E3 2010: Mafia II (Hands on)

by: John -
Mafia II made another appearance at E3 this year and we actually got a hands on approach to the game rather than watching someone play it. While playing though, I got this feeling of déjà vu like I’ve seen all this before. Turns out that the playable demo was, in fact, the developer walk through shown last year.

In any case, the game looks better though and a year’s time should do that. The character models look a little better and the textures certainly looked improved over what I saw last year. The detail in the imperfections on Vito Scarletta face up close is what really jumped out to me in terms of improvements in the visuals.

So, the level shown had you going after someone in a warehouse and showed off the driving and combat portions of the game. When driving around the city to get to the destination where the firefight was to take place, the level of detail in the city was certainly well done and it had that great mid 40s feel to the game. The car certainly didn’t handle as well compared to say cars in Grand Theft Auto but that’s how it was back then.

The combat system has one different aspect to it. Now games like Gears of War and Uncharted 2 has a cover system, which Mafia II does as well. The one difference though is once you stick to a cover, you can’t just move away and become unstuck. You have to press the button again if you want to detach from cover so I had to get used to this for a good part of the game since I was just used to pushing the stick towards me to detach from cover. It certainly keeps you safe when you are trying to move around a lot since you don’t have to fear accidentally putting yourself in an open area but it might be something you have to get used to for a bit if you play those other games a lot. I didn’t check to see if this was an option in the settings but I’ll see if I can go back and ask about it.

I don’t know if I can expound on much more since the last time I saw the demo even though I am playing it this time but it shows potential as a sandbox game in a different setting. Mafia II will finally be out August 24th so it won’t be too long now before we all get to be pulled back in.


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