This week in video games is all about the senseless violence, with historical Cosa Nostra action courtesy Mafia II and old-school brawling in Shank. Oh, and there’s a cute little bird, too. Let’s hope he doesn’t get into any trouble.
Mafia II – Before Tommy Vercetti got all wild in Grand Theft Auto, there was Mafia, a crime game that took place in the much less glamorous 1940s. Many people criticized the original game for hewing a little too close to reality (that is, sporting 1940s cars that drove like enormous lumbering boats), but this sequel developed by 2K Czech looks like it’ll address those problems and a few more that plague the genre. Plopping you down in a 10 square mile city with everything open from the start, you take the role of Vito Scaletta, who returns from serving in WWII to become a made man.
Shank – This extremely impressive side-scrolling brawler made its debut at this year’s PAX. Written by one of the co-creators of God of War, Shank sports incredible hand-drawn animation for the game’s hero and his wide range of enemies, as well as a local multiplayer mode. It’s really the Season of Ass-Kicking with this and Scott Pilgrim, so don’t miss out.
Ivy The Kiwi? – We’ve all talked about the sad fall from grace of Sonic the Hedgehog – Sega’s mascot platformer just can’t get things right, no matter how many games he’s in. Well, out of the depths of the past comes the furry blue guy’s co-creator Yuji Naka to launch a new mascot into the firmament – a little flightless Australian bird named Ivy. It’s a little bit like DS classic Kirby Canvas Curse with the player drawing lines and platforms to guide the hapless protagonist.
And Yet It Moves – This indie title has a lot of buzz for its stunning visual hook (everything is made out of cut and torn paper) as well as its tight, clever gameplay. Essentially, it’s a 2D platformer, but you can rotate the world freely 360 degrees, making areas accessible and changing the entire landscape. Looks cool.