I don't mean to imply that L.A. Noire will be as amazing as Quantic Dream's masterpiece, nor would I put both titles in question in the same category.
More specifically, I'm wondering if the advancements in storytelling offered by L.A. Noire – which I think we're all anticipating – will assist the industry in the "growing up" process, in much the same way Heavy Rain was progressive. We've heard a great deal about the MotionScan technology utilized by Team Bondi, and the idea of making facial reactions and emotions an integral part of the gameplay is potentially evolutionary. If it works well enough, it might open the floodgates for other developers: how many situations might benefit from such a technological leap? How many dramatic and emotional scenes might be all the more intense and immersive thanks to our interaction with the evident emotion? What if we take this idea and apply it to what we already know?
What if in Red Dead Redemption , you could sense the fear in the face of an opponent during a duel; when that fear appears to peak, he'll draw. Or what about in the Mass Effect franchise or any game that allows for player choice? We make our choice based on the reaction and emotion of another character, exactly as humans do on a daily basis. What if we're caught in a tense situation in the next GTA; we're making some sort of trade (hostage for money, or something), and we watch the faces around us for any sign of danger; even for any sign of betrayal from supposed friends. The point is, the majority of human communication is non-verbal…if we could somehow harness the gestures and movements that gives away our mood, attitude, and even thoughts, that'd be an amazing step.
And it's possible we'll see the start of that artistic revolution when L.A. Noire releases this spring. Here's hoping we're not setting the bar too high; in our estimation, we almost need a Heavy Rain each and every year, just to insure the forward progression of the industry.
Related Game(s): L.A. Noire