Final Question

2

‘LA Noire’ is set in 1940s Los Angeles. To what extent do you feel that this game would provide an effective introduction to the concept of ‘genre’? What are the key characteristics of ‘noir’?

In your answer you should consider form, structure and language, as well as subject matter.

 

L.A Noire is a good example of a game fitting a particular genre, or even a range of genres. The producers of the game have kept to the 1940s scene well, with accurate costuming of the characters, stereotypical roles for men and women, background and scenery all representing what Los Angeles was like in the 1940s. For someone coming to play this game who did not know much about it, they would recognise instantly the settings and time period.

The word ‘noir’ conjures up images of crime and violence, usually associated with Hollywood; the game alludes to this well by showing the player some graphic scenes, but not going too over the top with the gore. Clips and flashbacks are played out like an old-time 1940s movie, which goes well with the noir genre. This genre is relatively new to the gaming franchise, and so may generate more interest as a result. The game makers have managed to get noir pretty much perfectly laid out within the game, with how the characters speak, dress and behave towards each other. Even the smallest details, like the cars, shop fronts and background images have all been meticulously designed to be reminiscent of the 1940s era. The producers decided on a noir genre, and have stuck to it in every aspect of the game. The cut-scenes especially are reminiscent of old Hollywood noir movies; black and white, lots of shadows and chilling music. It certainly does not take long for a player to become immersed in 1940s Los Angeles, and to feel like they have actually stepped back in time.

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Comments

  1. Christopher Dunning / Apr 29th, 2012 23:03 Quote

    The association of Noir with violence and crime is certainly something I can agree with you about. However I must say I don’t think they necessarily did everything they could to take advantage of the genre, leaving a great deal of possible development out of the story, though this could be due to the gaming medium not being directly comparative to that of its equivalent movie.

  2. Thomas / Apr 30th, 2012 18:57 Quote

    It would be interesting if the game was automatically in black and white, rather than the player having to turn on the effect themselves. It would really add to the noir feel, and most people don’t seem to notice that you can actually do it. Mind you, I can see how a black and white video game might be harder to market.

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