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Mafia II: Perfection for NVIDIA’s Graphics Plus Technologies?

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: August 23, 2010
Product Name: Mafia II
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Over the last few months, there has been an amazing amount of buzz about a number of games and while some of them have not been released yet, others are already setting sales records. Starcraft II is one game that has proven to be a boon for the computer industry and could usher in a bit of a renaissance for the PC as a gaming platform. However, the latest Starcraft title is about to be joined by another game and this one in particular is looking to push the limits of what we expect in a blockbuster title. The game we’re talking about is Mafia II and it will be released today on multiple platforms.

Mafia II very much follows in the footsteps of games like Grand Theft Auto (the similarities are actually shocking) in terms of both gameplay and mission layouts. However, this game is set during the 1940s and 1950s when the mob had reached the height of its power. You follow the path Vito Scaletta as he progresses up the ladder in the crime family where jacking cars soon leads to hits against rivals and more nefarious deeds as time marches along. It’s downright good fun and looks the game itself looks quite good.

One of the more interesting aspects of this game is the fact that it incorporates several advanced features which promise to bring gameplay to the next level. Since NVIDIA has taken Mafia II under its wing; PhysX, 3D Vision and Surround gaming have been carefully built into its framework. Many may bitch and whine about these additions but our opinion stays the same: anything that strives to make the PC gaming experience unique is perfectly fine by us. Unfortunately though, Mafia II traces its roots back to the dreaded consoles which have worked to stymie PC game development for the last several years. As such, it still uses the ages-old DX9 API with all of its limitations and performance-hogging anti aliasing routines.

This particular article will be a bit different from the other gameplay performance summaries we have posted in the past. Instead of pitting NVIDIA against ATI, we will be taking a closer look at the features NVIDIA bring to the table and what kind of impact you can expect when enabling 3D Vision, Surround and PhysX.

 
 
 

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