**** UPDATE, Full Mafia II Review – “Family” is Thicker Than Blood has been published, check it out! ****
Play the Mafia 2 Demo yesterday through steam. Actually I played it several times. The first time I just went through the demo mission, the second time I used my fully allotted 10:00 free-roaming world time. It definitely leaves we wanting to play the game now (it comes out in 2 weeks). This review of the demo is in general terms, shouldn’t be considered spoilers.
The Mafia 2 Demo opens with a short cinematic and a disclaimer stating that this mission will definitely be different in the full game. You begin in a house, receive a phone call and the mission is on from there. There are a couple of outfits and couple of cars in the garage. Once you step outside you have a 10 minute limit of free-roaming time on your way to the nearby mission, which takes place in a warehouse.
The driving and the combat are not easy like in so many other games. The Driving has real weight behind it like the original Mafia game, though the cars are faster right off the bat this time around. The combat is keeps the high-damage potential from the original game, while being slightly easier thanks to the new cover system. You need to think things out, and try to flank enemies whenever possible, if you run straight into a shotgun or even a pistol you will die very quickly, particularly if you receive a headshot. The Mafia 2 Demo leaves we very thankful that they are being faithful to all the elements that made Mafia City of Lost Heaven the great game that it was.
The graphics were beautiful in the demo, I had them maxed with AA and full HD res and achieved a decent frame-rate around 30 with the physics set to high. The destructibility of the environments and particle system really enhance everything nicely. I will be downloading the PS3 version and comparing soon. Check out the demo on Xbox Live, the Playstation Network and Steam, it’s only about a gig. Also, be sure to get in your Mafia 2 Pre-order while the bonuses are still good. I purchased the Mafia 2 Collector’s edition myself.