L.A. Noire (pronounced [ˌɛl ˌɛɪ ˈnwaʁ]) is a 2011 neo noir crime video game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games. It was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. L.A. Noire is set in Los Angeles in 1947 and challenges the player, controlling a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective, to solve a range of cases across five crime desks. Players must investigate crime scenes for clues, follow up leads, and interrogate suspects, and the players' success at these activities will impact how much of the cases' stories are revealed.
The game draws heavily from both the plot and aesthetic elements of film noir, stylistic films made popular in the 1940s and 1950s that share similar visual styles and themes including crime, sex, and moral ambiguity. The game uses a distinctive colouring-style, but in homage to film noir it includes the option to play the game in black-and-white. Various plot elements reference the major themes of gum-shoe detective and mobster stories such as Key Largo, Chinatown, The Untouchables, The Black Dahlia, andL.A. Confidential.
L.A. Noire is notable for using Lightsprint's real-time global illumination technology, as well as Depth Analysis's newly developed technology MotionScan, whereby the actors portraying the game's characters were recorded by 32 surrounding cameras to capture facial expressions from every angle. The technology is central to the game's interrogation mechanic, as players must use the suspects' reactions to questioning to judge whether they are lying or not.
L.A. Noire is the first video game to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. Upon release, the game received wide acclaim for its advances in storytelling and facial animation technology. As of February 2012, both PC and console versions have sold nearly 5 million copies combined.