It’s time to take a ride back in time, back to the good old days, the days with music you can snap your fingers to and drive a car that was made in the good ol’ USA. On this journey, you are an Italian immigrant whose family fled from their country to pursue a better life in a country which offered a vast amount of opportunities. Unfortunately, after arriving, you find that the land of opportunity is just as corrupt and oppressing as the country which you left behind for a better life. It’s the late 1920s in Empire city and you’re a child who is forced to grow up in a neighborhood where the only way to get ahead is to immerse yourself into a lucrative life of crime.
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 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.
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. We will explore the PhysX effects implemented in Mafia II and how it adds to the violent atmosphere, as well as the effectiveness of 3D Vision, since it is rated "3D Vision Ready". 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.