Asked & Answered: L.A. Noire Edition

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen tons of inquiries about our forthcoming crime thriller experience, L.A. Noire.  Today, your interrogation bears fruit in the form of an all new special installment of Asked & Answered.

“What is the official release date for LA Noire?”received via Twitter
“Nice to know the dates of release but what about a date for Australia?”Tommy_Spaghetti

As confirmed officially recently, L.A. Noire will be coming to stores for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on May 17th 2011 in North America and May 20th 2011 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. 

“Hey Rockstar love the new LA Noire trailer! So you’re tracking down a serial killer the whole game?? Can’t wait to find out more!”received via Mouthoff

Thanks! And actually the serial killer crimes are really just one portion of the game story. You are hot on the trail of that killer while working the Homicide crime desk, which is just one of five total crime desks Cole Phelps will work.

“@R* is there multiplayer in L.A. Noire? or just single player?”ghostcheez

There will be no multiplayer component of L.A. Noire – the combination of innovative technology and unique gameplay that allow you to solve crimes through interrogations and investigation is really one that’s geared entirely for a single-player experience.  Trust us that this is a game unlike any you’ve played before – very different not only for us here at Rockstar but for videogames as a medium.  Bolting on generic multiplayer on top of that would not make much sense, or be a good use of our time or development budget!  Hope this clears up any confusion.  We thought this would be spelt out in some of last week’s previews, but as it wasn’t, we felt we should clarify ourselves.

“Hi R*. We heard about interrogations and analyzing a crime scene in L.A. Noire but what about follow a suspect on foot and in car, gathering information from informants, tap a phone call, milk a conversation? ….could be nice to hear more about gameplay.”realrasta

Glad to see you’re getting into the spirit of it all – and yes, many of those things (but not all) and more will be part of the gameplay of L.A. Noire.  From investigating crime scenes with a keen detective’s eye, to tense interrogations where you’ll have to pick up on nuances of what the suspect may (or may not) be telling you, to action-packed pursuit on foot, in car – plus fights and shootouts. We really wanted the game to make you feel like you are actually a detective, working criminal cases and making decisions about how you solve crimes and to build out a variety of gameplay moments and experiences to that effect. Look for a special new gameplay video about this subject called “Investigation and Interrogation” dropping this week .

“So, will I be able to choose from a wide range of questions when interrogating a suspect?”The4ourTy67
“I’m guessing you get to choose from different questions/responses to ask your witness or suspect? Can these interrogations change the course of the game/story if not handled properly? Personally this aspect of the game is the most exciting for me. Nothing beats a good Noire mystery, I really hope that the cases take some serious effort to solve.”IWIHooligan

You will always be given a range of questions when you interrogate a suspect, but the number and content of those questions is determined by how efficient you’ve been at searching related crime scenes for clues. The clues you discover can open up different leads to new locations or suspects, which in turn open up new options for a player to decide how to go about solving a case. Then during interrogations, it’s up to the player to correctly analyze a suspect in order to get the most information from them. Knowing when to believe a suspect, when to doubt them, and when to be certain they are lying (by presenting them with your evidence) will open up new ways for you to solve each case correctly. In every case, there is only one real truth about what happened – it’s up to your skill as a detective to discover it.

“All of those pre-order bonuses sound awesome but is there any way to get all of them? Hate to have to choose just one.”received via Mouthoff

All of the L.A. Noire pre-order content will be made available for purchase as DLC at some point after the game comes out. We have long planned to do this for all digital pre-order items. In case you’re interested, the Red Dead Redemption pre-order items (Deadly Assassin Outfit, Golden Guns Weapon Pack and War Horse) will finally be available for download via Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network this April. Apologies that has taken so long, but we ran into some technical issues. Stay tuned for more details.

“R*, will we be able to see the Hollywood sign in L.A. Noire???”rk8000

Yes, however since the game takes place prior to the year 1949, we have the historically accurate original version “HOLLYWOODLAND” sign in there.  You can read the full history of that iconic landmark at the Hollywood Sign wiki page here, but in short – the sign was originally erected in 1923 to promote the Hollywoodland housing development in the hills. It wasn’t until 1949 that the city of Los Angeles decreed that the sign be changed to be broadly about the district of Hollywood.

“So are we playing as a police detective or a private investigator in L.A. Noire?”ghostx1984

You will play as LAPD detective Cole Phelps – and as the game progresses and you solve more cases, you will rise up through the ranks of the LAPD from a beat cop to other positions.  Much more will be revealed about that in due time.

“Is this going to be a sandbox game? If yes, is it going to be GTA style or more like Mafia where it’s really more of a set story game in sandbox world…”MarenkaS

L.A. Noire is a detective game – and it is unlike any game we have made or anyone else has made that we are aware of. You solve a series of crimes, some of which are linked and some of which are not, in 1947 Los Angeles. As a company, we try to design games around the content and setting, rather than form the setting to the game design. So the answer to your question is not a simple yes or no, but it’s definitely not ‘GTA with fedoras’ and is something very original we’re excited for everyone to experience this May.

“Is the music in the L.A. Noire trailer original to the game?”received via Twitter

The music in both trailers are pieces of original composition from the soundtrack – we will have full details on all of the music soon.

“I really like that L.A. Noire artwork [of Cole Phelps]. Are you going to release more artwork soon?”The4ourTy6

Thanks! And most definitely. Look for lots more original L.A. Noire artwork of characters from the game as well as of some of the grisly crime scenes in the game to be revealed and released in the weeks and months ahead.

“[L.A. Noire] looks really great!!!! So the real murders and crimes of the 40’s like the Black Dahlia murder are gonna be in this game or something??? I read something on Game Informer that says “suffice it to say that this game might feature some of Rockstar’s grittiest content ever.” Well this sound’s more and more awesome!!!!!!!!”Mortal91ify

Thank you. Yes, all of the cases in the game that you’ll solve as Detective Cole Phelps are inspired by real life crimes that happened during the 1940’s. Names and places may have been changed though, along with a good degree of creative embellishment to add extra drama and twists and turns.

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