I can assure you it is simply a coincidence that the majority of the games I’ve chosen have been produced by Rockstar Games in one way or another. The reason I’ve chosen them is because of the bond they all share in great writing, and those of you who have played and appreciate L.A. Noire will understand why it’s my next choice.
The game received a lot of bad press amid the critical acclaim it was also subject to. A lot of people were unhappy with the lack of mystery the supposed detective thriller had about it and a lot of the same people criticised it for the occasionally lazy storytelling, but I believe that was only a problem because of the retrospectively misguided way that the people at Team Bondi went about presenting said story.
Former US Marine Lieutenant Cole Phelps is that man, and in 1946 he enters into the Wilshire Division of the LAPD after finishing his stint in the Corps during the Okinawa Campaign. He spends a year on the beat and, at the start of 1947, is promoted to the rank of detective on Central Division’s Traffic Desk. From then on he becomes famous to the people and the press as the LAPD’s “golden boy”. He finds himself at the Homicide desk in the summer of ’47, helping track down the man behind the infamous Black Dahlia murder (a case which, in real life, has remained unsolved since it happened in January of that year). After that however, his career and reputation go up in a ball of flames after he is caught having an affair with a troubled German jazz singer. He is suspended from the force and becomes nothing but the story everyone reads in the papers. He ultimately ends up on the dead-end arson desk for the rest of his short career.
Whilst the gameplay is structured in a non-linear fashion, and the chapter-based story itself sprawls the entire of 1947 and Cole’s police career, it can easily be adapted into something fit for the cinema. There would naturally have to be some very noticeable editing in parts, as the whole of L.A. Noire would not squeeze into a two-hour timeframe. If I were in charge of said task, I would propose turning Phelps’ story into a three-act play of sorts; his time as a homicide detective would be the first act, his work in vice as the second and his concluding time in arson as the third. All the while, gradual flashbacks of his time in the military and his rise to the top of the LAPD would be interspersed into the action, to give us all an idea of his background and how he came to be where he is. As in the game, by the time the film would reach its finale, we’re well aware of Cole’s true nature, and we realise what a flawed character he really is.