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Mafia II

Released in 2002, the original Mafia was pretty much one of the standout games of that year. It offset its admittedly mediocre driving (1930s bangers + speed limits = major yawns) with top shooting and a plot that honestly wouldn’t have looked out of place alongside Oscar-winning underworld fare like Goodfellas. Despite being lauded by critics and lapped up by the PC brigade, a steaming conversion to Xbox and PS2 meant that it ended up stinking up the joint on console. And that was a darn shame, compounded by GTA III shooting Rockstar into the stratosphere almost simultaneously. GTA, as we all know, then went from strength to strength while Mafia devs Illusion Softworks went on to make the Cleveland steamer that was Vietcong. Funny how life works out sometimes, eh fellas?

Now, as definitive proof of the existence of gaming karma, Mafia has at last broken free of its six-year concrete overcoat and arisen, spluttering seaweed, from the shores of Lost Heaven. Obviously, there’s a new (anti) hero this time round – made man-turned-police rat Tommy Angelo having been rubbed out by the remnants of the Salieri family at the tear-shedding climax of the first game. Enter fresh meat Vito Scaletta, son of Sicilian immigrants, and his grand dreams of becoming a Goodfella in 40s/50s Empire City (a fictional Big Apple.)

Although it’s hardly Fallout 3 in its scale, we’re promised Vito will be able to make moral decisions at crucial junctures in the story. With Daniel Vavra – writer and director of the original – back on board, we’re expecting nothing less than one of the most stellar narratives in videogame history. Take it from us; this guy’s that good.

Obviously though, the sandbox drive/shoot/Bada-Bing-‘em-up genre has changed a wee bit since ’02, with GTA IV setting a seemingly untoppable watermark. But wait, what’s this? Incredi-screenshots ahoy! Admittedly (and frustratingly), having not actually seen Mafia 2 in action yet, these outrageously pleasing shots and some new details are all we have to go on. That said, the original Mafia was one of the most beautiful PC games ever seen, so there’s no reason to doubt the Illusion boys (now all bought up and reinvented as 2K Czech) will do a stellar job on the visuals front.

5 comments

  • Dinkymod - November 13, 2008 7:52 p.m.

    I played it on PC a long time ago, so I didn't have any performance problems. I LOVED the game. And am I the only one who didn't really get annoyed by the speed limits? You could always lose the cops, and even so there weren't cops EVERYWHERE to catch you when you ran a red light or were speeding. Oh well. I can't wait for Mafia 2, speed limits or not, Mafia 1 was one of the best single-player experiences I've ever had, and Mafia 2 looks to carry that on. And I could care less about multi-player in Mafia... Unless it's co-op - HELL YEAH!
  • TrIp13G - November 13, 2008 12:55 a.m.

    I can wait for this about as well as a meal if I was starving to death.
  • sed598 - November 15, 2008 6:26 p.m.

    I agree with dinkymod co-op would be insane. I wasnt fortunate to play the pc version but thats alright cause the xbox version had all the narrative goodness the pc version had. Can't wait for this to come out.
  • quicksilver_503 - November 13, 2008 6:48 p.m.

    i had mafia on ps2. it did suffer from problems but it was a fantastic story. i'm eager to hear more.
  • GodlikeApe - November 13, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    I loved Mafia, it's one of few games that I actually can still remember a lot of the story and gameplay without having played it for five years. I was ecstatic after hearing a sequel was in the works and now having read that preview I'm positivly insane at the thought of having to wait any longer to play it! Still, as GR said, could be a white elephant. But I don't see how multiplayer is a 'crucial aspect'.

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