Mafia II (Wiki) is the best shooting game as of Summer 2010. It will be released in the U.S. on August 24th and three days later in the rest of the world. It works on Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox360, and is available in many languages including US, CZ, RU, DE, ES, FR, and IT.
Today, its 2KCzech creators have released the demo for all three platforms. The PC demo is 1.2 GB big and is available via Steam (click). If you don't have Steam, you will be urged to download it. Before you download Mafia II demo, check whether your PC satisfies the system requirements.
In the demo, you - Vito Scaletta (with friends) - will have to kill a guy called Tommaso Dorigo, nicknamed Fat Man. ;-) The actual city, called the Empire Bay, will be a lot bigger in the full game.
The linear game with super-realistic graphics is using a physics engine, namely NVIDIA's PhysX, which assigns your graphics card with the job to calculate some physics. The creators considered the five-loop MSSM corrections to the interference patterns of the bullets, when they break the glass to lots of pieces, to be the biggest challenge.
There's a lot of authentic music of the 1950s (e.g. Dean Martin) - the start begins after the war and goes through the 1950s - and you will be simply impressed by the realism of the game. See the Xmas Trailer, Vegetarian Trailer, and others. Too much has been written about it and this is not a gaming blog. But I think that the level of physics realism, together with the creators' being my countrymates, makes it necessary for me to mention the program.
Read some first impressions from the demo (one more witness and another one) or a fresh gameplay video (part two). Ripten offers impressions and some of the highest-quality gameplays videos you can find. See 70 screenshots from the demo. Five full 3D Playboy magazines from the 1950s may be browsed; here's where to find them.
The prices of the full Mafia II start at $49.99.
I just completed the demo mission, the Buzzsaw - a similar one to a mission found in the full game - using my Pentium Celeron D single-core 3.33 MHz with a modest, highly below-minimum-recommended, NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT graphics card!
At the beginning, I had a trouble to learn what the mouse is doing. So using your mouse, you must point to the direction that should be in front of you - where you look. Relatively to this direction, W,S,A,D move you to forward,backward,left,right. You open doors, bottles, fridges, sandwitches, splash toilets by E.
In the car, W,S,A,D is doing acceleration, deceleration, left, right.
Using left CTRL, you switch between walking and hiding mode. The hiding mode always hides you behind a natural barrier and keeps you there. You press left CTRL again and you're released from the barrier. Alternatively, you may shoot from behind the barrier. If you press the right mouse button, you temporarily look from behind the barrier. Even if you're not hiding, the image zooms in and you can focus on a bastard and shoot him with your left mouse button.
Other controls, such as 1,2,3,4 to change the weapon and R to reload, and Q to kick the door, etc. are explained naturally as you play. I was very impressed with the game and the efficiency of the controlling system, bribery system for the cops, elegance of wrestling on the street, music on the radios - the radio station in the car is switched by the COMMA and PERIOD keys on the keyboard - and millions of other things.
The most complete technical and performance review where the guy, using very powerful graphics cards, notices that PhysX and 3D stereo technologies didn't reduce the frames-per-second rates too much.