L.A. Noire


Digital FoundryLA Noire's Switch port tested: could the system handle GTA5?

Rockstar's debut Switch offering reveals the challenges facing a potential port.

FeatureL.A. Forensic: Brendan McNamara on L.A. Noire

Interrogations, open worlds and that ending.

FeatureBrendan McNamara: "I'd rather people just ring me up and tell me to f*** off"

The controversial L.A. Noire developer faces the music in this frank new interview.

VideoLA Noire unearths PC launch trailer

Complete Edition available this week.

Key events

23rd May 2011

Face-Off: L.A. Noire

16th May 2011

L.A. Noire

FeatureRockstar's history of America

What do Rockstar games tell us about American history?

There is a familiar pattern to media coverage whenever Rockstar publishes a game. There is talk about how the developer has used its newest game to iterate upon and redefine the open world genre. There are almost always articles on how various Hollywood films influenced Rockstar's development process. And there are at least one or two polemics that attack the developer for transgressing established norms about what can and cannot be done in video games. This last type of essay inevitably concludes that video games are bad, and lead to an increase in interpersonal violence as well as the downfall of civilisation.

LA Noire's Switch port tested: could the system handle GTA5?

Digital FoundryLA Noire's Switch port tested: could the system handle GTA5?

Rockstar's debut Switch offering reveals the challenges facing a potential port.

The LA Noire remaster is available on PS4, Xbox One and their 4K mid-gen refresh equivalents, but the real story here is the Switch port and the fact that it's the first time we've seen an open word game of this type running on Nintendo's hybrid system. It's also Rockstar's debut title for the console, and we can only wonder what else the publisher has cooking for the system. Could the Grand Theft Auto games be in development for Switch? Is it even possible to successfully port those titles? The LA Noire conversion doesn't have all the answers, but it convincingly reveals some of the challenges any prospective GTA conversion might face.

As things stand, the original LA Noire was built on a custom engine designed with PlayStation 3's Cell processor in mind, and this version was the preferred console edition back in the day. It was quite a sight: PS3 managed to run a massive open-world built around an impressive facsimile of Los Angeles, with fully functioning day-night cycles, weather, physics, wandering NPCs and traffic systems. All this meant a heavy reliance on the machine's unique synergistic processing units - SPUs - and the end result is that the Switch version, reliant on just three available ARM CPU cores operating at 1GHz, can suffer from some obvious drawbacks.

But let's start with the good news. On Switch, you get a fully playable version of LA Noire, with a large, detailed world to explore - unlike anything we've seen before on a handheld. Surprisingly, this also renders at 1920x1080 when connected to a TV via docking - much like the base PS4 release, in fact. However, a dynamic resolution technique is in play, meaning Switch scales the pixel output based on rendering load - and at stress points that means a low point of 1440x1080. In other words, the game lowers its resolution on the horizontal axis alone, and faced with a busy street, it drops to 75 per cent of the full pixel-count overall. Still, even at 1440x1080, Switch is still resolving far more detail than PS3's native 1280x720.

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LA Noire remaster changes those infamous interrogation button prompts

LA Noire had a lot going for it - pulpy murder mystery cases to solve, an open world 1940s Los Angeles to explore, and that weird uncanny valley facial motion capture.

The thing I remember most, though, is its interrogation scenes. As Cole Phelps I sat across a table from my suspect and attempted to extract information using three button prompts - Truth, Doubt, Lie. And frequently I'd mess up.

LA Noire's new remaster - headed to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch next week - has rejigged this slightly.

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Rockstar's released a new trailer for L.A. Noire that's presented in 4K. You will of course need a 4K display to enjoy it in all its glory.

Rockstar Games Collection revealed, due in early November

Contains RDR, GTA Episodes, LA Noire, and Midnight Club: LA.

Rockstar Games has announced an anthology containing four of its most successful games of the last few years. This includes: Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, LA Noire, and Midnight Club: Los Angeles Complete Edition.

FeatureNight and the City

From the archive: Chris Donlan plays through L.A. Noire with his dad, who grew up in the city in the 1940s.

Editor's note: This week sees the re-release of L.A. Noire on PS4, Xbox One and Switch, and to mark the occasion we thought we'd return to Chris Donlan's piece on playing through the game - still one of the very best things ever published on Eurogamer, he'll hate me for saying - which first went live back in 2012. Enjoy!

LA Noire: Touch Edition announced for OnLive

LA Noire: Touch Edition announced for OnLive

Rockstar crime epic optimised for Android play.

The OnLive version of Rockstar's detective epic LA Noire has been updated to support touch controls for Android devices.

The cloud gaming service's boss, Steve Perlman, reckons that makes it "the highest-performance console video game developed specifically for touch-enabled play via mobile cloud gaming. Ever."

If you already own the game for OnLive, the game should automatically update to incorporate the new control option.

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L.A. Noire sales near 5 million mark

L.A. Noire sales near 5 million mark

Team Bondi title was best-selling new IP of 2011.

Ambitious detective drama L.A. Noire has sold-in nearly five million copies since launch, publisher Take-Two has announced.

That makes it the best-selling new IP of 2011 in the US, according to NPD data.

The news comes out of Take-Two's latest quarterly financial report, which also offered up life-to-date sales for a few other recent titles from the publisher.

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FeatureSaturday Soapbox: Bring On The Next Generation

Before the games industry really loses it mojo.

You may have noticed that my splendid and lovely colleagues Oli Welsh and Martin Robinson have recently become embroiled in what may very well be the most polite argument in the history of the internet, debating whether or not 2011 has been a vintage year for gaming.

FeatureL.A. Forensic: Brendan McNamara on L.A. Noire

Interrogations, open worlds and that ending.

L.A. Noire promised much: an authentic recreation of 1940s Los Angeles, a detective story in the L.A. Confidential mould and faces so good you could tell when the characters were lying. Its launch was met with millions of sales and impressive review scores - but at what cost to publisher Rockstar, developer Team Bondi, and its controversial creator Brendan McNamara?

FeatureBrendan McNamara: "I'd rather people just ring me up and tell me to f*** off"

The controversial L.A. Noire developer faces the music in this frank new interview.

Brendan McNamara begins his Bradford Animation Festival 2011 presentation with a story. His first visit to Yorkshire was to Huddersfield as a much younger man, playing for a north London cricket team. He batted first - not McNamara's speciality, as he's more of a bowling man. As the bowler ran in, he put his foot forward to the pitch of the ball and tried to whack it as hard as he could, just as he'd been taught as a schoolboy.

Why LA Noire PC edition is late

Dev not started until console DLC done.

Development on the PC L.A. Noire: Complete Edition did not start until all work on the game's console brothers was complete, Rockstar has said.

LA Noire: Complete Edition confirmed

LA Noire: Complete Edition confirmed

Rockstar names date, system specs, pricing.

L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition launches on 11th November in Europe for PC, Steam and OnLive for 39.99 / €49.99, Rockstar has announced.

North American gamers get it three days earlier on 8th November for $49.99.

The Complete Edition was previously spotted in a listing by Czech publisher Cenega, which spilled the beans last week.

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Uncharted 3's Nolan North on LA Noire

Does the motion capture shape up?

Uncharted 3 developer Naughty Dog, and the actor that portrays Nathan Drake, Nolan North, have given their opinions on the lauded facial animation system used by Team Bondi to create L.A. Noire.

Xbox Live Marketplace schedule update

Xbox Live Marketplace schedule update

Radiant Silvergun, ITSP DLC, more.

Treasure's touched-up Radiant Silvergun XBLA release, DLC for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and a Games on Demand slot for Bulletstorm head up the latest Xbox Live Marketplace schedule update.

As detailed on Major Nelson's blog, you can also expect deals on Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Rockstar Games' content.

Here's how the next few weeks shape up:

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Happy Feet Two: The Videogame

With a little help from ex-L.A. Noire devs?

Movie tie-in Happy Feet Two, the game made by the company rumoured to have rescued L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi from bankruptcy, hits the UK this autumn.

Embattled Team Bondi seeking buyer?

Mad Max creator George Miller interested.

Rumour has it that Team Bondi is struggling to find a new publisher following allegations of unfair working practises levelled at the Australian studio.

EU PlayStation Store update 27th July

EU PlayStation Store update 27th July

Annihilation! NFS sale! LA Noire DLC!

New Call of Duty: Black Ops map pack Annihilation headlines this week's massive PlayStation Store update.

Xbox 360 owners have had it exclusively for the past month. Available from tomorrow on PS3, its five new maps will cost you 11.49.

Looking for something a bit cheaper? Sony's massive summer sale reaches Europe this week, with more than 30 downloadable titles discounted over the next seven days. Highlights include Popcap's Peggle, Hothead's Swarm and Telltale's Sam & Max and Back to the Future.

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Rockstar's Housers in MediaGuardian 100

L.A. Noire helps brothers to 27th.

Brothers Sam and Dan Houser, the founders of Grand Theft Auto maker Rockstar, have climbed The Guardian's annual list of the 100 "most powerful people in television, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital media, media business, advertising, marketing and PR".

Bondi cut LA Noire desks to fit Blu-ray

"There might have been a better arc."

Controversial Team Bondi co-founder Brendan McNamara has blamed Blu-ray's disc size for L.A. Noire shipping without its planned Bunko and Burglary cases.

LA Noire tops Japanese chart

inFamous 2 also makes strong debut.

It's been a good week for Western developers on the notoriously parochial Japanese software chart, with LA Noire and inFamous 2 taking the top two spots.

EU PlayStation Store update 13th July

EU PlayStation Store update 13th July

LA Noire: Reefer! Free MotorStorm DLC!

It's a quiet week for the PlayStation Store. Sony's Welcome Back offer has ended and the company has now caught up with the backlog left by the PSN downtime.

There are no new PS3 or PSP games to download, but a few decent dollops of DLC.

A day after its launch on Xbox 360, PS3 owners can now investigate Rockstar's final L.A. Noire episode. The Reefer Madness vice case pits Cole Phelps against a city-wide dope ring and is free for those who own the Rockstar Pass.

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Out This Week - 15/07/11

Harry Potter! Captain America!

Let's put it this way: I've seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. And I nearly cried. The film wastes no time getting to business - there's a bloody war going on. Potter 7 Part 2 packs a whole trunk of crash, bang, wallop. Perfect fodder for a video game. Only, don't expect the official Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 game to Wingardium Leviosa above the usual turgid memorabilia tie-in fare. We'd be Stupefied if it did.

FeatureBeachside Burnout

The Team Bondi revelations shock few in the industry and that is a shameful thing.

Published as part of our sister-site GamesIndustry.biz's widely-read weekly newsletter, the GamesIndustry.biz Editorial, is a weekly dissection of an issue weighing on the minds of the people at the top of the games business. It appears on Eurogamer after it goes out to GI.biz newsletter subscribers.

Rockstar's "disdain" for LA Noire dev

"Will not publish Team Bondi's next game."

Two former Bondi staffers, speaking to Eurogamer sister site Gamesindustry.biz under condition of anonymity, claim Rockstar's relationship with Team Bondi reached such a low point during the course of the creation of 1940s crime adventure L.A. Noire that it now has "disdain" for the Australian developer.

LA Noire developer investigated by IGDA

Brutal working conditions looked into.

The International Game Developers Association is investigating L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi following reports of brutal working conditions at the Australian studio.

LA Noire dev responds to controversy

Boss McNamara faces talk of exploitation.

Brendan McNamara, boss of L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi, has responded to accusations of exploitative working practices at the Sydney, Australia-based studio.

Rockstar announces LA Noire for PC

Rockstar announces LA Noire for PC

Autumn launch clued up with 3D support.

Rockstar has announced a PC version of dark detective drama L.A. Noire for release this autumn.

In development at Rockstar Leeds, the PC version of Team Bondi's thriller promises 3D support, improved graphical capabilities and gamepad functionality.

Retail and digital versions will be available.

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L.A. Noire: Nicholson Electroplating

Nicholson Electroplating is like an extra spleen that's been cloned from the stem cells of L.A. Noire and grafted onto its armpit. Sure, it's a mighty fine spleen and all, but if you're just gonna stick it on there, don't be surprised when it fails to come alive.

L.A. Noire is an organism; it can't be broken up into modules. That's what makes L.A. Noire so special, and Nicholson Electroplating so not.

The Nicholson case, a downloadable add-on released this Tuesday, opens with a boom that spreads shrapnel and destruction across a half-dozen city blocks and lofts a mushroom cloud into the air. The epicentre of the blast is the titular metal-treatment plant, which is obliterated.

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EU PlayStation Store update 22nd June

EU PlayStation Store update 22nd June

Sonic Generations gets PS3 demo.

PlayStation 3 owners will be able to download a Sonic Generations demo from tomorrow, Sonic's 20th Anniversary.

Sega's Sonic Anniversary bundle also gets a 20 per cent price cut - it contains Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic 4 Episode 1, Sonic Adventure, the DX add-on and the Sonic 4 dynamic theme.

Also this week: Several big games get new DLC. L.A. Noire's Cole Phelps gets a new Arson Case, Nicholson Electroplating, to solve. Killzone 3's From the Ashes map pack adds four new locales - but no zombies. Mortal Kombat adds a "Klassic" skin pack, while LittleBigPlanet 2 gets Tron: Evolution gear.

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LA Noire working practices questioned

Gruelling hours affected dev "sanity".

Accusations have been levelled against L.A. Noire developer Rockstar and Team Bondi for leaving 130 developers out of the game's credits and for enforcing unfair work practices. These include making staff work 12 hour days as well as weekends.

New LA Noire update goes live

New LA Noire update goes live

Physics tweaked, bugs fixed.

A new automatic title update for Rockstar's detective epic L.A. Noire has gone live today.

As detailed on the developer's site, it makes a number of fairly minor changes, including a fix for a bug that was preventing some users from advancing beyond rank 19.

Here's the full list of tweaks:

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Digital FoundryL.A. Noire Timelapse: World in Motion

A beautiful video tour of 1940s Los Angeles.

For a game that features the latest in state-of-the-art motion capture and the remarkable in-game likenesses of over 400 actors, it's perhaps a touch ironic that the real star of the show isn't found in the 80 hours of digital performances captured for L.A. Noire, but rather in the superb openworld environment created by Team Bondi.

FeatureCheap This Week - 25/05/11

Demon's Souls! Nintendogs + Cats! Pikmin!

It's Wednesday, so it's time for our weekly roundup of cut-price games. This week's comprehensive selection includes a classic from yesteryear, a hidden gem that you might have missed at its lowest price yet, a cheap pre-order and a couple of new releases nicely discounted. If you want more cheap games pumped into your web browser around the clock, get yourself over to SavyGamer.co.uk, the home of cheap gaming in the UK.

Take-Two anticipates more LA Noire

Renews contracts with Rockstar bosses.

Rockstar's L.A. Noire could be the starting point for a lucrative franchise, judging by comments from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick.

FeatureWho's Who in L.A. Noire

Putting names to faces.

"Team Bondi takes us into new territory with its use of extraordinary facial performance capture," said Oli as he worked his way towards an 8/10 verdict, "This results in spooky facial animation which really does make it possible for actors to communicate more of their performances, using eyes, tics and expressions."

Rockstar uncovers LA Noire title update

Rockstar uncovers LA Noire title update

Bug-squashing patch notes listed.

Spotted any bugs while playing L.A. Noire?

The game has already recieved its first update, containing tweaks and fixes for various in-game issues.

According to patch notes obtained by Shacknews, the download squashes various bugs and adds several improvements, although there's no major changes to see.

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Who is to blame for LA Noire crashes?

Sony and Rockstar issue joint statement.

Neither the PlayStation 3's 3.61 firmware update nor L.A. Noire itself are to blame for system crashes reported while playing Rockstar's new crime epic, according to a joint statement from the developer and Sony.

First LA Noire DLC release date

First LA Noire DLC release date

"Nicholson Electroplating" for June.

Upcoming L.A. Noire's first paid-for DLC, the "Nichlson Electroplating arson case", launches for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 21st June.

Rockstar now lists the new content on its site. Gamers who bought L.A. Noire at a Best Buy midnight launch event are able to nab the add-on for free.

Word of the DLC leaked earlier this week after being spotted on Best Buy flyers. It's listed as the "first DLC pack", rather unsurprisingly implying more DLC will follow.

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Out This Week - 20/05/11

L.A. Noire! Witcher 2! DOA! NMH!

Open-world gaming royalty Rockstar this week decrees you turn your attention from Westerns to the film noir genre.

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire

Face value.

The detective thriller isn't new to video games. It was often spoofed or pastiched in the PC adventure games of the nineties, and it's recently been revived in a spate of 'visual novels' and casual puzzle games.

But there's never been such a high-profile attempt to bring this popular form of fiction to the video gaming mainstream as L.A. Noire. Rockstar's latest - produced by Australian studio Team Bondi - is pure police procedural. Cinematic production values, elaborate animation techniques and acting talent by the hundredweight have been brought to bear on the dogged business of collecting evidence, interrogating suspects and unravelling plots.

L.A. Noire's writer-director, Brendan McNamara, was one of the first to follow Rockstar North's trailblazing Grand Theft Auto III with his 2002 crime caper for Sony, The Getaway. Now under his inspiration's wing, he's succeeded in creating one of the more distinctive variations on the evergreen GTAIII template. L.A. Noire resembles a cross between GTA, Ace Attorney and Heavy Rain - and it's almost as interesting as that makes it sound.

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Rockstar anticipates gun-free future

L.A. Noire to shift focus to conversation.

Rockstar's games have made headlines in the past for their gratuitous violence, but the GTA developer says it can envisage a future where no gunplay whatsoever features in its titles.

PS3 L.A. Noire cuffs exclusive case

PS3 L.A. Noire cuffs exclusive case

ESRB outs "fleeting images of pubic hair".

Owners of L.A. Noire on PS3 may receive an exclusive traffic case called The Consul's Car.

Supporting evidence was pulled from PS3 shop boxes touting "exclusive content", plus a captured image (on Rockstar Network) - possibly from a video - that reads, "Get The Consul's Car traffic case only on PlayStation 3".

When confronted with the evidence, a Rockstar official on the company's website said, "Look for more details on that coming soon." Is that confirmation? It's not a denial.

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L.A. Noire has five hours of cutscenes

Plus, BBFC hands out 18 certificate.

L.A. Noire, Rockstar's forthcoming crime epic, features over five hours of cutscenes, according to a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) listing.

L.A. Noire tech is "interesting dead end"

David Cage discusses future of mo-cap.

The impressive motion capture tech that fuels Rockstar's forthcoming open-world crime epic L.A. Noire is nothing but an "interesting dead-end" according to Heavy Rain creator David Cage.

L.A. Noire selected by Tribeca film fest

Rockstar invents "new realm of storytelling".

Rockstar's forthcoming crime epic L.A. Noire is the first video game ever to secure a slot at Robert De Niro's prestigious Tribeca Film Festival.

FeatureL.A. Noire

California screaming.

It's easy to get a peculiar feeling when viewing a new Rockstar game for the first time. It's the feeling that what you're watching might change video gaming. This familiar feeling was creeping up my spine as I sat in a demo booth for L.A. Noire.

L.A. Noire UK release date confirmed

L.A. Noire UK release date confirmed

"Breaks new ground" says Houser.

Rockstar Games' L.A. Noire will launch in the UK on 20th May.

A leaked trailer had this weekend already revealed a 17th May US release date. It is expected to officially go live at 5pm UK time this evening.

"L.A. Noire breaks new ground for us," said Rockstar Games founder Sam Houser. "Its intense blend of action and real detective work defies genre conventions to create a unique and captivating thriller."

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L.A. Noire release date confirmed

L.A. Noire release date confirmed

Leaked trailer jumps the gun.

A leaked trailer for Rockstar's open world detective thriller L.A. Noire has revealed a 17th May release date.

It is unclear at this stage whether the date relates to a worldwide or a North American launch.

The video was pulled from YouTube following a copyright claim by Rockstar's parent company Take-Two.

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First proper LA Noire details appear

First proper LA Noire details appear

Revolutionary capture tech revealed.

Rockstar's 1940s crime thriller LA Noire may change how actors are captured and recreated in games for ever.

Developer Team Bondi is using groundbreaking technology developed by sister company Depth Analysis to capture all aspects of a performance at once - audio, visual and movement - and recreate them quickly and en-masse to characters in-game.

"Traditionally, one minute of facial animation could take a couple of animators a month. The idea is that we can mass-produce. We can produce about 20 minutes of final footage a day, and it's seamless - I don't even have character artists or animators working with me," Depth Analysis' Oliver Bao told Game Informer (via VG247).

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Rockstar confirms LA Noire for autumn

Rockstar confirms LA Noire for autumn

There it is in black and white.

Rockstar has confirmed that its 1940s detective drama LA Noire will be released this autumn.

"We have not announced a specific release date yet, but LA Noire is coming this fall. Stay tuned," tweeted the publisher.

Rockstar also clarified that the game will be available on both PS3 and Xbox 360 after having initially appeared to be a Sony exclusive.

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LA Noire no longer a PS3 exclusive?

LA Noire no longer a PS3 exclusive?

Apparently it's coming to Xbox 360 too.

L.A. Noire, the stylish new period drama from Rockstar, is no longer exclusively in development for PS3.

An Xbox 360 version is now planned too, according to US magazine Game Informer. In comments on a post about the magazine's new preview of L.A. Noire, editor Matt Kato wrote, "It's not a PS3-exclusive. It was at one point, but it's coming out for the PS3 and 360."

Fellow staff member Matt Bertz added, "To be clear, this is NOT a PS3 exclusive. Rockstar has another game called The Agent it announced last June that fulfills that role."

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Take-Two boss gets cross about GTAV

Rants at analyst. Plus: LA Noire still exists.

Take-Two refused to comment on the status of Grand Theft Auto V during its latest financial results conference call, but did say that LA Noire is still in development.

Team Bondi not just on PS3

Prompts LA Noire 360 rumours.

Could Team Bondi's moody-looking LA Noire be on its way to Xbox 360 as well as PlayStation 3? That's what raincoat-clad Internet detectives believe after a job posting on Gamasutra sought a lead animator and listed both platforms in a section about job details.

LA Noire delayed

Sulks off to fiscal 2008.

Take-Two may be jolly pleased with BioShock, but it's keeping quiet about LA Noire, and has pushed the PS3 game's release date back to fiscal 2009 (in English, next Christmas at the earliest).

Full-length LA Noire trailer

Full-length LA Noire trailer

More to go on this time.

Rockstar and Team Bondi have released a full-length trailer for LA Noire, their upcoming next-gen crime thriller on its way to PlayStation 3 and possibly other consoles at some point in the future.

You can watch it now on Eurogamer TV, and although it looks like CG to us it should give you an idea of what to expect in terms of content and atmosphere, with the music and graphical approach in particular worthy of note.

LA Noire, of course, is under the direction of The Getaway creator Brendan McNamara, who departed Sony shortly after that game's completion and set up Team Bondi to work on games for PlayStation 3. Rockstar has yet to confirm formats or a release date for LA Noire, but it's expected to complete its journey to PS3 and probably Xbox 360 as well.

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Rockstar signs LA Noire

Getaway creator's next-gen title.

Rockstar has done a deal with Getaway creator Brendan McNamara's Team Bondi to publish next-generation crime thriller L.A. Noire.

Team Bondi's PS3 title named

Set in Los Angeles, excitingly.

The Sydney-based development studio set up by The Getaway creator Brendan McNamara and some of his former team from SCEE's Soho studio has revealed its first title - a PS3 exclusive detective thriller called L.A Noire.

FeatureTeam Bondi - The First Interview

Brendan McNamara on how Team Bondi's top-secret PS3 project will be 'even more ambitious' than The Getaway - and won't take any less time to make...

Having just spent the past 10 days applying the Factor 20 and casually taking in the blissed out view of Chaweng beach through a pair of Spitfires, I can certainly relate to why Brendan McNamara and his Aussie cohorts would want to return to their Antipodean roots and remind themselves of the feel of Bondi beach sand between their toes.

McNamara in Aussie Getaway

Team Bondi's PS3 title signed up by SCEA.

Brendan McNamara, the Australian writer/director of multi-million selling London crime caper The Getaway, has returned home to set up a new Sydney-based development studio called Team Bondi and has started work on an all-new PlayStation 3 title.