Wednesday, September 1

Taking it Slow

My heart was pounding, my brow dripping with perspiration. I nearly cried at one point, I was so frustrated. But approximately an hour after publishing Monday's post, I loaded up Shank and finally bested the final boss. It felt good for an instant, however the conclusion to the narrative is brushed over so quickly. I felt cheated. To have no reward for surviving such a harrowing experience is unbelievable. Still, even after being treated so badly, I started playing it on hard difficulty.

As much as I loved Shank however, I resolved to start playing through Mafia II. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. The visuals, particularly facial animations, are of high quality; and while the Playstation 3 version may apparently be the weakest of the 3 available, it still looks as good, if not better than most of the open world competition. Empire City in Winter, save for a few fuzzy structures, is quite the sight with snow falling and well-dressed citizens going about their daily business. Given the snail's pace at which you progress, you really get to take it in too.

The dialogue and writing are particularly strong, even if there are some regrettable, yet authentic racial overtones to the script. Vito and Joe are two very likable protagonists, and their genuine exchanges are a welcome aural experience, even if you are only driving at 30 miles per hour. The soundtrack is full of jazz, big bands and amusing World War II announcements. The only gripe I have with it is that music tracks are repeating after less than 10 minutes behind the wheel. Speaking of behind the wheel, I've spent an awful long time driving as well, and old-timey cars are slow!

I will state for the record, that I have so far thoroughly enjoyed Mafia II. I would argue however that the demo was a little misleading. It was all guns, explosions and John Lee Hooker. For those of you that haven't played through the demo, after an intense series of firefights and a violent car chase, players are treated to a trailer with "Boom Boom," accompanying the action. After this sample, I was under the impression that it would be all booze (distilleries), bullets and broads. Those elements are on offer in the full version, but they are being drip fed to me.

The last demo I played that sold me on a game entirely, was that for the original Bioshock. My 20 minutes in Rapture was enough to have me searching through stores on launch day for a Collector's Edition.

What was the last great demo you played?


  1. The best demo I have ever played belonged to BC2. i don't think I would have picked it up immediately if I didn't play that demo. It was so sweet.

  2. I forgot about the BF:BC2 demo. That sure did whip Rubes and I up into a frenzy. For the first time in an online FPS, my kill count was actually higher than my death count. Good times.

  3. My KD is still below 1 in it. Mind you, I try and play the objective, so it is ok!

  4. Not saying that is the case now. I think it is like 0.81, which is still better than usual.