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Analysis: L.A. Noire in-game trailer
by Chris Hawke

L.A. Noire, the long-delayed mystery thriller from Team Bondi, had its first in-game footage shown to the world on Thursday. Thanks to some superb lighting and the best facial animations ever seen in a video game, 2011 has suddenly become a lot more interesting. It's such exciting news that I trawled through the trailer to find all the hidden goodness for you, the eagle-eyed public.

"The case that makes you, and the case that breaks you."

Immediately, we're introduced to a beautiful shot of night-time L.A. Despite the city being 'a perfectly re-created Los Angeles', neither InstAheat nor Guanaco are real brands. The shop in the background looks very highly detailed, though, hinting that some buildings might be able to be entered at will.

This is very early on in the game, possibly the first mission. Our man, Cole Phelps, is still in police uniform (you progress through the ranks of the police as the game goes on), ready to take part in an interrogation mini-game. The terrifying Irish man is your boss. Thanks to ground-breaking facial technology, interrogations are simply watching for facial ticks and trying to spot lies, exactly like in real life.

The beauty doesn't stop with the faces, though; reflections are stunning thanks to Global Illumination technology. This classic 1940s rim casts a pretty accurate picture of the world around you.

Now we get to the 'Noire' bit. Expect plenty of blood and gore as you investigate crimes, searching for clues to lead you to the killer. See the scars around the wedding ring? We'll bet that this unfortunate soul had an affair.

Joy of joys! Thank goodness it's not all mystery and intrigue, as Cole has to fight the dreaded blur effects and lens smudge while taking police photographs of the deceased. It'll be interesting to see how much of a part this will play: will poor photographs make it harder to spot clues later on?

Unique number plates are in, as are hit-and-runs. Hey, it wouldn't be a Rockstar-developed game without them.

Here's where you get to the real action: a high speed chase down the streets of the City of Angels. In the frame before, the car at the front had blood on the bumper. Could you be intercepting crimes as they're happening? Notice the wonderful damage physics, too.

Interesting fact; Midnight Manhunt is an actual film. To wind down after a long day in the office, could it be possible for the player to sit down and watch a movie, à la Red Dead Redemption? This is also the first time we've seen any shots fired; pistols and revolvers are in, and a shotgun is seen earlier in the trailer.

Leave any other observations in the comments below, and be sure to follow our Twitter for more!

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- Chris Hawke

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