Last fall I picked up L.A. Noire and I was pretty surprised that Rockstar had published a game with such a fresh premise. You play as Cole Phelps, a detective in the L.A.P.D. during the 1940s. Most of the gameplay involves you gathering evidence and interrogating suspects to solve the case. And if you’re like me, you spend even more time legally car-jacking people and causing traffic accidents. But while I do have fun protecting, serving and driving on the wrong side of the road, I’m still unable to satisfy the need to be a sadistic douchebag I feel whenever I play an open-world game. I want the chance to be a corrupt officer, taking bribes, bashing protesters, controlling crime instead of stopping it. I know no one likes these kinds of guys in real life, but I dare you to look me in the eye and say that this wouldn’t make for a fun video game.
Let’s say you start off as a new cop in say, Detroit (because everyone just adores Detroit). It’s your first week and you’re teamed up with an old pro. Your partner gives you some real Training Day style experience and you witness first hand the corruption in the police force. Flash forward a few years and you’re leading a raid on a drug house. The head of the operation runs away and you run after him while the other cops handle the rest. You corner the guy and he’s pleading you to make a deal. You let him be in exchange for some of his profit. If you take his offer then you are on your way to becoming one of the most powerful men in the city. Through a series of missions and negotiations you have city officials, drug lords and even other cops under your thumb and no one can touch you. To top it off you can spend your free time harassing citizens however you can imagine.
If you don’t take this path you’ll be given a more heroic task. The people respect you and criminals fear you. But since you never took the chance to grab power, someone else did. There is a corrupt cop and you’re trying to take down his whole operation. Eventually he knows you’re on to him and he uses his influence to kick you off the force. From then on you’re a vigilante fighting for justice. Like Batman… except you’re not Batman. Thanks to your great track record you’ll have allies both in and outside of the police. With these you can put together your own guerilla war on crime. Your secret local militia will be shutting down all kinds of operations while weakening the police-ran crime empire. I guess the simplest way to describe this game would be L.A. Noire meets Grand Theft Auto with a little bit of Infamous.
What do you guys think of this game idea? Tell me how you would handle making a game like this in the comments.