The similarities are obvious.
Both games are published by Rockstar, both took at least five years to develop and produce (nearly seven years in the case of L.A. Noire ), both are dragging down very similar review scores, both came out in May (okay, maybe that's not so relevant), and both adopt an open-world setting. Granted, the free-roaming aspect in this year's Team Bondi effort isn't a major focal point, as it was in RDR and GTA, but it's definitely there. The control is certainly similar, at any rate.
But given the…well, let's say more "intellectual" foundation of L.A. Noire , does it have any hope of reaching the lofty sales plateaus set by 2010's Red Dead Redemption ? The GTA of the Wild West? RDR started fast by selling a good half-million copies in the first few days, and then went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide. According to various reports, they needed to sell at least 4 million just to break even…well, they did that. But is the budget for L.A. Noire just as high and if so, will 4 or 5 million be possible? Based on the critical reception and early gamer interest, it does seem to be headed in that direction.
Even so, the fact remains that this is not GTA or RDR. It's similar structurally but in terms of core goals and priorities, L.A. Noire is a world apart. I just keep thinking it won't cater to the casual gamer quite as much as the other two franchises, although it's hard to miss the advertising. Plus, those who are interested in "watching a movie" might be more inclined to give it a try. …can you imagine if Rockstar could do this every year? You know they want to. If L.A. Noire hits, they'll have two consecutive years without a GTA where one of their games burned up the charts. Not bad.
Related Game(s): L.A. Noire