After the success La Noire it seems like it’s about time an effort was made to make the facial expressions more realistic, or in some cases give facial expressions.
Since La Noires’ release people have been talking about it, trying to figure out if suspects are lying or not and reacting accordingly. Largely were they looking you in the eye, nervous twitch etc, which was possible with facial mapping and gave more of a feeling that you were trying to outwit a person not a pre-rendered robot. Playing this game was really a break from the norm, using actor’s facial expressions in that much detail. Sometimes you were lucky to get a moving mouth, eyes and eye brows. Seems obvious when you realise that they have been using people to get physical movements right for years.
People have commented that when you watch a movie in a couple hours people have laughed, cried, been scared or angry. In gaming mostly you get stoic main character, then gets annoyed and then goes on a killing spree for 30 hours or however long the game is. Certain types in the UK media like to use this two dimensional example to bad mouth gamers. These people also never heard of Heavy Rain, where you take several roles with different characters. As much depth as Heavy Rain has it really lacked in facial area as far as communicating tough personal decisions that each character went through.
I felt that with the release of La Noire, even the least exposed to games can recognise that games these days are complex these days. It was the first game to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival! Now post La Noire will we see more games use this kind of technology? Of course we will but will the quality be there? Debateable. I hope they will put time and effort into it, not just slap it on a game about to be released so it just looks bad. I fear there may be a few that will do this before someone tries to surpass the quality in La Noire. I don’t think we will have a game that can move you in the same way a film can yet, but I think the day is coming.