by Jason Paul

Tuesday, 2k Games released a demo of their much anticipated 3rd person action shooter Mafia II. Mafia II packs everything that gamers love into a single game: an epic gangster story line, hours of GTA-style joyriding, and lots of blowing stuff up! For GeForce gamers, blowing stuff up is that much more enticing with the integration of NVIDIA PhysX technology into the game. Tear up Empire Bay with your machine gun, and experience the mass destruction and particle effects as glass shatters, wood splinters, cars explode, and buildings crumble. NVIDIA PhysX uses the GPU to simulate up to 10,000 particles on the screen at a time.

Mafia II screen

2k Games has also used PhysX in the game to physically simulate clothing on the characters – trench coats accurately move with the wind and interact with the character’s body. Check out PhysX in action in the Mafia II PhysX game trailer.

So what hardware do you need to get GPU-accelerated PhysX effects in Mafia II? Higher end cards such as GeForce GTX 480 and 470 can handle both the graphics and PhysX processing in Mafia II on a single GPU; though to get the best experience I recommend having a dedicated card for PhysX, such as GT 240 or above, to help offload your primary graphics card and boost your framerates. If you are currently gaming on a prior gen card like 8800 GT and have a motherboard with two x16 PCI-Express slots, upgrading to a new GTX 400 GPU and using your 8800 GT as a dedicated PhysX processor will give you a very nice setup for Mafia II.

3D Vision Surround Mafia II


PhysX isn’t the only goodness for GeForce gamers in Mafia II. 2k Games has also added support for NVIDIA 3D Vision and NVIDIA Surround technologies. Mafia II runs seamlessly in stereoscopic 3D, with 3D rendered cutscenes and dynamic field of view adjustments to create a more immersive gaming experience. And with NVIDIA Surround, you can play Mafia II across 3 panels with full support for ultra-widescreen resolutions and HUD elements that are collected on the main center panel.

The Mafia II demo is available for download via – check it out and let us know what you think! If you are a 3D Vision user, make sure to grab the latest 3D Vision beta driver which adds Mafia II support. The full game releases on August 24th in North America and August 27th in Europe and Asia. Have fun!