Playing L.A. Noire this week has reminded us of two things: 1) There is nothing more badass than a hard-boiled detective solving crimes while wearing a freshly pressed suit, and 2) The closest we'll ever get to being that cool is by playing videogames based on said characters. Besides, we look terrible in suits. But Rockstar was far from the first developers to put noir detective stories in an interactive context, so grab a fedora and pour yourself three fingers of rye as we take a look at our favorite noir videogames of all time.
We're initially skeptical of any adult whose preferred nickname involves numbers, but Suda51, the creator of No More Heroes and Killer7, has definitely won us over. His stylized, heavily Japanese take on the noir genre involves a man named Harman Smith whose unique (i.e. "made-up") form of split-personality disorder allows him to become one of seven different assassins, each with their own distinct talents and quirks. Without getting into detail about each assassin, I'll just leave you with the most important fact: in this game you can play as a Mexican Wrestler named MASK de Smith who just might have the ability to headbutt bullets. Despite its wild, cell-shaded visuals and the inclusion of a group of power-ranger ripoffs known simply as "The Handsome Men," Killer7 is an intense tale of conspiracy and betrayal that shows off videogames' unique ability to take a well-tread concept like film noir and expand it into new (and insane) areas of narrative.