Rockstar Games still takes some of the best screenshots in video games, so even if their next game L.A. Noire isn't great — or even if it is — their shots of it will look fantastic.
The faces of Detective Phelps and his on-the-beat cronies look great in this new quartet of new screens from this 2011 noir thriller. This is due to the advanced way Rockstar and development studio Team Bondi are capturing the game actors' faces. Expressions we don't usually see on game characters are on these guys' faces.
I've seen the game in action. You see this level of expression and can read emotion and intent from the looks on the faces. That puts the developers in a position to present interactive dialogue situations during which a player can rely on facial subtleties, rather than just dialogue and logic, to decide the truth of what is going on. For a detective game, that's ideal.
When I last saw the game two months ago I was concerned that L.A. Noire's characters won't be as naturally expressive below the neck as they are above it. I'm looking at shots like today's to see how the bodies are shaping up. From the neck up, I'm already a believer.
Phelps on the Case: New Screens from L.A. Noire [Official Rockstar Games site]