|Mafia-II Video Game Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 23 August 2010|
Page 9 of 9
Gameplay Final Thoughts
In full disclosure, I'm not really a fan of old tyme Italian-gangster themed games. What makes Mafia II so impressive is how this game took my opposing personal tastes and consumed me into a storyline that kept me hooked. Once you get past the macho mob-mentality continually spewed from Vito's pal Joe Barbaro, this game really grows legs and takes you for a ride. By the end, you're personally involved enough to feel a little sympathy for a few fictional characters. This is how Mafia II earned my respect, and also how the game has you glued to the plot like a good book.
The game itself plays out well, although there were certain aspects I would have liked to see more of. Driving isn't one of them, and I the task a bit tedious... even when you're driving the fastest car with the best upgrades. Fist fights are played down in Mafia II, save for your time in the slammer, and seem to completely go away after your return from prison. Taking cover during gun fights is essential, but it also stacks odds heavily in your favor. As a result of this, I recommend that gamers play Mafia II on the 'Hard' difficulty setting to experience the most realistic challenge. This setting also unlocks the pinup poster collectables.
To experience Mafia II with all it's high-quality graphical glory, gamers are going to require at least a GeForce GTX 470 video card to produce optimal frame rates. Of course, the game's settings can all be dialed down, but once you've experienced APEX PhysX there's really no turning back. Although I've generally been rather quiet in regard to PhysX quality enhancements for video games, this silence ends with Mafia II. APEX PhysX literally helped turn Mafia II from video game to video reality - it's that different. Add NVIDIA's GeForce 3D-Vision onto this, whether it be single display or 3D-Vision Surround, and you'll experience realism not found in any other title before this.
While there were a few less-detailed graphical examples found, overall Mafia II contains some of the best high-detail textures we've seen in a game. Formerly revered high-detail games such as Crysis hardly compare to the intensive design features found in Mafia II, and when APEX Clothing or APEX Vegetation are taken into consideration there's really no equal. NVIDIA's APEX Destruction doesn't bring an entire building down like Battlefield Bad Company 2, but then again that's a rather difficult task when you're firing a Tommy Gun. APEX Turbulence transforms smoke, fumes, and vapor into familiar real-world details that consume you into the environment and convincingly imitate reality.
After it's all said and done, Mafia II leaves the player with several unanswered questions. The first time I played throught the entire game I found myself wanting more once the final chapter (15) was played out. Since I was on a deadline, skipping past all cinema scenes offered a five-hour total game time. The second time I played (on hard), more time was spent watching the cut scenes and hunting down posters, but it was the random elements such as vehicle upgrades and crime spree escapades that really add to the Mafia II replay value.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Benchmark Reviews has also published the supplementary report entitled NVIDIA APEX PhysX: CPU vs GPU Efficiency. This article uses Mafia II to compare GeForce and Radeon PhysX capabilites using GPU and CPU physics model processing.
+ Outstanding high-detail graphical textures
- Lacks online multiplayer gameplay
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