Mafia II makes use of PhysX and 3D on the PC


Mafia II will be out this August on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, and if given the choice between the three versions, then I'd suggest getting Mafia II on the PC. Besides the exclusive extra features, the game will also have 3D support. Why is that such a big deal?


Of course, homicidal driving in 3D isn't the sole reason you'll want to pick up Mafia II. There's a deep, serious story here that will provide a nice alternative to those who are tired of over-the-top, arcade-style sandbox crime games. Find out more after the break.

Mafia II (PC [previewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Developer: 2K Czech
Publisher: 2K Games
To be released: August 24, 2010

The demo begins with main character Vito selling cigarettes off the back of a truck with help from his friend, Joe. A rival gang doesn't appreciate the encroachment on their territory, so they destroy the truck with Molotov cocktails. No good deed goes unpunished, so Vito, Joe and a few other members of the crime family pay a visit to a building owned by the rival gang. They then proceed to take the place down with a hail of bullets.

Where the PC version starts to differentiate itself from the consoles is with the use of Nvidia's PhysX. As you're shooting up the building, pieces of wood and glass will splinter onto the ground in a realistic manner. PhysX also powers Mafia II's clothing and explosion systems, giving both a real-world look.

The crew then makes its way to the rival gang's home base, where an all-out war goes down. Playing this type of mission like it's a Halo game is suicide. You can't take too much damage, so you need to make use of cover, Gears-style. Thankfully, your AI buddies are actually smart and do just enough to give you proper support.

This game is set in 1945, so your weapons and vehicles handle as they would during that era, which is crap compared to current standards. So playing this game with your current mindset of how a gun or vehicle should handle will just infuriate you. It doesn't take long to get used to how things control, at least, and I feel it just adds another layer of authenticity for Mafia II.

Graphically, the game was looking better on the PC side of things, of course. There's a lot of attention to detail and I never noticed any pop-in or draw distance issues. The PhysX tech will scale appropriately to your PC depending on what your rig can handle. But one thing that really bugged me was the character modeling. The facial expressions just scream uncanny valley, and they kept me from fully enjoying the cut-scenes. The voice acting was top notch, though.

My time with the game  was short, but I found myself actually caring about what was going on. Everything about the presentation -- from the weather effects to the sound design -- gives off a rich feeling that really propelled me into Mafia II's atmosphere.

Mafia II will make use of Nvidia's 3D Vision, which lets you adjust how deep or close you want to see the image on the fly. You need to have a monitor with a 120 Hz refresh rate, as you're getting 60 frames per second on each eye through Nvidia's 3D Shadow Glasses, the only ones that will work with Mafia II.

3D typically gives me a massive headache, but I never had a problem, even when I had the Nvidia representative constantly adjust the picture as I played. There were some HUD placement issues that would get in the way of the 3D feel, but I was told they'll be looking into the problem. Also, the Playboy scans weren't in 3D. Totally lame.

And according to 2K, Destructoid was the only outlet that tried running over people in 3D. Seriously, t's absolutely hysterical watching bodies flail on the hood of your car in 3D. Destructoid: previewing games as sadistically as possible since 2006.

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Hamza CTZ Aziz
Hamza CTZ AzizShark   gamer profile



Filed under... #2K Games #3D #Destructoid on assignment #PC #Previews



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