First Look At Whore Of The Orient, The Next Game From Aussie Creators Of L.A. Noire

Brendan McNamara's first game had players exploring the seamy underbelly of an impressive, gleaming recreation of 1940s Los Angeles with L.A. Noire. The first glimpse at his next game — being produced with director George Miller's Australian film production firm KMM Interactive — the grime is all out in the open.

Despite the fact that McNamara's Team Bondi was absorbed into KMM, the dev studio's website shows off what appears to be the first image from Whore of the Orient. The title is being described as being developed for next-generation consoles and PC. The page also has the Warner Bros logo on it, likely due to the fact that they've distributed KMM projects like the Happy Feet 2 movies and video games.

The description on the Team Bondi site follows:

Shanghai, 1936. Whore of the Orient. Paris of the East. The most corrupt and decadent city on the planet, where anything can be had or done for the right price. Plaything of Western powers who greedily exploit the Chinese masses. Boiling pot of Chinese nationalism, with the Kuomintang ruthlessly trying to suppress Communism and the labour movement. Home to the International Police Force, a group of Western cops hopelessly trying to keep the lid on and keep the peace.

From the development team who brought you L.A. Noire and The Getaway, along with the Academy Award winning film production team of Kennedy Miller Mitchell comes a completely new and original IP being developed for next generation games consoles and PC.

The Getaway, famous for its photo-realistic look, strong narrative and uncompromising gameplay style, sold over 4 million units on the PlayStation 2. The release of L.A. Noire set the quality bar even higher selling over 5 million units. L.A. Noire was critically heralded as a breakthrough for interactive storytelling and was the first game ever to be invited to be shown at New York's world renowned Tribeca Film Festival. L.A. Noire has gone on to become the UK's fastest selling original IP - a title previously held by The Getaway - and a worldwide number one hit. Using award winning animation technology to capture every actor's facial performance in astonishing detail, L.A. Noire combined breathtaking action with true detective work to deliver an unprecedented interactive experience.


Comments

    Meh, I personally felt L.A. Noire was boring, and had terribly uninteresting gameplay. To me it felt like a film trying to be a game.

      I gave up on the game. Really disliked playing Cole 'Gosh I'm Boring' Phelps.

    Loved LA Noire, and played all the way through. Looking fwd to this next game. I am ok with calling it almost like an interactive film, but don't see that as a criticism

    how on earth is McNamara making another game, isn't he the worst person in the industry to work for? who are these masochist willing toil under him and get ripped off by him.

      Was just wondering the same thing. Especially here in Australia where the development community is relatively small - you'd think word would get around. Of course the other side of that is that there are also not so many options available if you want to work in game development. If you want to make AAA games instead of mobile phone games then this is probably one of the few options around...

      Hoping he's a writer/director, but NOT a project manager this time around.

        The weird thing is after Team Bondi closed there was an article about a shirt they all got as parting gifts, I mentioned the apparent tension in the comments and a bunch of the developers didn't seem to know what I was rambling about. (http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/01/check-out-what-ex-team-bondi-staff-are-wearing-these-days/)

          Well they posted that after they'd transitioned over to KMM and so were still working for McNamara. I guess posting that your boss is a **** isn't a great way to keep your job :P

      I didn't hear he ripped off anyone, where was that reported? Source?

      I think the big problem is - Team Bondi's dirt got smeared everywhere (and justifiably so) but McNamara's practices are by no means unique. It's common across the whole industry.

    I'm kind of surprised they named their game after a fairly colonial and offensive phrase. Especially from the blurb, which suggests they know exactly how that phrase was used and the cultural baggage associated with it.

      If you are being serious about getting the history right, and as long as they treat the subject matter with respect, the name is probably okay.
      From the looks of it, the western powers aren't going to be idealised (I hope) so maybe the game wont be offensive.

      Whether being historically accurate or not, the name doesn't need to be called "Whore of the Orient". It is obvious they are trying to garner attention. I think this will actually work against them - a lot of people aren't going to want to own a game with the word "whore" in it. God knows how on earth they are going to market this thing.

        I think Thom was referring to 'Orient', but 'whore' isn't really a great word to splash around either. Definitely smacks of attention seeking.

        Also just found this on wikipedia:
        "It is worth remembering, though, that Oriental is not an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. It is most objectionable in contemporary contexts and when used as a noun, as in the appointment of an Oriental to head the commission. But in certain historical contexts, or when its exotic connotations are integral to the topic, Oriental remains a useful term"

          Just to clarify. I think there's three levels to this title:
          1. "whore": probably not a word to use in polite company, but there has been a 'retake the word' trend recently.
          2. "orient": a word with a lot of colonial baggage like "subcontinent", which most people try to avoid using, but can be appropriate depending on context.
          3. "whore of the orient": this phrase was always just offensive. I get that people of the time likely used that, and I'd expect them to use it in a game depicted in that period. That doesn't mean its a good title. Why not just "Paris of the East"?

          I'm not offended by the title personally, but I think its intentionally offensive, probably to drum up publicity.

    I loved L.A. Noire, personally. I can't wait to play this too. Hope things go a little easier on the development team this time and lessons have been learned.

      Me too! If they can produce something as great as L.A. Noire was then i'll be happy!

      I'd say the title was very much deliberate, but I think calling it offensive is jumping the gun a bit. We know nothing at all about the tone of the game or the story it's telling, and it could well be that the title is perfectly appropriate. Acknowledging historical attitudes and policies like imperialism, colonialism and orientalism doesn't have to mean promoting them.

      Think of a game set in Nazi Germany called 'The Final Solution' - it's an offensive term, and a disgraceful idea, but the name itself shouldn't be off-limits, and we shouldn't immediately assume that the game is exploiting the term or embracing it in any way.

        Dunno what happened there, that was meant as a reply to Thom

    Hmmm, what I liked about LA Noire was the atmosphere and the aesthetics - the attention to detail was awesome, especially when it came down to the cars! Oh, which reminds me: I liked the car chases too.

    What I didn't like was practically everything else, namely the shoddy gunplay and the frequency of ambiguous responses in interrogations that caused you to lose major cases.
    These guys can really provide a good setting, but they've got a lot to work on in terms of gemeplay mechanics.

    I loved LA Noire, so I am looking forward to see how this goes. However, it's well known that the game was quite different until Rockstar jumped in, so I do have that level of doubt though.

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