You could learn about L.A.'s sordid, criminal history by reading the anthology Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics or John Buntin's awesome telling of the battle between gangster Mickey Cohen and late LAPD Chief William Parker, L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City.
You could watch Chinatown. Or worse, L.A. Confidential. Or worst of all, The Black Dahlia. But hey, this is the instant-message generation. Why go through that cultural torture when you can play L.A. Noire, the game?
This is the kind of shoot-'em-up we like — one without context or history.
The images, including the circa-1935 art moderne Los Angeles Times building downtown, are pretty cool. And the bad guys seem to dress almost as nice as the kingpins in Boardwalk Empire.
Here's the game's first trailer. It's due in 2011.