10 reasons to respect Mafia II

7. The radio knows what you’re doing
Mafia II won’t feature multiple radio stations you can switch between, but Grace said that, instead, you’ll hear convincing-sounding radio broadcasts that match the mood of whatever you’re doing. If you’ve just finished a tough mission and the coast is clear, for example, the music’s going to be upbeat, while dangerous situations are going to sound a lot more foreboding. And if you’ve just done something that’s attracted a lot of public attention, you’ll probably hear a news report about it.

Also notable is that the radio’s content will change along with the era, something that would probably be a nightmare to implement with multiple stations.

8. The missions are laid out organically
In most open-world games, missions are made available through icons on a map, which you can visit or ignore as they become available. Mafia II, meanwhile, will take a more linear approach, with most missions beginning when Vito gets a call from Joe about some work that needs doing. Similarly, side missions will be something you stumble across when the story calls for it; for example, you might witness a hit and run while driving home from a job, and you’ll have the option of either pursuing the culprit (remembering that mobsters are, ideally, supposed to protect people in territories they control) or ignoring them (remembering most of them actually don’t).

9. The game knows you’re busy
Despite the huge size of its script, Scalici said that there are around two hours of non-interactive cutscenes sprinkled throughout the game, and that in general there was an effort to keep them to a minimum. Instead, the bulk of the story will unfold around you while you’re in control. We’re also told that Mafia II will never make players sit through a load screen. So long as those cutscenes aren’t unskippable, this should come as great news to the impatient.

10. No mandatory racing
According to Grace, there won’t be anything in Mafia II like the mandatory race mission that was such a bear in the first Mafia. So thank God for that.

Apr 27, 2009

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