It was short, especially since there was no developer interaction: it was just a booth staffer (pointedly attractive young woman who the vaguely young gatekeeper guy handed us off to) telling us how to play and awkwardly congratulating us the whole time.
The game looked pretty damn good. They’ve obviously spent an incredible amount of effort to get everything looking good and period-appropriate (to my untrained eyes). The animations and combat look pretty good to me (deaths seem like a mix between canned Rogue Spear stuff and PhysX… It looks pretty excellent), though I never held the controller. A few of the old open world 3rd person bugbears are back to cause some trouble, unsurprisingly: opening doors still looks like some kind of force power (just gesture wildly and they open!), while enemy AI can be a bit slow on the uptake (they’re easy to flank, they make the NOLF enemies look like super-spies).
Really, I wanted to listen to the voice work, the sound effects, and the music. The shooting and environmental stuff looks good to adequate, but the world looks brilliant. I wish we’d had the time to just listen to radio stations and talk to people. I’ll probably forgive this game all of its little inconsistencies if moving through the world feels and sounds as delicious as it looks.
One caveat: during the presentation, Ron pressed “A” (pick up) on what he thought to be a gun of some sort. It was in fact, a Playboy Magazine, which are apparently scattered throughout the world in some kind of “historically accurate” deal with Playboy. The woman who started our demo (who had been trying to talk to me the whole time about what a great player Ron was) excitedly informed me that Ron had skillfully found the demo’s hidden Playboy. Thankfully, Ron was not treated to an entire period-appropriate issue of the magazine. Instead, a humongous image (big, wide screen) of a naked woman appeared on the screen. This image is what sparked our host’s enthusiasm
So, Mafia 2: looks amazing, plays good (according to Ron), hopefully sounds good. Message to 2K Czech: it’s obvious that you care about historical authenticity, or at least the appearance off historical authenticity. It’s also just as obvious that this Playboy shit is you taking a (no doubt) lucrative marketing/crossover deal with Playboy and selling it as enhanced historical depth/authenticity. You’re selling silly, obvious T&A as your way of being authentic. You sure as hell aren’t reproducing other books, journals, or mags, or any other sort of historically appropriate knickknacks. It looks silly. It’s the kind of thing that makes me take your talk of historical authenticity (in whatever capacity) much less seriously, and it just kind of annoys me. I better not have to listen to an era-appropriate speech concerning the benifits of “Teeties!” Please. Do not do that.
Oh, and thanks for making the always-peculiar/problematic booth girl/male journalists relationship 10 times more damn uncomfortable for those 10 seconds than it would have been otherwise. That was really great. Everyone present really appreciated that bullshit, in their different ways.