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McNamara: Rockstar were “brave enough to take the risk” with L.A. Noire

Wednesday, 27th July 2011 19:09 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Team Bondi head Brendan McNamara has said that when it came to publishing L.A. Noire, no other studio was willing to take a risk on the game other than Take Two’s Rockstar.

Speaking in an interview with CVG, McNamara said the risk paid off well for both firm’s and he seems to have nothing but the highest amount of respect for Rockstar.

“Rockstar, they’ve been brave enough to take this huge risk and do a completely different type of game – and so the thing so far is just to see whether people will appreciate it and buy into it and like it, because hand on heart, everyone will talk to you in the rest of the games business and say ‘wow, what a huge risk Rockstar took with that one,’ but now it’s paying off,” he said.

“No other publishing company in the world would take the risk. You saw E3. I didn’t, but when you see all the videos that were out there, there are some amazing games but there’s a lot of ‘me too’ and a lot of more of the same, and Rockstar continually push the envelope.

“I think it’s one of the reasons why people have faith in them because they don’t just rehash things every year, and they spend enough time – GTA is the classic example – you could say that somebody could keep a game like that going for 10-years or longer and just do five versions. Everyone else would try and crank one every year. They’re happy to do film noir, they’re happy to Western – all of those kind of things.

“LA Noire was a text adventure for many years as we were trying to debug the script and all the game logic. The script has a lot of logic in it like, ‘did I meet this person? Did I pick up this thing? Did I ask this question out of order?’ There’s a lot of testing of that and to have that faith through that process and say this text adventure is eventually going to turn into what it turned into – no other company would do that.

“That’s the thing, with something as long as this, nobody wants to lose their shirt over it. Rockstar are brave enough to take the risk but nobody wants to lose a shirt over it because then you don’t work again.”

L.A. Noire “The Consul’s Car” Traffic Case was released on PSN today through the European update, and the game lands on PC this fall.

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27 Comments

  1. triggerhappy

    Me and my friend were just discussing this the other day, hes a COD only sort of guy who HATES 3rd person, but he says he does see the appeal here even though he would never buy it. Considering the current climate and all the COD clones these days I would definitely agree that it was risky but I think theres still a lot of gamers out there who are all about the single player stuff. For me single player is where 99% of the appeal lies, I buy for plot, narrative and atmosphere. L.A Noire definitely has spade fulls of that.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    I bet most people just didn’t want to work with Mcnamara. Rockstar indeed took a risk, not with this type of game (really just is a strict version of GTA IV with some Adventure elements thrown into it) but with this studio.

    Only a fool would work with Team Bondai after hearing about the whole fiasco that went down.

    I’m still waiting for a great new Noir Game. LA Noire wasn’t it.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    @2 Just reinstall Grim Fandango. You’re welcome :P

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Gekidami

    Sorry McNamara, but LA Noire still has very GTA-like driving & shooting, along with rather standard third person gameplay. It in no way qualifies as the ‘massive risk no other publisher would have taken’ you’re making it out to be.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. YoungZer0

    @3: I said NEW Noir Game. :P

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Maximum Payne

    @5 Arkham City ? :)

    #6 3 years ago
  7. osric90

    I see no one here truly played L.A. Noire. How do you know that? Simple. L.A. Noire being compared to GTA games when NOTHING besides the driving and some shooting is similar.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Gekidami

    ^ So… Exactly what i said, then?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. triggerhappy

    @ osric90: YEH BABY i don’t think its like GTA AT ALL. Thats like saying Mafia II is like GTA.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    I wish it would’ve been more like GTA IV or Mafia II. The driving was completely redundant. The city looked terrible and the cars didn’t seem to have a shred of the physics of those games.

    It’s great that you can skip it at all, but why is it in the game? And why can’t we skip the terrible women?

    #10 3 years ago
  11. triggerhappy

    I thought the driving was OK. City looked good on PS3…

    #11 3 years ago
  12. LOLshock94

    only people who took a risk were the people who worked with this cunt

    #12 3 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    @7: So what was there besides driving and shooting? Oh yeah, looking for stuff and talking to people.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. triggerhappy

    ^ pressing Square to doubt people, examining glass bottles :P

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight

    @13

    It obviously was not meant for someone like you.

    “I’m still waiting for a great new Noir Game.”
    “So what was there besides driving and shooting? Oh yeah, looking for stuff and talking to people.”
    Sorry what? You complain about the driving, the talking and looking for stuff yet thats what all those movies are about. You fail sir.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DSB

    @11 To me it felt like driving through big dead blocks with buildings painted on ‘em. It might be because I played it on the 360 and the lighting effects were poorer – I have no idea about all of that.

    Compared to GTA IV and Mafia II, I felt like I was driving a bob sleigh. Maybe those physics really spoiled me, you get used to feeling the shocks on every wheel.

    Mafia II had similar cars, but they had a lot more feeling to them. I saw no reason to drive in LA Noire, beyond the random events.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. triggerhappy

    ^ The driving wasn’t quite on par with the 2 other mentioned games thats for sure, but it wasn’t as bad as some people made out. PS3 version had SSAO where as the 360 version either didnt’t or it wasn’t as apparent, im not 100% sure exactly what SSAO is, a shading technique i think. So yeh the backgrounds are slightly more detailed on PS3, this was actually the thing that convinced me to get in on PS3.

    interesting stuff:

    http://www.lensoftruth.com/head2head-l-a-noire-screenshot-comparison/

    http://www.lensoftruth.com/head2head-l-a-noire-analysis/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_Space_Ambient_Occlusion

    “I felt like I was driving a bob sleigh” LOL laughed my head off at that thanks :D

    #17 3 years ago
  18. DSB

    Hmmmm, it doesn’t look that different to me. PS3 is smoother, but lighting and colour wise it looks mostly the same.

    I can’t quite put my finger on it. I haven’t exactly studied the architechture in great detail, it was just how it felt. Looking at the buildings in GTA IV they’re also big blocks with buildings painted onto them, but somehow that just feels a lot more alive to me.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. YoungZer0

    @15: You’re missing the point, you lot! Mccunty is sayin’ that his game is totally not like GTA, but it is.

    When i played LA Noire, i was expecting my investigation to be satisfying, i expected a great way to interrogate people, a noir story, a dark tone, interesting personalities, likeable characters with rough edges.

    What i got was a game that expected me to arrest innocent people (while always reminding me that there is a series killer still on the run), boring investigation for people who hate adventures, bad driving, a bland city with nothing in it to do, absolutely unlikable characters and a story that slaps you in the face.

    I couldn’t even disarm people for F sake!

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Phoenixblight

    “I couldn’t even disarm people for F sake!”

    What type of disarming you talking here? SHoot the gun out of their hand type or hand to hand type?

    The game was not about the shooting obviously though it had pretty awesome shoot game play lot better than all of Rockstars’ games.

    “totally not like GTA, but it is.”

    No its not just because it has driving in it doesn’t make it GTA not even close. Thats the issue with people comparing games because they have one thing in them. “Oh it is a semi open world with driving in it and is made by Rockstar it must be GTA.”

    “What i got was a game that expected me to arrest innocent people ”

    It reminded you after you get evaluated or you seriously messed up on a case not looking at evidence. No game is yet to a point to do complete free choice while giving you the depth that LA Noire offered.

    “a bland city with nothing in it to do” You were so the person that was thinking it would be GTA when Team Bondi and Rockstar has said multiple times that it wasn’t going to be like GTA that it was all about the story. There were 20 min videos of the actual game and you could have easily seen how it was going to play.

    “boring investigation for people who hate adventures” Again NOir films were never about action they were slow paced and about the story unwrapping itself slowly. I think you have Film Noir mixed up with something else. Film Noire have never been action orientated so be thankful that LA Noire didn’t do that type of game entirely.

    http://www.videojug.com/film/film-noir-explained

    #20 3 years ago
  21. DSB

    I actually wasted quite a bit of time trying to shoot hostage takers in the leg, until I finally found out that it made no difference from shooting them in the head. I didn’t realize I was a cowboy, more than a cop.

    In the beginning of the game it gave off a pretty neat Police Quest/SWAT 3 law enforcement type vibe, but that was obviously only skin deep.

    Generally games that contain “open worlds” are expected to make those open worlds worthwhile. That’s not exactly the case with LA Noire. It seems to only have that world so they can put it on the box.

    In the best of times, it actually played on par with Police Quest, but it’s hardly a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    “What type of disarming you talking here? SHoot the gun out of their hand type or hand to hand type?”

    Shooting the hand type. You know as a policeman, you might consider NOT killing suspects.

    “The game was not about the shooting obviously though it had pretty awesome shoot game play lot better than all of Rockstars’ games.”

    Smells like Fanboy fart, but go on.

    “No its not just because it has driving in it doesn’t make it GTA not even close. Thats the issue with people comparing games because they have one thing in them. “Oh it is a semi open world with driving in it and is made by Rockstar it must be GTA.””

    But it is. You’ve got the same elements, driving, shooting, hugging a wall, similar control-sheme. It’s like a bad addon.

    “It reminded you after you get evaluated or you seriously messed up on a case not looking at evidence. No game is yet to a point to do complete free choice while giving you the depth that LA Noire offered.”

    Bullshit! Everytime you started a new case, you’d get a cutscene, where you could see the silhoette of the killer, hinting what he might look like. You knew there was a serial killer running around, but the game made you arrest innocent people. This was frustrating to say the least.

    And depth? What DEPTH?! Are you fucking kidding me!? DID YOU EVEN PLAY THE GAME?!

    “You were so the person that was thinking it would be GTA when Team Bondi and Rockstar has said multiple times that it wasn’t going to be like GTA that it was all about the story. There were 20 min videos of the actual game and you could have easily seen how it was going to play.”

    But hanging out in the bar after a case, was that too much too ask? Why even make it open world if it’s so shallow? Mafia II had the same problem.

    “Again NOir films were never about action they were slow paced and about the story unwrapping itself slowly. I think you have Film Noir mixed up with something else. Film Noire have never been action orientated so be thankful that LA Noire didn’t do that type of game entirely.”

    Learn to read, dude. Ever played an adventure game? You know, the point and click type? That’s an adventure game. That’s not what LA Noire was, at all. It wasn’t even adventure game light, it was Adventure Game stupid.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Phoenixblight

    THe controls were better for combat, GTA 4 was clunky and loose where LA Noire had tight controls. I did have an issue with not being able to wound the suspects and capture them, not every game is perfect glad it made the sales it did. Rock star probably would have picked Team Bondi up if McNamara didn’t do that interview that was moronic on his part. Should have just did it like Rockstar and ignore the claims. 40% of RDR and that was within a few months so obviously the game did something right.

    ” Ever played an adventure game? You know, the point and click type? That’s an adventure game. That’s not what LA Noire was, at all. It wasn’t even adventure game light, it was Adventure Game stupid.”

    When I read Adventure I thought Zelda. Point and CLick adventure games is what you mean and those are dull and boring and if this game was like that it would have never done the numbers it did.

    “Everytime you started a new case, you’d get a cutscene, where you could see the silhoette of the killer, hinting what he might look like. You knew there was a serial killer running around, but the game made you arrest innocent people. This was frustrating to say the least.”

    They gave you silhouette which hinted at who the suspect may be but you never actually knew it was just like in a Detective Film Noir. But yes I think it would have been better to do that at the start of a department removing the cutscenes through the rest of the department and just making the cases similar so you had that doubt lingering instead of it being so blatantly obvious that the killer was still out there.

    “And depth? What DEPTH?! Are you fucking kidding me!? DID YOU EVEN PLAY THE GAME?!”

    Where the game was focused on the most the investigations and the interrogations? No game has done that. There were a few times where I had realized I was reacting on my gut versus what evidence I actually had. That game did that successfully. Every game will never be perfect. But I knew what I was getting into I enjoyed the game very much.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. freedoms_stain

    You don’t get much worse than GTA4 for combat tbh.

    My friend wings me that “oh but it’s an older game” line, but you play GTA4 today after having played RDR and you realise how truly awful gunplay was in GTA4.

    They did well on the cars though. I suck at racing games, but I can get around fairly well in GTA and only knock over half the lamp posts between destinations.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. YoungZer0

    “Rock star probably would have picked Team Bondi up if McNamara didn’t do that interview that was moronic on his part. Should have just did it like Rockstar and ignore the claims. 40% of RDR and that was within a few months so obviously the game did something right.”

    Advertisement (by Rockstar) and people believing its made by Rockstar.

    “Point and Click adventure games is what you mean and those are dull and boring and if this game was like that it would have never done the numbers it did.”

    Not point and click, but making investigating actually fun and challenging. More inner and thoughtful monologues would also have been nice. A missed opportunity in adding depth to the character of Cole.

    “But yes I think it would have been better to do that at the start of a department removing the cutscenes through the rest of the department and just making the cases similar so you had that doubt lingering instead of it being so blatantly obvious that the killer was still out there.”

    That completely ruined the game for me to be honest.

    “Where the game was focused on the most the investigations and the interrogations?”

    Adventure Games? Like Still Life 1/2? Or as previously mentioned “Police Quest”? Done and done better. In LA Noire, if you’d think someone was lying would fucking yell at their face, accusing people of being Hitler in disguise.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Kuwabara

    SPOILER ALERT

    They fucked up the game by making phelps cheating on his wife.. seriously what the fuck, i was starting to like him and then shit like that happens. There was only a few good moments in the game.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. tenthousandgothsonacid

    @26 a few people have been complaining Phelps acted out of character. Did you all skip the driving bits ? In his general banter you can see it coming a mile off. Anyway top game.

    #27 3 years ago

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