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Rockstar: Future will be boring if games are only about “shooting things, dying and starting over”

Wednesday, 11th May 2011 21:54 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

L.A. Noire director and Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara and Rockstar VP of development Jeronimo Barrera have stated in an interview that the L.A. Noire is a step towards creating a games which revolve around human drama, which may eventually pave the way for the developer to create a weapon-free game in the future.

Speaking with the Guardian, Barrera admitted that such a concept is plausible, whether or not drama-based games go over well with the public or not though, remains to be seen.

“It is still unproven,” he said. “We’ve yet to see if people are going to attach themselves to it. At Rockstar, we’re always trying to push the medium. If games are only going to be about shooting things, dying and starting over, that’s a pretty boring future for us. So here’s an opportunity where we thought, how can we make having a conversation be the focus of the gameplay?

“It’s been sort of the holy grail for a long time and the technology wasn’t there to approach it in this manner. Obviously, there have been a million talking heads in video games – games like Mass Effect do an amazing job, the guys at BioWare really know how to work conversation systems. But we wanted to take it a step futher and actually have that human element that can be missing from those games; the ability to see a performance rather than a puppet on screen.”

“There’s no reason why you can’t have the same sorts of relationships – whether they’re about fear, hate or love – with a game character that you can with a film character,” added McNamara. “That’s one of the freedoms that technology gives you.”

“Even though the structure of the game is revolutionary for this industry, it’s based on the tried and true formula of cop shows that have been around for years on television,” said Barrera. “There’s an element people will be familiar with, whether you’re a hardcore gamer or not: you show up at a crime scene, you find evidence and then you go talk to suspects

“When you’re making games this big and so frigging complicated you have to have a good director and good writers, you have to have designers who are willing to take chances on creating new gameplay mechanics. Something has to change, that’s the only way of raising the bar. We’re taking lessons from Red Dead, which took lessons from GTA, we’re obviously evolving how these games are made.”

Barrera goes on to say that Rockstar is already flirting with the idea if a game without weapons with L.A. Noire, as there are cases present in the game where the character never even draws a gun or chase down a bad guy.

“It’s something that’s going to happen sooner than later,” he added. “I have children and when we get together as a family we play games, we don’t watch TV. We’re a generation that’s always been around interactivity, and in the future something like LA Noire could be broadcast directly onto your cable set-top box. It’s the future.

“And we’re taking the same risks with LA Noire as we did when we published GTA 3. At that time, I remember trying to explain to people that there aren’t really any levels, you can go where you want, you activate missions when you want. It was going over people’s heads. They thought it was absurd. Well, this game is a bit more cerebral, you have to talk to people, you have to figure out if they’re telling you the truth, but it’s taking that same sort of step that GTA took.

“We’re going from having a cinematic experience that you can control to a human experience that you can control.”

The latest trailer for L.A. Noire was released today, and the game releases next week.

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15 Comments

  1. Joe Anderson

    A bit like Heavy Rain was then.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. onlineatron

    @1
    As in Heavy Rain was about “shooting things, dying and starting over” or that it was “a human experience that you can control.”?

    I’m far from defending Heavy Rain story wise, control wise, etc… But if you’re referring the the latter, you’re wrong.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Xuchilbara

    I agree with this 100%! I am soooo tired of shooting shit in games, I have games I havent even started yet, JUST because I am so tired of shooting things… I will go back eventually and play them. But as of right now, they do not sound fun in the slightest bit.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. KAP

    Which is why COD will be the death of our hobby as we know it.

    Rock*, keep doing what your doing. I’d choose an emersive single player game, then a dull multiplayer game anyday of the fuckin’ week.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. DaMan

    thanks, but no thanks. For those of us who can read it won’t be like that.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    Didn’t GTA revolutionize “shooting things, dying and starting over”?

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    “Didn’t GTA revolutionize “shooting things, dying and starting over”?”

    No not at all, those games were already out doing that. If GTA revolutionized anything is a sand box game where you you can pick your mission while offering an overall story.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. ValveLover

    “which may eventually pave the way for the developer to create a weapon-free game in the future.”

    “So here’s an opportunity where we thought, how can we make having a conversation be the focus of the gameplay?”

    @Rockstar; Have you played Portal or Portal 2? :)

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    @8

    THats exception not the rule. He is talking about it being the norm not just a back burner thing like it is treated nowadays.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. AHA-Lambda

    I doa gree and i must admit recently i find myself wanting to branch out into other genres i have tended to ignore before such as fighting or racing games. I do feel at times that i am becoming tired of just playing variations of the FPS/TPS genres but with varying levels of quality

    #10 4 years ago
  11. G1GAHURTZ

    Sorry, but ‘shoot-die-start over’ is the essence of gaming.

    It’s been that way since Space Invaders, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to change any time soon.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    @2
    So far, with having seen less than a few minutes of gameplay, Heavy Rain is the closest comparison. With possible GTA/Mafia style driving/walking. Gotta say, it’s the Heavy Rain comparison that now has me interested.

    @11
    True. But games like Flower, Heavy Rain, Portal, etc sure are a nice change of pace once in a while.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. G1GAHURTZ

    Agreed.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. silkvg247

    It’s nice to see them thinking of a new kind of gaming, but I would question this: Surely the point of games is to take you somewhere you would not otherwise be able to go. If a game is *only* about human interaction and conversation, I can just as soon do that in real life..

    Besides which, not all games are about shooting! And the ones that are, are still mucho fun if done right. Just Cause 2 springs to mind, so does SR2. GTAIV? Meh, too gritty and realistic for me.. yay @ cops coming for me whenever I do something wrong/bad. Just like they would in real life.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. TheWulf

    Heh. This is funny coming from Rockstar, it is. If it had come from a really innovative developer then I’d be cheering them on, but Rockstar are very guilty of these sins and I can’t expect to see them change.

    The staples of an average Rockstar game are:

    - Dull as dishwater setting.
    - Incredibly predictable storyline.
    - Incredibly predictable missions.
    - Does not require a marginally decent IQ.
    - Characters act like inbred idiots.
    - Never challenges the player to think.
    - Never tasks the player with questioning anything.
    - Imagination is not required.
    - There’s lots of shooting.
    - There’s lots of shooting.
    - There’s lots of shouting and cussing.
    - The above happens even when it doesn’t make sense.
    - Not much art direction, except in making things realistic.

    Really, the saving graces of Rockstar games are purely in the sandboxes and game mechanics, both of which they always get right. Very right. Their sandboxes are detailed and they have a lot in them to discover, and the mechanics hold up enough to be fun to play.

    Though I think we can all be honest and say that Rockstar doesn’t make games that have you stop and think about anything, that’s just not what they develop, and if they did then they’d alienate their primary demographic.

    It’s not like they’re about to make a game with a setting as bizarre as Oddworld’s/Uru’s and fill it fun puzzles, unique styles of play, and ethical dilemmas/things that challenge the player’s worldview, is it? Well, if they did, I’d be very happy about it! But I can’t see that ever happening, so I don’t know why they’re blowing hot air about this.

    #15 4 years ago

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