Bundle Stars is offering up some rather nice discounts on a big batch of 2K Games’ finest wares this week, with up to 80% off some selected titles from the XCOM, Borderlands, Civilization and Bioshock series, among others.
The other day I sat down to clear out an old bills basket and realised The Godfather trilogy was on the telly. “I’ll stick it on in the background,” I naively thought to myself and, needless to say, I didn’t get as much done as I’d first planned. Until part 3. Because no matter how much I want to like it, it’s garbage compared to its forerunners.
Luckily, third-person crime fest Mafia 3 [official site] doesn’t appear to be suffering from the same tri-entry tedium if the latest trailer is anything to go by. Visiting its fictionalised slant on New Orleans, New Bordeaux’s alligator infested swamp area, industrialised docklands, and jazz-touting wharf district suggest number 3 is shaping up rather nicely. Look, see:
RPS Feature Bestest Biffs
You probably like action games. But which ones should you like best?! We’ve narrowed it down to 25, and then put them in the unimpeachably correct order. Read on for details of the best action biff-zap-collect-me-do gaming you can stuff down your trousers.
RPS Feature The Rising Son
The Mafia 3 [official site] presentation at Gamescom felt very much like an attempt to hammer home several important changes to the series rather than an accurate representation of the minute-by-minute experience of playing. Given that this was the first public showing of the game, which probably won’t see release until the second half of 2016, that’s to be expected. The vertical slice shown had a lot to cover: a new city, a new time period, a new protagonist, and a new take on open world criminal conquest. Perhaps it’s understandable that the “new” was hammered home with all the subtlety of a blow from Mjolnir, but it’s fair to say that the road to New Orleans looks rather treacherous.
And that brings us to item number one…
Aye, Mafia III was announced last week, but what good does that do you now? The game’s not even due until 2016. However, you can today download and play a near-final version of Lost Heaven MP [official site], a mod adding multiplayer to the first Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven.
You and your pals could this very day be zipping around Lost Heaven, chasing each other, and acting like big crimekids in a crimeplayground. That beats teaser trailers and b-roll footage. But, as always with the mob, there are a few complications.
Last month a NeoGAF poster found that publisher 2K Games had pointed four domains at their own server: mafia3thegame.com, mafiaiiithegame.com, mafiathree.com, and mafiathreethegame.com. It was a baffling mystery that set alight the minds’ of the world’s greatest detectives and the games press. The clues were right in front of us all but what did they mean? Now we’ve discovered a second sign (via the Mafia Twitter account): Mafia 3‘s first trailer will be released next Wednesday, August 5th at 1pm BST.
The plot thickens.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Gosh, I don’t like to think that you might not have played Mafia. Oh no, what if you played the horrible Mafia II, and not the first one? Oh gosh, dear me, no.
He is a funny one, that Ian Video Games. I tell you, he spends all his time on The Internet doing the strangest things. No, not like that you cheeky madam. Ian – you’ll love this – he’s working on a sort of a phone book for the Internet, so people can look up any website. He spends all day searching for new sites, and notes every single name he finds in his notebooks. He’s filled hundreds of them! Says he’s taking the idea to Dragon’s Den.
And you’ll never guess what – Ian says in his research (his “research”, lawd!) he came across signs that we might hear about a new Mafia game from 2K soon.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance didn’t quite win me over during a recent demo, but it certainly got me galloping toward its corner. Evidently, I’m not the only one, given that it’s already made enough money to buy its own kingdom. It’s preposterous with a capital Osterous, and I doubt it’ll be slowing down any time soon. But maybe you’re still on the fence. And that’s fine. I respect your most-annoying-person-in-the-ice-cream-line-like discernment. But I must say, Warhorse sure seems to be on the right track, and its approach to modding is no different.
Nathan’s excitement over Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a realistic open-world medieval RPG, has translated to Kickstarter success. The project is now funded, defeating the dragon (£300,000 funding target) with a swinging blow after only three days. With 27 days still remaining, they might be able to buy their own castle.
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RPS Feature Skyrim + Witcher + Witcher + Mount + Blade
Kingdom Come: Deliverance has kind of a silly name, but it’s one heck of an intriguing prospect. The hyper-detailed historical RPG heralds from a small army of developers who once steered the creation of Mafia and Arma, among many others. Despite coming from a relatively small team by triple-A standards, the game’s production values are through the roof, and the dev team really wants it all: Skyrim-like exploration, a Mount and Blade-style world, entirely procedural combat, and choice reactivity inspired by The Witcher. Can Warhorse pull it off? I checked out an early build of the game and talked extensively with project director Daniel Vávra to find out if they’re on the right track.
They might call it a “restructuring”, but whatever word one applies to it, it’s bad news for a venerable studio with a rich heritage. In this partial death, let them once again assume their true mantle. 2K Czech were and always shall be Illusion Softworks, creators of Hidden & Dangerous, Mafia and not enough else. Subsumed into the 2K mass in 2007 and renamed in 2008, sadly it did not reach the dizzy heights of contemporaneous acquiree Irrational, as its expensive sequel to Mafia proved disappointing (though it does have its passionate fans). Tennis sequel Top Spin 4 was its sole release subsequent to that, and as of today’s revelation that the studio’s Prague-based headquarters has been closed down by 2K, perhaps we shall never know if Illusion Softworks might have one day reclaimed their reputation for ambitious, complex and atmospheric historical action games.
Although reports today (including this one) have something of the eulogy to them, this is not in fact a full closure.
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A hyper-detailed historical RPG from the main folks behind Mafia? Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.
Ahem. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a nonlinear role-player set in the dying days of the Holy Roman Empire, and it features precisely zero monsters, magic, or mythical overtones. Instead, the focus is on accuracy, and who better to head up that effort than the former director of Mafia and Mafia II? Developer Warhorse is made up of vets from 2K Czech and Arma powerhouse Bohemia, so expect obsessive attention to detail. Sadly (and somewhat paradoxically) insubstantial teaser trailer below.
Yesterday, as you may have noted, Dr Rossignol began our lecture series on the most important PC games of all time. Much like The Christmas Lectures, The Reith Lectures, and the TED Lectures, this definitive series has been a part of our institution as long as the Earth has borne stones. In this second part Professor John Walker explains the varying importanceness of a second collection of the most important games to have graced the PC in the last 150 years. Read on for one fifth of the elements necessary for enlightenment. And doffs of hats to Intel’s AppUp developer program for sponsoring this most critical of series.
With Mafia II news due to break any moment, this week seemed a sensible time to go back and play the 2002 original. Which is what I did, and is now up to read on Eurogamer.
“Mafia is still a radical game. In 2002, just a year after Grand Theft Auto III had shaken up everyone’s expectations of sandbox gaming, Illusion Softworks’ open city went deeply against the grain. Rather than embracing the freedom of choice a living city offers, it chose to make a tightly scripted, extremely linear story with little else to do. And thank goodness, because seven years on, Mafia is still compelling despite its aging technology.”
It carries on here.
Tonight we will have the very latest information on Mafia II right here on RPS. Be here.
News reaches us that Take Two have been reaching into their bag of many dollars to add another studio to their collection, buying the Czech Republic’s largest developer, Illusion Softworks, creators of Hidden and Dangerous and Mafia. After the undisclosed sum was paid, all 200 of Illusion Softworks employees will be working in the cleverly named “2K Czech”. Now, we wanted to write a serious piece of analysis, comparing the purchase of Irrational while developing future 2K heavyweight Bioshock (and profiting from the closer relationship i.e. Money) to the purchase of Illusion Softworks while developing hypothetical future 2K heavyweight Mafia 2, but we started worrying about what pun to call the article.
I mean, immediately I wanted “Woo-Ha! Got you all in Czech!”, but Jim countered with the elegant “Take Two Moves For Czech Mates”. I’m considering the traditional crime-based “An Offer They Couldn’t Refuse?” before Waker goes into pun-overdrive with a “Take 2 software developers into the shower? Why, when you can buy them all and take only one?” which is too long to fit on the title line, but is quite a devastating array of terrible punnery. Finally, Alec unleashes the tri-pronged offensive of “Mafia: City of Lost Revenue”, “Use Your Illusion II (Make More Money)” and “Illusion Incur Irrational’s Indignity”, and I’m left all confused and no idea what to write. Poor me.
What do you think? Also, about the sale?
If you’re the sort of person who goes on excitedly about how brilliant the end of Mafia was, and how it was the most mature take on the GTA-style game the world has ever seen, then you have a reason to celebrate. Its creators, Illusion Softworks, are working on a sequel, called, in a flash of inspiration, Mafia 2.
To be honest, I’m not among them – I thought it good, but far from Great and it always felt a little barren in terms of interactivity. That I played it before you were able to skip the early, murderously difficult, circuit racing mission which blocked progress in a way akin to the hilarious and infinitely infuriating driving-test section at the start of Driver. Anyway – enough ‘orrible whining. Little else to say. Details are sparse at the moment; there’s a press release whose meaning can be boiled down to “There will be a sequel to Mafia. It’ll come out on some formats, one of which will be the PC”.
However, it does look pretty. For more pretty, go to its (particularly bare) site here where there are four other examples of pretty. Yes.