During a talk with Edge magazine (via Thumb Culture), Remedy CEO Matthias Myllyrinne talked about how his studio had made a technological breakthrough that "uses motion capture as a starting point for generating scans of actors… including 64 facial poses from which [Remedy] claims every human expression can be derived."
What this new tech allows Remedy to do is adjust facial animations with a slider, which is a bit different then the 1:1 capture of human facial expressions used in the tech behind L.A. Noire. Myllyrinne says that this new approach gives Remedy more lead way to tweak and toggle animation settings to get the exact performance they are looking for from their actors. In stark black and white terms, Myllyrinne laid it out like this:
"'LA Noire has set a bar for facial animation,' said Remedy CEO Matthias Myllyrinne. Raising one hand, then placing his other significantly higher, he added: 'But L.A. Noire is here, we’re aiming to be here.'"
And that’s unfortunately all we have to go off of right now. We don’t know what game/demo Edge was shown (if any), or even if the tech behind it surpasses Rockstar and Team Bondi’s effort. This could very well be a case of Remedy blowing smoke up our asses to start the hype train a bit early for whatever project they have lined up next. With that said, if this tech is really as impressive as Remedy says, and it’s being used for Alan Wake 2, we’ll eat crow right now and immediately jump on the bandwagon. It’s the Wakers in us, we can’t help ourselves.