Hardware and Software Reviews

Mafia II Performance Benchmarks: PhysX and 3D Vision Tested

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In 2002, 2K Games published Mafia: City of Lost Heaven to much critical acclaim. It had impressive features like day/night cycles, detailed interiors and environmental interaction. Additionally, the game also had comprehensive destruction physics on most vehicles which allowed players to break them down and even incorporate it in their strategic gameplay (like puncturing its gas tank for example). This time 2K Games teams up with Nvidia to crank up that immersive cinematic experience in Mafia II.

 

2K Czech, formerly Illusion Softworks, pairs their Illusion engine (specifically made for Mafia II) with Nvidia's PhysX and 3D Vision to create a virtual post-war America overrun by organized crime.  As Vito Scaletta , a WWII veteran aiming to be a 'made man' and make his mark in the underworld, you explore the fictional city of Empire Bay while dodging cops and members of other crime families.  To render a realistic 40s-50s era setting, 2K Czech included weapons, clothing, buildings and cars from that time period.  Furthermore, they have also licensed rock & roll, doo-wop and jazz music that were popular at the time as well as acquiring license from Playboy to use pinups from their early issues as collectibles throughout the game.

 

Unlike most sandbox style games, Mafia II puts emphasis in the narrative and the tone of it's setting. ESRB gave Mafia II a Mature rating for its liberal use of foul language, nudity, violence and all the other hallmarks of the gangster genre.  Today we are going to look at the various PhysX effects implemented in Mafia II and how it adds to the violent atmosphere. We are also going to look at how effective 3D Vision is for this title since it is rated "3D Vision Ready" out of the box. These two features will be tested objectively by benchmarking it in a GF100 Fermi card and subjectively by comparing the gameplay experience of having the effects enabled vs having these features disabled.

 

 

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