LA Noire, Rockstar's film noir-inspired detective mystery, has the sort of trailer that poses far more questions than it answers. For a start, we're told that it's a game in which you solve "a series of gruesome murders", but the movie we've seen suggests that you're responsible for at least one of them - albeit the murder of someone who appears to be a murderer himself.
The trailer opens on two LAPD detectives in their car, talking about their plans to crack a recent murder case (and bitching about the homicide department) when they almost run over a man they recognise at a crossing - the murderer? A handy coincidence, if so. Anyway, one of the detectives gives chase on foot, pelting after him through the dark, claustrophobic streets and alleyways (and a rather nice looking restaurant) and up a fire escape before - as in all good cop flicks - there's a rooftop showdown. The bad guy tries to brain the detective with a metal bar, fails, and then the two get involved in a brawl - culminating in the lawman shoving the crim off the building to his death. The first cop arrives on the scene, bellowing "nothing to see here!" and stares up at the rooftop, from where his partner stares back down at him.
And that's the trailer but, as we said, it leaves questions. Was that the actual murderer thrown off the roof? Can the detectives get away with offing suspects? LA Noire is the work of Brendan McNamara, one of the brains behind The Getaway, so have lessons been learned from that game? But, most importantly, how does the LA Noire actually play? If we're going to be detectives, we'd hope for - and this is something we've not really seen from Rockstar before - some thoughtful puzzles, mystery-solving and clue-cracking. Oh, and some brutal violence and perhaps an interrogation minigame where you get to slap suspects around. Ideally with baseball bats. The trailer drips with atmosphere and if the game makes good use of its excellent setting, this ought to be worth keeping a (private) eye on.
LA Noire certainly looks the part so far, and the idea's great. Let's just hope the game lives up to its premise. More news soon.