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

Wednesday, 11 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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