Not even Cole Phelps would have seen this coming, though that might be due to the utter lack of clues leading up to the announcement.
Out of nowhere, Rockstar Games has revealed that four new versions of L.A. Noire will be hitting online storefronts on November 14, with one of said versions flying in the face of what we thought parent company Take-Two’s stance on a new market segment was.
The fact that L.A. Noire is getting remastered for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One isn’t all too surprising. Many games get the remaster treatment nowadays, so it’s pretty standard fare, and the original is six years old already – much younger games got remasters themselves.
The Nintendo Switch version is more interesting and unexpected, but not the most surprising of the lot since Strauss Zelnick has spoken highly of the Switch in the past, and we knew Take-Two was on board from the moment the console’s debut trailer was published.
The announcement which we wouldn’t have expected to see at all, ever, was that a cut version of the game is coming to the HTC Vive VR headset. If you’re asking yourself ‘wait, what?’ right now, we know what you are going through. Strauss Zelnick has spoken about the VR market before, not too highly either, doubting that the expensive hardware would catch on, implying that there isn’t a large market for the games developed for this platform. True, he said that if VR becomes viable, Take-Two will be there to back it up with games, but we didn’t expect that to come so soon.
And we certainly didn’t expect L.A. Noire to be the first proper VR game to come from Take-Two. L.A. Noire enjoyed a successful launch and critical praise with some minor criticisms raised against it. It was well received but drifted into obscurity and has received scant coverage in the past few years. These remasters will give players who may have never even heard of the game a chance to experience it.
The version coming to the HTC Vive isn’t a straight port like the other three, and is subtitled accordingly. The VR Case Files version of L.A. Noire aptly adapts only some – specifically seven – of the game’s independent and self-enclosed investigations. Many of the original’s mechanics would be ill-fitting for VR, and the investigations were where it shined anyway, which led to Rockstar picking this route with the VR version.
The Switch port of L.A. Noire also features some additional kicks that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions won’t. This version of the game will have contextual touch screen commands, gyroscopic controls designed with the Joy Cons in mind and tweaked camera angles for when you’re playing in portable mode.
Rockstar doesn’t simply want to let you play L.A. Noire on a Switch, but to truly make the port a Switch game.
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will have your regular graphical updates with sharper textures and new lighting systems, however one interesting tidbit is that the games will support 4K resolutions on the beefier versions of the consoles, meaning the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X.
Players will be able to experience the story of Cole Phelps, decorated World War 2 veteran and newbie detective as he takes on a new job in post-war Los
Santos Angeles as a law enforcement officer on these new platforms. The game’s impressively animated faces were used to simulate even the slightest twitch of muscle in order to replicate the ‘tells’ of a lying suspect, leaving it to the player to judge whether what an NPC is telling them is true or not.
We’re very glad that this announcement didn’t just get a ‘coming soon’ slapped on it. Not only did we get a release date, we got one that’s literally just around the corner. That leaves players just enough time to binge-watch the complete series of ‘Lie to Me’ as preparation.