Mafia 2 E3 preview

The original Mafia was a solid, albeit flawed open-world take on the crime action genre, putting you in the shoes of a gangster while giving you a variety of accurate vehicles and weapons. Now, 2K Games is getting ready to launch the sequel for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Mafia 2 is set to update the series slightly, moving up the action to the 1950’s, complete with accurate music, vehicles, and environments (and, erm, even back issues of Playboy magazine). GameZone was on hand at this year’s E3 to check out the game and get a brief look at what it has to offer would-be gangster.

The E3 preview demo began with a phone call from your superior, stating that a certain corpulent person without a father (ok, not the exact words, but you know where this is going) is in need of some lead poisoning from you and your crew. You drive out to a specific location in a car (either from the environment or your own garage, GTA-style) to pick up your buddies and then drive them to the location to take the guy out.

The game utilizes the Speed Limiter function from the first Mafia game, allowing you to keep your car driving under a specific speed limit in order to keep the cops off of you, although you can turn it off if you’d like to go faster at the risk of some unwanted heat. The vehicles also handle pretty realistic. While this might be a little unforgiving for some of the more spoiled players used to loose, arcade handling of other car-based games, but it adds to the game’s overall accuracy, which is important when approaching a period-set title like this.

Once you arrive at your destination, you get in a shootout with the guy and some of his buddies. He disappears into the adjacent building, requiring you to take them out before you can chase him down. Luckily, you’ve got some heavy weaponry on your site, courtesy of a heavy-duty automatic rifle set up on the windowsill, allowing you to take them out with ease. Then, you must navigate a few floors of the building with your crew, snapping in and out of cover when needed and taking out enemies with weapons like handguns, Tommy guns and shotguns.

You get to the guy and kill him, but not before he manages to wound one of your buddies. You must then shoot your way out of the building as it starts to burn down and the cops start to chase you to the doctor’s office, at which point the demo ends in a cliffhanger moment.

Mafia 2 is banking heavily on realism, offering accurate vehicle handling and weapons, as well as a general sense of atmosphere, including period-accurate music through the radio. If you’re looking for a fine 50’s Mafioso quest set in a realistic universe, then Mafia 2 could have what you’re looking for.