Mafia II eye candy requires a beefy PC

On August 24, 2K Games will release its sequel to the 2002 open-world shooter Mafia on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Unlike most cross-platform titles, though, Mafia II will apparently need an uncannily beefy PC to unlock all of its graphical goodness. Shacknews has posted the official system requirements, and they're a doozy.

To start, 2K Games recommends a 2.4GHz quad-core processor and at least GeForce 9800 GTX or Radeon HD 3870 graphics. That's not too bad. Enable the game's "APEX High" graphical setting, however, and you'll apparently want a GeForce GTX 470 with a dedicated GeForce 9800 GTX handling PhysX computations... and that's the minimum requirement for that mode. Ideally, 2K Games wants you to have a GeForce GTX 480 tangoing with a GeForce GTX 285 "or better." Yikes!

Shacknews doesn't go into a whole lot of detail about the APEX mode, but it's an Nvidia-only setting involving PhysX. Nvidia itself defines APEX as "a multi-platform, scalable dynamics framework" that "creates an environment where artists can create complex high-level dynamic systems without depending on developers." The Shack did post footage of Mafia II's PhysX effects in action a few months ago, and the game definitely seems to allow for neat, lifelike dynamic destruction. Whether the feature is worth investing in a pair of high-end graphics cards, though... that's another story.

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