LA Noire To Defeat the Uncanny Valley
Some people will tell you that the uncanny valley does not exist. Others champion it like a knight overthrowing a dragon: a trophy to denote sweet, sweet victory. Team Bondi, the developers behind the 1950’s detective game LA Noire, claim they have “defeated the uncanny valley.”
Y’see, Team Bondi believes that making realistic human faces is a prerequisite for creating a complex investigative game. “We wanted to make a detective game,” McNamara, founder of Team Bondi, told OPM. “And a key part of that is interrogating people. If you’re going to see if somebody is lying, you have to be able to look for little poker tells, all that stuff.” p-p-p-poker face?
Of course, you can’t have a discussion about the uncanny valley without mentioning PS3 heavyweight, Heavy Rain. McNamara says that “The characters look great [in Heavy Rain], but in the terms of believability you still have to sort of suspend your disbelief and enjoy the game.”
Hmm, I don’t know–there’s something oddly perfect about the skin of the models, isn’t there? Actually, there’s something oddly perfect about the models in general–the everything has the same perfect, smooth texture. The expressions seem spot on, though.
And while it’s true you had to suspend your disbelief in Heavy Rain, it was still succesful depicting humans with a character like Scott Shelby, who looked insanely real.
Now, compare that to this: