Mafia II on PS3: Your Questions Answered

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Last week I attended a Mafia II preview event, armed with a list of questions you wanted me to investigate. After speaking with Director of Creative Production Jack Scalici, I left with those answers… and a tommy gun filled with tequila (seriously). Since there isn’t enough in there for me to mix margaritas for all of you, I’ll just cut straight to the interview.

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PlayStation.Blog: Why go with Empire Bay instead of New York City?

Jack Scalici: It’s New York, with a little bit of influence of Chicago, with a bit of San Francisco mixed in there. But when you do New York you have to do it right, and it has to be exact, and you’ll get some psychopaths on the forums who’ll take a map of New York City, and a map of your game and point out everything that you did wrong and bad and why go through that? And also, if you’ve ever driven through New York, it’s not the most gameplay-driving-friendly city. There are a lot of one way streets, and it’s not as much fun as it could be if you were driving around doing 90 mph in a convertable blasting 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll. So you take reality, and you bend reality into what’s going to equal great gameplay.


PSB: How will Mafia II be connected to Mafia? (VesterDK) I haven’t played the first Mafia game, and I’m wondering if I jump right into the second installment, will I miss out on important story lines, controls or game play techniques? (luckyinlove777)

JC: It’s a completely new story with completely new characters. There are a couple of links to Mafia I, but you won’t really pick up on those unless you played Mafia I. Mafia I fans will have something that they’ll jump out of their seats when they get to a certain part of the game’s story, but you don’t need to know anything about Mafia I to play Mafia II. You don’t even need to know anything about the Mafia to play Mafia II.

PSB: What differentiates this game from other open world games? (skynidas) Is Mafia 2 just like GTA4? (asked on Twitter)

JC: You’ve played it, there’s nothing else out there like it. It doesn’t feel like anything else out there, does it? If some people did certain things right, and we wanted to do them right, instead of re-inventing them for no other purpose than being different, we didn’t do that; we did it right. So there will be some similarities to some other games. But in Mafia II, the core focus is on the epic Mafia story; Playing through it as this guy Vito, going through what he’s going through. It’s also staying true to what the Mafia is, you have to behave a certain way or they’re going to kill you. So rather than allowing the character to do silly things like “the old lady wants you to rescue the cat from a tree,” or whatever, you can’t do s— like that… because a wiseguy would never do something like that.

To me, the open city you can drive around is just icing on the cake. If, after killing [the target of Chapter 9 in the game], we just warped you back to the restaurant and Vito said “I did it,” that robs you of the magic of driving around in the 1940s and 1950s in Empire Bay. You’d really be hard-pressed to communicate “it’s the 40s” or “it’s the 50s” if you didn’t have this magic city to drive around in, and see the advertising, the fashions, the cars, the music.

PSB: How does the city change over time?

JC: The cars are completely different in the 50s than there were in the 40s. In the 40s you have these dull-colored, boxy people movers, some of which are fun to drive. But once you get into the 50s, you get this cherry-red convertable that just tears ass. You get up to something like 120 MPH, you can fly in those cars, it’s amazing. That’s my most favorite thing to do in the game, driving around in a convertable, listening to rock ‘n’ roll in the 50s.

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PSB: Yeah, the soundtrack’s great. There’s, what, 120 tracks in the game?

JC: Over 120… Nothing defines an era like the music. Goodfellas is one of my own personal favorite movies. I thought one thing they really did amazing is, I don’t remember any kind of score. I only remember that music defined every scene. That’s how you knew where you were. You start off with “Rags to Riches” in the 50s and you end up on “Layla.” Every song that they chose was perfect, and they really set the tone for every scene.

This is something we did in Mafia. There’s a radio everywhere in Mafia II… and we scripted certain tracks to be playing on the radio when I knew you were getting into a car. So you’ll see it when you kill [that Chapter 9 dude] and you steal his car, and you start driving away and there’s a song that plays and it’s like “yes!”

PSB: Will there be some sort of customization in Mafia II? Such as clothing, weapon customization, etc. (Ar4chNova89)

JC: Well the cars can be tuned for performance, you can change the wheels, you can repair them, you can change license plate, you can paint it any color you want. That level of customization we really encourage because we want people to fall in love with their cars the way America did in the 50s.

PSB: Will this game be more of a free world type of game or will you be locked in to the storyline? (Ftwrthtx)

JC: When we looked at all of our potential sidequests we looked at them and said “which ones would a wiseguy just not do, period?” “What makes sense for a guy who wants to move up in the mob?” So we removed all this other stuff and said “OK, so this is all stuff a wiseguy would do, why isn’t it integrated with the story?” Everything he does has to be integrated into the story or has to fit with his motivation to move up, get rich, and get out. So everything that did fit, fit with the story, so we made it mandatory.

There are some little random things that happen that you can get involved in if you want. You may have seen there’s a greaser who gets into an accident with [a supporting character]’s girlfriend, and if you want to intervene, you can beat the s— out of the guy. That makes sense in the story, and it’s also an optional thing. You can just let it play out like “f— it, it’s probably her own fault.”

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PSB: Will it have functionality with the Move Controller and can u just use one move or two, if so? (polo155)

JC: At this time no. Possibly in future games because I think there’s a lot of cool potential there… melee combat especially.

PSB: Will There Be any multiplayer/ co-op in the game? (Harlemz-Prodigy and others)

JC: Not currently at this time. We wanted to keep it story-based and focus on that and have that be the experience you remember. We don’t want people running around as these characters in the game world behaving as those characters never would. It just doesn’t fit with Mafia at this point in time.

PSB: Tell them thanks for the exclusive content for our system, that was really nice of them :) (Fallen_Guardian)

JC: It is really cool. We came up with the ideas of this character, Jimmy, who exists outside of the main story of Mafia II. Jimmy is just a total badass. He’s sent in by the mob to clean up the mess, like when you have a dead body or when something’s really going wrong. He’s like a combination hitman/cleaner. He’s this badass bald dude who basically does whatever the hell he wants.

The beginning of the Jimmy stuff [multiplatform DLC] is he gets out of jail and he wants to kill those people who wronged him and forced him to go to jail for them. For the PS3 [exclusive] stuff, we thought it’d be really cool to tell the story of what happened to Jimmy. How did Jimmy get here? That’s what the PS3 stuff is.

Comments are closed.


8 Author Replies

  • “if you’ve ever driven through New York, it’s not the most gameplay-driving-friendly city. There are a lot of one way streets, and it’s not as much fun as…. ”

    haha, that part is very true, plus thats what made True Crime NY driving around a bit repetitive , but the stores and shops made up for it.

  • “like when you have a dead body or when something’s really going wrong…”

    Yeah, those dead bodies can be a pain…

  • Dang, I was hoping they would answer something about co-op or multiplayer.

  • Oops nevermind there is.

  • This game reminds me of E3 when I took pics with some playmates in this Mafia II theme ^_^

  • sweet, thanks jeff, hoping to get my answers for the Dead Space questions i asked. When will it be on the blog? Also no home support? :(

    • He didn’t know (that’s something a different team would work on). I haven’t heard anything.

  • Awesome, I’m thinking of getting the collector’s edition!!! 8)

  • I’m really going to like Jimmy. Just hope we have the ability to carry dead bodies before anybody notice.

  • It’s a offer i can’t refuse… :D

  • OMG, this game is going to be EPIC!!!!

  • This game is gonna be sick!!! Also Margaritas are my favorite…

  • Im hoping it turns out good, godfather 2 was a HUGE disappointment

  • This game is sounding better and better. Can’t wait till it comes out, I’ve already got it pre-ordered!

  • The original was fantastic and at times very challenging. I can’t wait for this one. It’s been pre-ordered for some time.

  • Thanks for the answers. I’m going crazy waiting for this game, still more than a month away :(

  • Nice. Can’t wait! Does anyone know if there’s an auto-aim function available?

  • prefer to wait and get infamous 2 if i want a good open world game…

    • For what it’s worth, there’s an open world, but it’s not an “open world game,” if that makes sense. There are a series of chapters, and in the course of those chapters you have free reign among the city, but it’s not like you’ll be just roaming the city in between missions, collecting shards, or what have you.

      Also, Mafia II is out next month, and inFAMOUS 2 is out next year. It will be worth the wait, though :)

  • that-acmilan-guy

    The original mafia (PC) is my fav game of all time.

  • I can’t wait will be buying this day 1!!! Oh and thanks for making this Singleplayer only. I come from the Old School of gaming where multiplayer is not required and I would rather have a compelling single-player narrative and immersive long game then a 5 hour lackluster single player and mp focus (ala call of rehash2).

    I really dig that you are focusing in on the story long is this game going to be? will there be different radio stations while driving playing 50’s rock and roll, maybe some 50’s Johnny Cash?.. Will you be able to shove bodies in trunks and dump them in the Hudson (or whatever the river is called)? How about collecting your dues from the store fronts? I hope this game delivers as Godfather 2 was horrible.

    • I don’t know if Jack is reading this now, but I can answer that yes – you can change stations.

  • That’s some pleasantly candid responses; kudos

    • This guy was a total straight shooter. He practically seemed like he’d fit in with wiseguy culture :)

  • Still wondering about the demo release date! But Jack Scalici is the man!

  • Can’t wait for this game!

    I don’t know if this is too late or not, but PLEASE USE THE MLAA THAT WAS USED IN THE SABOTEUR!

  • The game is not for me :P. but will keep an eye on it. more excited for LBP2

  • Sigh… I asked some decent questions… and you go with stupid Move controller support? Rly? Gahh.

  • sounds good. only thing i like in gta is the radio. i dont like acting like a thug but listening to the Beach Boys in a convertible sounds fun.

  • dang jeff, you didnt ask about the music soundtrack, can it bought or downloaded for free..:(.. I wanted some of the 50’s music to listen to when doing house work..


    • Well, all those songs are out there. I don’t know if they’ll have the songs in a collector’s edition or what. I don’t recall seeing your question, btw. Maybe you submitted it after I did the interview?

  • Already pre-ordrerd, but i would like to know how the PS3 version compared to the other consoles ?
    Are we gonna have a Red Dead Redemption 1.5 ? Is the game a sub-HD ? thank you

  • i have never played this game

  • I remember playing Mafia for PC and fell in love with the graphics around when it first arrived in felt so real having to deal with the cops because of eating red lights and the A.I was amazing to me at the time lol…I have never played a game where it actually got me behind the wheel to obey some laws haha. the cut scenes were epic, as well as the story line. I remember one of the hardest missions was to win a race in an old school F1 racecar AMAZING! lol but yeah I hope they didn’t take away anything from the first title (gore, blood, weapons, etc.) and just added better features for this game since its arriving for the first time on a console. Honestly, I enjoyed playing Mafia more than all the GTA series at that time. And I hope this is MUCH better than GTAIV…can’t wait! btw I thought this game was to be released last year!!

  • Thanks for having them answer my question.

  • Solid-Snake-Eyes

    My question is was PS3 used as the lead platform in developing Mafia 2? I saw some alleged PS3 gameplay footage and it looked very good!

  • its nice to see the sidequests fit in with trying to rise in the ranks of the mob(even if they will probably involve some fetch quests) & the option of some vehicle customization

  • You have any Sixaxis controls in the game?
    Sixaxis suppose to be a big thing for ps3 and now no one talks about it.

  • This game sounds awesome nuttin like playin a gangster and u can crack some skulls=-).I wanna see what kinda sidequests they’ll have too.

  • ” you’ll get some psychopaths on the forums who’ll take a map of New York City, and a map of your game and point out everything that you did wrong and bad and why go through that? ”


    they just described some very familiar people here … Some insatiable , OCD Monster who will take the time to check exact details of a video game , they just wont get away from their ps3 and get a job . they can can typically be found infront of their ps3 ‘s and the blog on tuesday’s going

    “where’s the updates ? ”
    “where’s the updates ? ”
    “where’s the updates ? ”
    “where’s the updates ? “

  • looks really well done and put together i would definitly buy it if the reviews came out good, rent if not, but im still going to play it =)

  • ok, we will have exclusive stuff, but for what cost ? is it gonna be like RDR where the PS3 got an extra hideout and a sub-HD definition ? Jeff if you read me, give us your thoughts after you tried the game.

  • This game looks awesome, great interview! Going to preorder it now after reading this and watching the two dev diary videos released today.

  • say…i had this game quick on preordered …i have been on red dead while downing shots of patron …having a good time until i read they cut content from this game in hopes to make it “epic”…that sent a flash back to what SEGA did to Yakuza 3…i was dissatisfied with that move that i had to take the game back..i just hope u guys wont cut ur fans gta4..yea sure they sold us on eye candy which gives diabetes …little customizations …could’nt even trick out the cars ..if they had mentioned about keeping the experience dedailed with the era of that time..with such detail as with the they did their research on how the mob was..and incorporate that into this game..what i mean is i hope u didnt ruin the game by making such scarface…ps2 game…yea..montana is a mobster …that game was a trip..godfather 1 was good but its second game was not..i didnt play mafia on ps2 so this would be ur chance to turn me a fan..DONT CUT US SHORT..

  • I´m still wondering if the ps3 version isn´t a lesser version of the other console as so often is the case.
    I´m also not liking the way the handeling of the cars is discribed. It sounds terrible. I still hope it al is good and I will play a great story with satifying gameplay.

  • When will there ever be a freeplay game that deals with the streets of chicago???¿¿¿??? please let me know wen the city isn’t just newyork…

  • “in the course of those chapters you have free reign among the city, but it’s not like you’ll be just roaming the city in between missions”

    I don’t understand what this means. That there will be no in-between missions?

  • This game looks awesome. Maybe Mafia 3 can be intergrated with a hot title like HEAVY RAIN and revolutionize gaming!

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