Mafia II – my New York City experience

Screenshot via IGN

Well first things first, Mafia II really is poised to become an instant classic. With over 5 years of development, and a huge following from the original – the pre-orders are stacking up and downloads of the demo are as well. People are awaiting to see what Mafia II really is about. And I have to plug the Miami release party put together by Gamertag Radio, which is going down this Sunday August 22nd at Grand Central lounge (click here for info). But I digress…

Like I mentioned, I was given the privilege of going to New York in late June to attend a private 2K Games preview presentation of Mafia II, and of Civilization V, both of which are part of a stable of franchise games under the 2K Games umbrella. But for now, since it is Mafia II week here on The305, we’ll just stick with Mafia II for now and discuss Civilization V at a later date.

Now, as far as what we saw at the presentation – we basically got to experience an exclusive look into the game, a demo version beyond what the general public and press got to see at the E3 convention which occurred a couple months earlier.

I’ll be 100 percent honest and give full disclosure that I am not a hardcore gamer. So I came into the presentation with a more non-biased mindset. However after seeing all three versions, Mafia II looks best via its PC version. While that was expected, it still pretty much destroys its console cousins in the graphics department without argument.

The console side of things is a heavy marketplace though, and Mafia II will definitely have its Xbox 360 and PS3 comparison wars – they’ve actually already been occurring. But from my look at both console versions, both are good adaptations of the game, with the Xbox 360 looking slightly better in rendering. However, PS3 owners may find a little leverage with exclusive downloadable content. That I know of, right now the Betrayal Of Jimmy DLC will currently be a PS3 exclusive that the Xbox 360 won’t have.

I got a chance to experience the game in all its forms. But the highlight of the presentation was experiencing the NVIDIA  based 3D rig ( that 2K Games had set up to let us experience Mafia II in real 3D. One word: amazing. With a PC that was seemingly on steroids, we experienced Mafia II in what seems like all modern games should be played like. I’m talking three HD monitors side-by-side added with the NVIDIA’s 3D Vision glasses and it was literally as if you were back in the 1940’s. And with the three-monitor set-up, it was like having true peripheral vision capabilities during game-play. It was really an experience like no other, however I’m sure it will be a pretty penny to get your PC set-up to duplicate what I experienced. But for the hardcore gamer…think of it as an investment for the future.

All in all, the game was great…well, atleast what I was able to play of it. And come this August 24th, you can have your chance at adding this title to your arsenal of games for the PS3, Xbox 360 or PC.

Tomorrow we’ll give you a look into the super limited and exclusive Mafia II gun lamp that was sent over to us. Stay tuned.