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Meet Red Dead Redemption 2’s understudy – L.A. Noire hits VR, Switch and more

As the hallowed philosopher Jagger – and Dr. Gregory House – once said, you can’t always get what you want. Until May of this year, Rockstar Games’ fan base was eagerly anticipating the autumn launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, the long-gestating follow-up to the hit 2010 Western shooter, only for the studio to delay the project that month to spring 2018.

But for better or for worse, we’ve now learned that Rockstar doesn’t plan to completely starve its community of new content during this extended wilderness period; instead, they’re reviving an arguably long-forgotten IP for mainstream current-generation hardware and emerging platforms alike, bringing period detective dramas back into cultural discourse…

Takeaways:

  • Remember L.A. Noire, the studio’s 2011 third-person-shooter centring on slow-burn detective investigations and packing some of the most uncannily realistic facial animations ever seen by the industry? If so, and if you’ve craved a return to WW2 LA but ditched the 360 / PS3 version when you traded in those consoles, then take solace in the news that the title’s making a comeback with a full-fledged remake. Just as we predicted!
  • Creatively dubbed L.A. Noire once again, the upgraded version of the mystery-driven thriller will launch this November on Nintendo Switch with bonus features like a gesture-based Joy-Con mode, touch-screen controls and widened camera angles, plus on Xbox One and PS4 in 1080p – and Pro / X in 4K – with “cinematic camera angles”, enhanced graphics, superior textures and more technical touch-ups.
  • Whereas both of those remakes will simply feature the title’s original campaign and all of its subsequent DLC, a VR edition – L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files – is also inbound with all-new re-workings of seven classic cases from the 2011 narrative, allowing budding detectives to solve heinous murders aplenty with a full 360-degree outlook on each crime scene.

Try as they might, it’s safe to say Rockstar will have a tough time at best to convince their most ardent sceptics of the value of a high-resolution but otherwise largely unchanged re-release of a half-decade old project, especially one which split opinion at the time of release – with some critics maligning its padded narrative – moreso than recent GTA or RDR entries.

That said, given the publisher’s statement back in February 2012 that they were “considering what the future may hold for L.A. Noire as a series” and the lack of subsequent updates on what lies ahead for the brand, those who did adore the original title six years ago might well have to make do with what they get here. As for those who didn’t contribute to its original 5m sales, they won’t find a better opportunity to discover what all the fuss was about than this.

Keep your magnifying glass trained firmly on D-pad Joy in the coming weeks and months for plenty more news on the return of L.A. Noire this November, the belated but no less anticipated launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 next spring and the all-but-guaranteed resurgence of the GTA franchise – no matter how much fake news surrounds its assured development – in the not too distant future.

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