As L.A. Noire's release draws near, Rockstar has teamed with the Los Angeles Times for an informative little promotion that highlights the real-world inspirations of the cases the game will throw at you come May 17.
L.A. Noire's case file is based on actual crimes reported in the L.A. area in 1947, ranging from a 66-year-old man proving a homemade gun works (by lightly wounding a passing cabdriver) to an opera tenor losing $700 in cash and valuables to a burglary - plus a reconditioned 1939 station wagon.
More lurid examples abound, of course. The crime map is divided into violent and property crimes, from there homicide, sex crimes, assault and robbery; and then burglary, theft, theft from vehicle and, of course, Grand Theft Auto. The crimes are linked to the stories as they actually appeared in the Times in 1947. Nine are up now; more are promised.
I spent the winter perusing microfilm from that era - on the opposite coast, though. But there is an intrigue to watching the pages flash by the screen, like a transition in an old detective movie, and the novelty of landing on a random encounter that was well forgotten after a year, and yet rediscovered half a century later. The fact that people will re-learn or re-live these everyday events in a video game speaks to their maturation as a storytelling medium.
L.A. Noire Crime Map [Los Angeles Times]