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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The Order: 1866 developers dive into VR with Lone Echo

Depending on whether you welcome Virtual Reality’s presence on the gaming scene, one of the two old adages may apply: it never rains but it pours, or you wait for one bus then two come along at once. Either way, what with the Tekken, Batman, Gran Turismo and Final Fantasy franchises all having played host to VR modes lately, the technology is here to stay.

That’s presumably why we’ve received word this week of the team behind such acclaimed AAA releases as God of War: Origins Collection, Ōkami and The Order: 1866, joining forces with the creators of the Oculus Rift head-set to delve into those same reality-bending realms with their next project.

Takeaways:

  • Currently going by the intriguing name of Lone Echo, the first ever collaboration between Ready at Dawn and Oculus Studios takes players on an interplanetary trip to Saturn’s rings, where they’ll encounter an “unknown anomaly” while exploring a desolate space station with their human companion. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Discovering the devastating answer to that not-so-rhetorical question will require no shortage of cunning or bladder restraint either, with the developers teasing “stomach twisting zero-G mobility” and “real-time problem solving” challenges in the single-player campaign for both the player and their avatar, one Captain Olivia Rhodes.
  • For now it’s exclusively a PC release with no other platforms teased at this stage, but nothing’s out of the question given Ready at Dawn’s past dabbling with Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony hardware alike, not to mention the latter corporation’s development of dedicated PlayStation VR hardware for titles like this one.

In the event that we’ve followed Leo DiCaprio’s lead in Django Unchained by capturing both your curiosity and attention, then rest assured that there’s not long now standing between you and Lone Echo’s launch, since this 2017 space odyssey will make its debut on the Oculus Store alone in just a few days’ time – July 20th, to be precise.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts on the latest addition to the ever-densifying VR pantheon – as well as the debatable merits of the technology’s exponentially enhanced influence on the industry in recent years – below, and stay tuned to D-pad Joy as the year progresses for all the latest coverage on such projects and their all-important hit record.

PS VR gets its first short film – it’s not just for games you know

Have you ever fancied watching a short film on your brand new PS VR headset? You haven’t? Well good news, you will get the chance to anyway. And you never know, it might be good.

Takeaways:

  • A VR short film called Ctrl is coming out this Friday for PS VR
  • Portal writer Chet Faliszek loved it on Gear VR and said it was “his favourite GearVR piece”
  • It’s developed by the production company Breaking Fourth
  • It basically puts you in the head of a professional e-sports player called Liam

From the PlayStation Blog:

Aimed at any PS VR fans who are hungry for deep and dark stories, this challenging film explores themes of power, control and escapism. Putting on the PS VR headset plunges you into beautiful 360 degree worlds, whilst forcing you to confront the unrelenting nature of the character’s reality – and as the plot develops, you may find yourself reflecting on your own experiences…

Are you excited to watch Ctrl in virtual reality, or would you rather go back to Resident Evil 7? Let us know in the comments below, if you please.

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