Mafia 2 Demo
Mafia 2 is getting dangerously close to release, and as such a playable demo has been released. Out the last set of games being released this year Mafia is the one that has me most excited, especially as the original took me 3 years to complete. I’ve spent some time looking at the demo and I’m almost certain this is going to do well. The demo gives you a chance to play about in the city for about 10 minutes and gives a bespoke demo mission for you to try out. I haven’t written or said ‘bespoke demo mission’ for a long time, so everyone needs to give 2K Czech a big hug.
10 minutes is actually an adequate time to play about with the part of the city that’s available to you which is about 1/6th. Going round and looking at the shops and stuff will probably only take you about 6 minutes, and it was rare for my shoot-outs with the police that I started for the sheer hell of it to last 10 minutes. Not because they got bored, but because they were better shots that me.
It’s worth pointing out how the wanted system works. Usually you can outrun/gun the police and get 5 seconds of respite before someone else appears. This time, if there are no police there, you’re still wanted. But they don’t know where you are. A description of the vehicle you were in or your description is relayed around, and if a police officer sees something matching that description it all starts again.
This doesn’t disappear until you do something about it either. The clothes shops, the garages or just a plain bribe to someone in the police force will get rid of it and you’ll be free to play as usual. Or you could just keep going round and continuing the shoot-outs because it’s fun to cause a high body count.
I’m in two minds about the combat though. Melee fights are as simple as you’d imagine (Light hits, heavy hits, dodge), but the cover system makes it slightly too easy. In the actual mission, where you’re moving through a distillery, flanking didn’t take a part for most of it and I’m worried that most missions will be the same. In the city police officers occasionally flanked me, but I don’t know whether that was just a blip or it was planned.
The other thing that really worries me is the Playboy collectible. I don’t mind random collectables like GTA’s hidden packages, but this just looks like 2K are trying to get sales through porn. I can also see the headlines already that ‘games are just selling porn to children’. I don’t think we shouldn’t include adult content, but I don’t think including licensed Playboys is a good idea.
For the first time in a sandbox game, I felt like I was actually in a city. There’s a sense of realism here that I’ve never seen in any other game, and I can see many hours of joy in the city alone. It isn’t as hard as the last game by a long shot and I’m very grateful for that, the voice acting and writing was impeccable, plus the city really does feel alive.
I’m pre-ordering Mafia 2 without a doubt. If the rest of the game is as well written and fun as this little snippet was, it will have been money very well spent.