While I didn’t like L.A Noire all that much as a game, as an interactive vehicle for digital storytelling, it’s nearly unparalleled – and most of that has to do with the incredible facial capture, though, admittedly the now defunct Team Bondi could have put a little more effort in to the body capture and animation. This “gag reel” of outtakes and bloopers from L.A Noire highlights just how amazing the facial capture was though.
The gag reel comes courtesy of Depth Analysis, who created the face-scanning tech. While there was obviously a bit of post work necessary, and this wasn’t purely real time, it’s still pretty damned incredible. Rockstar, who published L.A Noire, has access to this tech – but it’s way too expensive to use, and we’ll unfortunately not be seeing these sort of performances in GTA V.
Quantic Dream’s David Cage says he’s able to do better whole body performance capture for cheaper, and if what we’ve seen from his Kara Demo and Beyond: Two Souls is any indication, then he’s right. I really think it’s this sort of character performance that’ll help elevate our favourite digital medium beyond its current relegation as mindless kids’ stuff.