|Mafia-II Video Game Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 23 August 2010|
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Mafia II Gameplay Details
Driving is central to Mafia II, and requires as much skill as shooting. Real-world physics, combined with WWII-era vehicles makes driving a terrific challenge in Mafia II. When you first begin playing, only certain vehicles exist on the market... and by market I mean the streets from which you pluck them. Later into the game, roadsters such as the Shubert Frigate (hitting 110MPH below) can become the ultimate getaway car. Be careful of your speed, because the posted speed limit isn't just another part of the scenery: police will arrest you for excessive speed.
With so much street to travel and so many places to go, fuel is a real-world need that finds its way into the game. You can go forever without food, providing you don't need to restore health, but you'll be stuck on the side of the road without fuel. Adding fuel to the vehicle (or burning it off) changes the vehicles weight, which is a real-world dynamic I wouldn't have expected to find in a game, and you can see the vehicle sink as it's being filled. It's not so painful though, since you can fill an entire vehicle's tank for the cost of just one of today's gallons. Gas stations are also a good place for quick pay days... if you're willing to risk being shot or arrested.
Since so much of what you'll do in Empire Bay runs opposite the law, it becomes necessary to avoid police by any means necessary. Police in Mafia II identify you two ways: by the attire you're wearing, or the license plates on the car you're driving. Ducking into a clothing shop to buy new or change into existing clothes is a great way to dodge identification and arrest. Finding an auto body shop serves several purposes: it allows you to change and customize license plates, while also being the place for engine tuning upgrades, paint jobs, and high-performance custom wheels/tires. Once you become more adept with driving at high speeds, these upgrades become a necessity.
2K Games has integrated sexual themes directly into Mafia II, and extends these adult features well beyond dolled-up characters serving as eye candy. Players are rewarded for locating up to fifty Playboy Magazine's scattered around Empire Bay, which deposits the centerfold into your collection. Additionally, players willing to endure the 'hard' difficulty setting can collect pinup girl posters.
Paintings and posters are also added into your artwork collection as you progress through the game. These items depict Vito and/or his associates during a particular chapter of the story.
Wanted posters are an added feature to Mafia II, and eagle-eyed players can locate up to 159 such posters throughout Empire Bay. Most posters are hidden behind buildings or blend into walls or surround scenery, so keep your eyes open as you travel on foot. One particularly interesting fact about all of the Wanted posters is that everyone depicted has a Czech name, such as Vaclav Kral or Marek Kovak. This is likely a by-product of being developed by 2K Czech Games.
I'd like to offer a few Mafia II gameplay tips, and share some cheats as well. The first tip is two-handed driving, which uses the left hand for accelerator (W), brake (S) and hand brake (Space), while the right hand uses arrow keys for left and right steering. Driving this way is far easier than using standards WADS layout, and makes quick dual braking (S + Space) more natural. Honking the horn (E) is an excellent way to make computer-driven vehicles immediately steer out of the way as you drive. Next is dodging police: ditch a wanted vehicle just by circling around a corner and exiting (F), or if you're wanted just circling the block on foot (or in a car) to easily ditch police. Finally, there's the cash cow junkyard. Driving vehicles into the compactor earns you up to $500 each deposit, but driving a vehicle there means walking back long distances into the city. Thankfully, Mafia II has positioned a vehicle (and sometimes two) not far from the compactor... and it regenerates after a few minutes of walking away and returning... allowing the patient player to build-up funds.