There's something about the gangster
genre that seems to really lend itself to the open-world
videogame. The Grand Theft Auto series has
cemented the style in the modern world, but it was Mafia:
The City of Lost Heaven that introduced the classic
early 20th Century style to the genre. This was not an
entirely successful game, riddled with bugs and odd design
decisions; but, years on, its atmosphere remains barely
Mafia 2 takes place a decade or
so after the original title, and the city is heavy in its
late-40s stylisation. Early footage and screenshots
look extremely promising, though the story seems oddly
familiar, with players stepping into the role of Vito
Scaletta, the son of Sicilian immigrants, as he returns from
the war to find himself increasingly drawn into a life of
organised crime. Mario Puzo must be spinning in his
grave - or at least demanding royalties from the other side.
must be spinning in his grave..."
Mafia 2 promises one of those
'living, breathing cities', and, if its feature list to be
believed, it could go further to realising this goal than
anything before. NPCs go about their daily lives
despite you, with people waiting for buses, sitting about
reading newspapers, or - if they're in a particularly bad
place in life - searching through dustbins. 2K are
particularly hyping the level of possible interaction with
the world, with books you can read, radios you can listen
to, taps you can turn on and so forth.
With Rockstar's current monopoly over the sandbox gangster
genre, 2K Czech have a lot to live up to; but with 2K Games'
complete control over this sequel, and the reputation they
have for their quality games, the Grand Theft Auto
series could see itself pipped at its own game. We'll
find out, 2K tell us, later this year.
DEVELOPER: 2K Czech
PUBLISHER: 2K Games
FORMAT: XBox360 / PS3 / PC
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