I've always been bothered by how out of sync, how unreal, digital actors look in video games. That's exacerbated in the sorts of games they expect you to read anything into the folks you run into in a game.
Imagine trying to tell if someone is lying to you when they're wearing an ill-fitting rubber mask. That's essentially the issue with most dialog-heavy video games, until now. If Rockstar is to be believed, this is a game created to "render every subtlety and nuance of an actor's facial expressions and emotions."
Why does that matter? Because in L.A. Noire you play a detective in the Los Angeles of the 1940s. Rockstar says the game has you trying to solve crimes through a "blend of classic action, clue-finding and interrogation, allowing players to analyze every subtle nuance of an actor's performance in order to get to the truth."
If they can do it, if these aren't just canned animations, then L.A. Noire could become an important piece of interactive fiction. More importantly, it could be one of the first games that allows you to use some of the real-world skills investigators tap into to solve crime.
It's worth pointing out that the game will include Mad Men's Aaron Stanton as lead officer, Cole Phelps, Fringe's John Noble, and a cast of "esteemed actors," working alongside director Michael Uppendahl (Mad Men), according to Rockstar.
L.A. Noire is due out this coming spring.