Mafia 2 - Demo Impressions
Mafia 2 honestly hasn't been on my radar as of yet. I bought the original Mafia when it first came out and I couldn't make it past the first chapter. The controls were all over the place and using a gamepad didn't seem to help matters. The story also didn't grab me, but maybe I'm just not a "mob gangster" sorta fan.
So it was out of sheer boredom that I downloaded the Steam demo of Mafia 2. The first thing I did was take a look at the keybindings and, unfortunately, the same level of needless complexity is still present. Why do I need a separate key for "break window to steal car" (Q) and regular ol' "enter car" (F). This isn't a flight simulator I'm playing, it's a GTA clone!
Step 1: Find a sweet ride and then plow into as many obstacles as possible!
The graphics are hit and miss. I had the settings up to the max which, when walking around in the sunshine was pretty, if Vaseline-coated blurry. However, there was just too much "jaggies" to be truly awe-inspiring. They need more options than just "Anti-aliasing - on/off".
Step 2: Look as much like Dick Tracy as humanly possible. This suit alone made the demo 40% more enjoyable.
Overall the game feels a little stiff. I've never driven a car from the 50's and they may well handle like ocean-liners but it sure makes the getaway drives painful. I can't tell you how many times I just plowed into oncoming traffic because the car was sluggish to turn. It was like my front bumper had a giant magnet in it.
I'm not sure why it feels so natural to hold up a gun store owner. I mean, the guy surrounds himself with the instruments of his own demise!
While car gameplay is certainly unfun in its current state, the on-foot gunplay is pretty solid. The cover mechanic works wonderfully; it's a great movie-moment to be hauling ass down an alley being chased by the cops and quickly take a sharp right and hug the corner while the cops run by unawares.
He didn't take too kindly to having my peashooter waved around in his face. At least I have a nice view of the snub-nose revolvers now.
The mission provided in the demo was nothing to get all geeky over. It's a simple mission where you kill some people with a machine gun, storm a distillery with a Tommy Gun, kill your target, and then backtrack through the factory as it burns down. I've seen this scene a dozen times in games and I'm frankly kind of sick of it.
This entire time, I've been bashing the game but even so, I'm now excited for more. It seemed like the demo, despite all its flaws, was able to convey the message, "There's much more to this game than I'm showing you...come back for more!"
Then again, I've learned to be suspicious when games anthropomorphically whisper in my ear.