The latest issue of GameInformer has hit at least some of the public's eyes, and with it, plenty of L.A. Noire details. Set in 1947 Los Angeles, the game is open-world, much akin to Grand Theft Auto, with newbie officer Cole Phelps playing the lead role. The title was previously thought to be a PS3 exclusive, but with the recent revelation that it isn't, Phelps will be attempting to clean up the streets of LA on the Xbox 360 as well.
According to GameInformer the game won't be as trigger-happy as the GTA series, with the main focus being fighting crime in the city, and corruption in the LAPD. Phelps also has his own issues to deal with, as he apparently did some nasty things during his time as a soldier in World War II. The relevance of that wasn't covered, but it'll undoubtably play a role in Phelps personality.
As the story progresses, Phelps will man a number of different 'desks' within the LAPD, including Traffic, and Homicide, as he gets promotions. The three key game mechanics to solving crime cases are the game's investigations, interviews, and interrogations systems. At crime scenes Phelps can interact with all sorts of evidence, making notes that he can reference later during interviews and interrogations. Interviews and interrogations use a dialogue system, and it's up players to determine if interviewees or suspects are lying, based on hints from their body language.
Rockstar is putting a lot of effort into facial motion capture so that players will be able to pick up on the subtle hints in the faces of suspects and interviewees; so if you thought cutscenes in GTA were good, it sounds like Rockstar is upping the ante here. No gunplay was detailed by GameInformer, but then again, you can't expect that much from a game thing early in it's marketing cycle.
Source: All Games Beta