Mafia II's senior producer, Denby Grace, has explained to VG247 some of the changes the team made to the driving and combat mechanics in the series, one of which is the addition of two driving modes instead of one.
Speaking with us at GDC yesterday during a demo of the game, Grace said that the team looked to how other third-person shooters and driving games had advanced since the first Mafia came out in 2002, and how the team could apply the advancements to Mafia II and still maintain the cinematic setting.
"The things we felt we did right with the first Mafia was this cinematic presentation of the story, the level of quality with the story, the authenticity - our last game was really highly rated," said Grace. "So the 20s and 30s setting really felt right, but again, we looked at it and said okay, this is a franchise how can we make it even better.
"I don't think we went through and tossed anything out, we just reevaluated everything like the police system, gun combat, and brought it up to gamers expectations of 2010. The last one was in 2002, so what we did was revise the combat, looked at games that had come out like Gears of War and the way they were doing their combat, we looked at more third-person shooters. With the combat, what we wanted you to experience was something more intense and more visceral - so yeah the gun combat has been revised a lot."
Grace said that the team also took into consideration different player styles, and decided to incorporate two different driving modes. One for those who like authenticity when it comes to cars, and others who just want to go really-really fast.
"The driving has been revised a lot too and while our cars behave realistically to the 40s and 50s, we have two different driving modes," said Grace. "Simulation mode which is absolutely authentic, and a more assisted mode -which you played today- so that it's a bit more fun and a lot more exciting.
"With the last game, we went fully simulation with the 1920s cars and some people absolutely loved it and other people were like 'the cars are really slow, they accelerate really slow, the steering is poor', but that was a 1920s car for you.
"So, we've still got that authenticity for the people that really want it, but we've provided another mode that we really spent a lot of time on, by looking at other driving games and looking at how to make the driving really thrilling.
"I think those are the big things that have changed, so we haven't thrown anything out, we just revised the things that were already there".
Mafia II is slated for around October for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 - and it shouldn't get another delay, according to Grace.