Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Initial Opinions on "L.A. Noire"

            I am for the first time in my life going to try to get out ahead of public opinion.  There is a video game called "L.A. Noire" coming out that uses a state of the art motion capture technology that allows them to use multitudes of cameras surrounding an actor's face, this allows the actor to give a performance that can be perfectly inserted into the video game.  Essentially putting the actors whole head and face into the game granting really life like visuals.  I honestly don't care about this.

            See, I have watched a few trailers and making of videos of this game and I have yet to figure out what the game is.  Is it a shooter?  A point and click adventure game?  What?  As far as I can tell the only thing about this game that can be determined is that it is set in L.A. is about cops, and is supposed to be noire.  Beyond that I don't know what is going on.  The selling point of this game are the graphics, those motion capture graphics I just described, and here is the real problem: Those graphics suck.

This is the Trailer

            See, the people in question aren't giving a performance with a group of actors, getting into it as they go, they are sitting at the center of a shit ton of cameras and trying to stay within the cone of all the camera's views so that the computer can capture them, so strike one, they are going to have trouble giving a performance.

            Since there are no other actors and the cameras everywhere, they aren't going to be able to tell where to look, so strike two: no eye contact and a general displacement of the characters from the scene (like how people must feel talking to me because I have a bad habit of not looking people in the eye or looking past them).

            Also, just because you completely capture a person's face the bodies remain the typical video game mannequins, with robotic stiff limbs and clothing, so strike three: you have human heads on robot bodies, the deepest part of the uncanny valley.  Lastly, why do I care about whether their faces are more real?  I have felt more emotion with a Pixar movie than I have with any, and I mean any, motion capture film with looks freaky and dumb; maybe if I knew something of the game play this innovative camera would be worth something, but as is I don't see the point.

Look at the sleeves, they don't ride up, they don't contort, they look fake, and when you mix fake and real, it looks faker.
            Now, I'm open minded, maybe this will be cool, maybe it won't look terrible in the end, but from what I have seen, this looks just awful.

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