After months with only a short teaser to go on, Rockstar Games has finally released a full trailer for L.A. Noire, its spring 2011 follow-up to the back-to-back hits Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption. Unlike some of Rockstar’s other titles, L.A. Noire is less about gunplay and mayhem: It extends the morality index of Red Dead Redemption even further by making you a detective and then asking you to solve a crime not through fear and intimidation but through actual, open-ended investigation and deduction.
In many ways, it’s similar to Heavy Rain—a game whose motion-capture technology L.A. Noire explicitly set out to best, with its developers Team Bondi declaring earlier this year that it had “defeated the uncanny valley” with its unusually realistic depictions of body language and facial tics (which, naturally, provide crucial clues in any investigation). It’s also dripping with classic 1940s L.A. ambiance, with a wall-to-wall jazz soundtrack, noirish shadows, and plenty of fedoras. And playing the lead role is a guy who knows a thing or two about retro-cool: Mad Men’s Aaron Staton, otherwise known as “Ken Cosgrove, accounts.” Here’s a look. [EW]