“L.A. Noire” is Rockstar Games’s newest edition of their long, acclaimed line of sandbox crime drama games — only this time, you’re the cops, not the robbers. Heavily influenced by the film noir genre, this gritty and graphic game feels like a love letter to those 1940s cinematic gems. As Cole Phelps (portrayed by Aaron Staton for TV’s “Mad Men”), you play a young detective on a fast track to the top in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1947. Phelps, a good-hearted but flawed man, served as an officer in the U.S. military during World War II, a back story presented in a series of flashbacks throughout the game. These flashbacks fill in the blanks and help with the progression of an excellently written story. Let’s face it: You’ve played other Rockstar sandbox games. You’ve played “Grand Theft Auto,” or “Red Dead Redemption,” or even “Bully.” You know how well Rockstar does sandboxes. “L.A. Noire” is no different. The look of a post-war Los Angeles boomtown of the late ’40s is captured perfectly, complete with cars, radio programs and ads from that decade. It really helps you immerse yourself into the seedy underbelly of the glitz-and-glamour town. The driving controls are the same, except for the fact that it’s about impossible to run over any pedestrians. (Trust me, I spent about an hour trying. I hit maybe three people, tops.) The shooting and hand-to-hand fighting controls are the same as well. If it’s basically the same exact bullshit, why bother playing? Why not just slap in my copy of GTA4 and murder the shit out of some cops and hookers? Well, all the hype around “L.A. Noire” isn’t about those things — it’s about the suspect interrogations. That’s right: Not only do you catch the bad guys, you get to question them for a confession or more clues. And it’s way, way cooler than I just made it sound. With every answer you can trust, doubt or, if you have the right evidence, call out the subject for lying. It’s kind of like playing a video-game version of “The First 48.” Who can argue with that? A lot of determining whether a suspect is lying or not has to do with watching their facial expression. Normally this would be a pretty tall task for video-game characters with their cold, lifeless, Nicole Kidman-like eyes, but Rockstar recruited Depth Analysis to help. All DA did was invent a completely new technology called MotionScan. I’m not going to even pretend I understand all the technical shit that MotionScan does, but basically it surrounds an actor’s face with 32 cameras from different angles to capture even the smallest facial expression. It’s very cool and a little bit creepy at the same time. As far as games go, this one is pretty awesome. “L.A. Noire” lives up to the hype. Something about it grabs your attention and holds onto it for dear life. Good story, good side quests, good new tech — when brought together it just works, kind of like the Dallas Mavericks. I can’t exactly put my finger on it and you probably won’t either, but you should buy, rent or steal (disclaimer: don’t steal) this game as soon as the opportunity presents itself.