The formula for this hard boiled detective game is apparently largely driven by the complex story, presenting the officially stated “open ended challenge” of unravelling the mysteries behind a series of murders. In a fully accurate re-creation of 1940s L.A., this game promises a completely interactive tribute to film noir.
Few concrete details are as of yet known, but Rockstar Games of ‘Grand Theft Auto’ fame are working together with Team Bondi which sets expectations high. The action of the trailer combined with past expectations of Rockstar could promise as much in the way of action and chases as there is mystery and intrigue: funnily enough the chase scenes from GTA would be reversed as this time you’re the one trying to catch the murderer.
This being said, the actual formula of gameplay is uncertain, but has the potential to revolutionise a genre dominated by the out dated point and click adventure. With all the stir simple text based, innovative lawyer sim ’Phoenix Wright’ has caused in the press this year, imagine how a more mature, dark detective story with similar appeal, the added bonus of a gorgeous setting and potentially an all new style of gameplay to unravel the puzzles could do for itself.
The collaborative efforts of these two most promising companies has no release date as of yet, which combined with the lack of solid info implies the project is fairly early on in development. Potentially an all new sub-genre, this game looks like something to look forward to.