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(VIDEO) One Journalist Meets His Creepy-Real 'L.A. Noire' Video Game Counterpart

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Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:27 PM

click to enlarge Ah, to play (and star in) video games for money - GAME INFORMER
  • Game Informer
  • Ah, to play (and star in) video games for money
Hey -- we wanna do that! Video-game blogger Dan Ryckert, over at Game Informer, is making us feel like we definitely picked the wrong beat of this career with some detailed escapades into the realm of virtual reality.

Ryckert scored the part of retro L.A. journalist on the insanely hyped "L.A. Noire" game, set for release in September, and got to sit in a "Space Odyssey"-esque control room for a complete cyber recreation of himself, courtesy of Rockstar Games.

Game reviewers who were sent a demo one year early -- again, wow, wrong job -- are saying "L.A. Noire" might be the most realistic gaming experience of all time. And from Ryckert's account, we're apt to believe it:

This new capture process requires no facial markers whatsoever, so I was simply outfitted with an orange shirt and a clip-on microphone. A green ball was affixed near my neckline, which served as an anchor point for attaching my head to my in-game body. They buckled me into the chair and pointed out the X mark that I'd need to keep my eyes trained on. ... I made neutral, "thinking," and angry facial expressions that I had to hold for a few seconds so they could capture my blinking. Once that was done, it was time to try out my entirely untested acting chops. A computer monitor in front of me acted as a teleprompter of sorts, but it was mostly for memorization as I had to keep my eyes on the X whenever I delivered my lines.

Here are some of the lines his character will say:

  • "Hey, there's that dirty cop they've been talking about on the radio"
  • "What'd I miss?"
  • "You better be insured!"
  • "Check it out, this guy thinks he's The Shadow!"
  • "Twelve city blocks go up in smoke and it just takes one cop to bring it down? You ask me, Detective Cole Phelps just got lucky."

For a better idea of how the motion-capture gadget stole the game enthusiast's soul and re-established it in 1947 Hollywood, here's a smooth techie preview of the process. It gives us the same consumer-whore butterflies as a Steve Jobs PowerPoint:

From what we've read, the game will reconstruct Los Angeles in the 1940s -- what the game creators believe to have been a glamorously gritty network of cops and gangsters and criminal schemes. It's linear, story-driven, and not to be played like that other L.A. video game, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

Co-creator Jeronimo Barrera explained to the UK Telegraph:

"It's a bit more of an mature experience. When we show LA Noire to people - who are all familiar with GTA - they play it a different way. They keep the same car, they stick to the speed limit. The avoid fender-benders and they stick to the assignments they're tasked with. They behave, more like they would in a real world setting."

Apart from Ryckert, the "L.A. Noire" cast will include lawyers, conmen and bartenders. Head LAPD detective will be played by Aaron Staton, or Ken Cosgrove from "Mad Men" -- rad. For a full list of characters and a quickly expanding "locations" section, visit the L.A. Noire Wiki. In the meantime, get a load of the Los Angeles Times building, back when journalism wasn't dead or whatever:

click to enlarge ROCKSTAR GAMES
  • Rockstar Games

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