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Mafia II

But eye candy isn’t the only department where Mafia 2 is packing some serious heat. Slick, intimate details hint at just how far the devs are intent on pushing the open-world envelope this time out. How about cheeky touches like being able to buy a newspaper and browse through the current affairs of the time? Or take a seat, turn on the radio, and listen to the oldies when they were new? That should certainly guarantee a high quality soundtrack, at least. We’re talking seriously nifty levels of interactivity here. That’s without even mentioning a map that sprawls for over ten square miles and is fully unlocked from the onset of the adventure. Coolest of all – in similar fashion to the ultimately pap Driver: Parallel Lines – is the way in which Empire City and its vehicles will actually move with the times as the narrative progresses through the 40s and 50s, imbuing the story and gameplay with an evocative sense of place.

The original Mafia’s much-maligned driving has also seen an overhaul, so expect not only a far snappier fleet of vehicles – now also including motorbikes – to drive to destruction, but a framerate that (unlike the original’s mind-meltingly sluggish console version) can comfortably keep pace with the action. Crucially, cops won’t be quite so ‘diligent’ now either. Gone are the days when you’d be in the midst of a mission, creeping along at 35mph, only to hear the dreaded sirens of the fuzz a-wailing as they arrived to stove your face in for speeding. Now it’s pedal to the metal time, although push your luck too far and we’re warned there will still be hefty consequences...

Like some kind of extraordinary next-gen checklist, 2K Czech are even attempting to imbue Mafia 2 with ‘verticality’, 2008’s gaming gimmick of choice. Vito will be able to scale Empire City’s equivalents of both the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State during the course of missions (our guess is they’ll involve a spot of high altitude sniping), which means we’ll hopefully be able to take in some spectacular sights alongside all that cotton wool balls-in-mouth, severed-nag’s-head-in-bed Cosa Nostra drama.

All good things to say at this point in time then, though admittedly we’re primarily going off our stellar memories of the original married with the absurdly impressive-sounding gameplay promises in this new installment. With no actual gameplay experience under our belts and no mention whatsoever about crucial aspects like multiplayer, this might yet turn out to be a white (and red and green) elephant – but somehow we doubt it. Put your bets on this one being a blast.

Nov 12, 2008

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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