By Joseph Leray
Depth Analysis is the Australian motion-capture company that developed the Motionscan technology Team Bondi used in “L.A. Noire,” and they released a gag reel for the game a few months ago that’s starting to make the rounds.
“L.A. Noire” fans will remember that detective Cole Phelps, the game’s protagonist, was kind of a blowhard — incidentally, the gag reel features some pretty salty language. It’s weird to see his character actor flub his lines or joke with his co-workers. The in-game Cole Phelps isn’t one for giggling or lightheartedness — threatening to assault people was more his style.
It’s easy to forget that everything in “L.A. Noire” was mo-capped, even though recognizing facial expressions and nervous tics was a large part of the interrogation sections of the game. Oddly enough, Depth Analysis’ blooper reel does a great job highlighting just how impressive the tech really is: the Motionscan cameras even captured all the mistakes the actors made. The gag reel includes actors sneezing, botching their lines, flicking their tongues, and even walking off the in-game set to get settled — all captured, modeled, and animated in real time.
Revisiting “L.A. Noire” is actually kind of bittersweet. The Motionscan technology, the voice acting, the attention to detail — the game was so impressive in a lot of ways, but it didn’t keep Team Bondi from closing its doors in 2011, with mounting debt and tensions among staff. Several former Team Bondi staffers have since moved on to Kennedy Mitchell Miller, a film studio, where they’re working on another historical action game called “Whore of the Orient.”