Weighing in on The Mafia II PS3 Debacle

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 Mafiablah

As a multi-console owner, I have a tough time deciding which machine to get multi-platform releases for. Sometimes, my decision – as far as multiplayer games are concerned – is based on which group of friends I’d rather play online with. Other times, it might come down to which version offers more content. More often than not though, my decision rests on performance – stability, frame-rate and graphical fidelity.

I was planning on getting the sequel to Illusion Soft’s incredible Mafia on the PS3; retail copies of the game will include a token for extra, exclusive content. After hearing about the disparity between the console versions, I figured I’d take a look at both demos to see how big – or insignificant – the differences were.

After just 10 minutes with each, my choice was pretty clear.

Honestly? Both console versions pale in comparison to the PC version. This is natural, and to be expected. What’s not quite as expected is the difference in visual fidelity and performance between the consoles.

While the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions both suffer from drops in frame rate, as well as numerous jaggies and noticeable screen-tearing, it’s really much worse on the PS3. That’s a far bigger issue for me than the lack of grass, general foliage and pools of liquid. Some people have, based on previously released screenshots, insisted that it’s because the demo is based off of an unoptimised build – and that the final retail version for Sony’s console will be much better.

According to Elizabeth from 2K though, that won’t be the case.  “"To questions about the DLC screens, they were taken from an earlier build of the game before we optimized for the gameplay experience. We had to make some alterations to the PS3 environment that resulted in the removal of grass. This allowed us to maintain an acceptable framerate and we can deliver a consistent gameplay experience across all three platforms," she said of the screenshots.

Read  Take-Two Boss Strauss Zelnick on cross-platform play: “You have to pay attention to what the consumer wants."

Earlier, she confirmed that the demo would be “the visual fidelity in the demo is generally representative of what you’ll see in the full game.”

Frankly, this really sucks. As a PS3 owner, I’ve had enough of ported multiplatform games that don’t match up to its 360 counterpart. Thankfully I do have the other console for ore extreme situations like this – but for those gamers who only own PS3’s, after 4 years of this nonsense it’s like a kick in the face.

With Mafia 2 joining the likes of Bayonetta and Red Dead Redemption as recent multiplatform games that underperform on the PS3, it looks like I’ll be geting this for the ol’ 360; Or maybe it’s time to get back in to PC gaming.

Last Updated: August 18, 2010

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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