Rockstar Games announces “L.A. Noire” launch date

Rockstar Games’ next title, “L.A. Noire,” will be released May 17 for PS3 and XBox 360 platforms, the company announced today.

The European release is set for May 20.

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The ambitious-looking game puts players in the role of an LAPD detective assigned to protect and serve the people of the City of Angels – and devils. The game takes place in a postwar setting that should be instantly recognizable to fans of film noir and detective fiction. 

Rockstar mined the conventions and visuals of spaghetti westerns for 2010′s “Red Dead Redemption” and L.A. Noire’s aesthetic similarly resembles such films as “L.A. Confidential” and “Chinatown.”

The gaming media has thus far made much of Rockstar’s efforts to use new technology to capture facial movements to such a degree that players will be expected to determine whether NPC’s are telling the truth or not during the course of an investigation.

This looks to be one of the most anticipated games of the year and gamers around the world will want to see if the new tech works out as new gameplay mechanism or just makes the characters look cool. At the very least, it will be interesting to see how the company behind the Grand Theft Auto series interpret the world of law enforcement.