OXM: Mafia II Preview

Vito may be a gangster, but his heart's in the right place. After his father dies and his mother is left struggling to pay the bills, he takes a few odd jobs with certain…connected people. He's kind of like The Sopranos' Christopher Moltisanti - except without the extreme narcissism and drug habit.

Such is the foundation for Mafia II, the long-(loooooong)-in-the-works sequel to the 1930s mob tragedy that pulled off big-city gameplay way back when nobody outside of Rockstar North could. An Xbox port arrived in 2004, but it showed up with bullet holes in its pinstriped suit.

This time around, Mafia spans the decade of the 1950s, is set in a fictional Manhattan-esque metropolis, and follows Vito and pal Joe through their mob lives. And though it's set in a huge, open city, "We're not making a sandbox game," claims producer Denby Grace. "Ultimately, [it's] about a strong, linear narrative."

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