Mafia 2 and the Question of Realism

When I first played Grand Theft Auto 4 many moons ago, the city seemed so vivid and real (like a double rainbow) that I was almost afraid to be bad in it. I wanted to obey traffic laws such as stopping at stop signs or maintaining a proper and safe speed limit. Eventually, the guise wears away and you’re off on your mayhem.

However, the release of the Mafia 2 demo (the full game is coming on August 24 to PC, PS3 and 360) brings with it a new question to the method of driving in a sandbox world: if a cop sees you speeding, they give chase. Now, in many other open world GTA clones, cops will pursue you if you are breaking other laws, but speeding always seems to be OK.

My first reaction to hearing about this was that it was cool to have that level of realism in the open world. But the more I thought about it, it would be like asking someone playing Crackdown not to leap across buildings, or someone playing Prototype not to fly. The thought of 20 hours in, obeying the speed limit really doesn’t seem like something I’d like to do. But I could be alone. What do you guys think? Vote!

What do you think of the Mafia 2 driving system?

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

9 thoughts on “Mafia 2 and the Question of Realism”

  1. Like I said in the podcast, i think authentic counts more. Anything that would hassle me and prevent me from enjoying the game is unwanted.

  2. I don’t mind it, I’m not going to speed anyway, because it keeps me immersed in the story and game better. But I’m sure that would piss off a lot of people.

  3. I really can’t vote on this. It depends on how you like to play. Sometimes, I want things to be realistic. Other times, I want more power. I wouldn’t be surprised if this aspect was negatively received, because it essentially pushes the player down to the same level of the npc’s in the game world. Some people like that, but if Mafia II ends up relying on fast-paced gameplay, the speed limit stuff could frustrate players. Or, it could prove to be a nice realistic challenge. I’m kind of indifferent.

  4. They actually toned it down a lot though. in the first Mafia you’d actually press a button that would turn on a speed limiter, so your car wouldn’t reach speeding speed. In Mafia 2 however, there is way more grace when speeding, you have to be going REALLY fast for the cops to care.

    Also, in the first game, if you reloaded half way through a clip, you’d lose the bullets that were in your clip. They removed it in Mafia 2.

    They’ve definitely “arcaded” it up a bit, but I still pre-ordered none the less.

  5. Eventually, I’ll want to go fast. Being caught in traffic is annoying in real life, so being stuck in possible digital traffic isnt an appealing prospect.

  6. Julez – thanks for that info, I actually didn’t know that from the first game since I didn’t play it. So what would you say you prefer between the two?

  7. I should really give the first one a go as my girlfriends dad has it on his xbox. DRIV3R and Driver Parallel Lines were really annoying in the aspect of the cops would chase you every time you go slightly over the limit or go on the wrong side of the road or hit someone else. Having it in a game where you’re doing highly illegal stuff and then having to slow down on roads will just bore the shit out of anyone. In real life you have patience to obviously obey the speed limits because it’s real life. If you speed you run the risk of crashing, getting huge tickets, losing your license, going to jail even. In a game, you don’t really want to be wasting your time being a good citizen. It turns more into The Sims if that happens.

  8. I tried the demo on the PC, and I absolutely hated the driving controls with the WASD set-up. Maybe if I tried this on the 360 I would feel better about it.

  9. @ Eddy

    I’m actually going through the first game again (Free with pre-order of Mafia 2 through Steam) and I’ve gotta say it hasn’t aged well lol.

    I think I like the set up of the second game better. What Mafia tried to do was nice and immersive. For example, in pursuit, if you pulled over the cops would get out and give you a ticket, instead of instantly shooting you or “busting” you, depending on how “wanted” you were of course.

    I think more people will have more fun with Mafia 2.


    I agree, it was weird to drive with WASD, as it usually is. I’ve got my Logitech controller plugged in which Mafia 1 recognized automatically, but the demo of Mafia 2 doesn’t seem to. I have a nice little app that you can drop into any game dir and it will force allow Xbox360 controller set up.

    Haven’t tried it with the demo, but I’ll definitely be using it on the full release if the game doesn’t support game pads for driving!

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