A Dark Take on L.A. Noire


Nearly five years ago, Rockstar Games announced a companion to their Grand Theft Auto franchise. L.A. Noire is a detective story set in 1947 Los Angeles. We still have another month before the official release, but the company recently invited some folks on an early test drive including Highland Park blogger, historian and raconteur Nathan Marsak.  Marsak reports the game developers utilized the 1947 Project, an exploration of postwar L.A. that he helped create, to flesh out the details. Marsak knows Roosevelt-era Los Angeles as well as anyone rocking away in an old folks home. His devotion to uncovering and explaining every creaky staircase and every busted neon tube is fantastic and his depth of contextual knowledge is staggering. Doing his research in double-breasted gabardine with a Packard in the garage only adds to his cracked fervor. Reading his blissful description of the dirty windows at L.A.’s long ago demolished “Old Central” LAPD office was revelatory. I asked Marsak what Rockstar borrowed from his pages: “My problem is that they didn’t steal enough from us. If Rockstar makes a half ass version of my world because they didn’t look hard enough, they need to try harder.”  Read his review here and see what happens when they let him loose in this strange land.