The upcoming release of highly anticipated game L.A. Noire and the release of the anthology have crime thriller and gaming fans at the edge of their seats (sofas?), but we should not forget about the valiant trendsetters from before. Let us tip our fedoras to. . .
1. Hard Rain (PS3) is an interactive fiction game designed with a film noir aesthetic. The plot revolves around solving the case of the Origami Killer, who drowns his victims with rain. There are four playable characters: a troubled architect whose son is in danger of becoming the Origami Killer’s next victim, an insomniac photojournalist, a retired police officer working as a P.I. on the case, or a FBI profiler supporting the investigation. The game won IGN and GameSpy’s ‘Best PS3 Game of 2010’ award. Here's the game release trailer if you are interested.
2. Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox360, PS3) allows the player to use a range of forensic tools to record evidence from crime scenes. It takes place in fictional “Metro City” where members of the populations are becoming increasingly psychotic and aggressive. The playable character, a Serial Crime Unit investigator, is linked to a forensics investigator at headquarters who analyzes collected data. The graphics and gameplay are inspired by psychological thrillers such as Silence of the Lambs and Seven.
Condemned: Bloodshot is a sequel that takes place 11 months later, continuing the storyline of its predecessor.
These games may not have the cutting-edge facial recognition technology of L.A. Noire but they are well-written, well-designed, and best of all, they will keep your fingers and synapses nimble.