Nvidia’s PhysX joins the Mafia

2K Games has recruited Nvidia’s PhysX technology for its gritty, film-noir Mafia II video game.

According to Nvidia spokesperson Monier Maher, the PC version of the title will feature “tight integration” between PhysX, Apex modules and 2K’s Illusion Engine.

“Mafia II is the first Windows PC game ever to utilize our Apex clothing module. Now, the use of PhysX and Apex technology – which includes the particle module – allows the city and personalities of Empire Bay to truly come alive,” Maher told TG Daily.

“For example, Apex causes clothing to behave realistically and its secondary motion(s) add a lot to a character’s actions. Indeed, even the subtle movements of a trench-coat can tip a player off about hidden firearms or other potentially dangerous objects and intentions.”

Maher also noted that Apex technology would help move the gaming world “closer and closer” to the movie industry. 

“Think of it this way. Trees are typically very static, or very animation-oriented in games. But Apex allows players to destroy a tree by bending or breaking individual branches. You can also drive into a tree and see apples or leaves realistically falling, bouncing and hitting the ground.

“Now in Mafia II, a pistol fired into a glass pane will emit hundreds of glass shards, while a shotgun blasted through a wooden landing will splinter the wood and a Tommy Gun will chip into a brick or stone wall to methodically fracture and break it into pieces.”

Maher added that Mafia II for the PC will be playable in full stereoscopic 3D with Nvidia’s Vision technology.

“We feel the PC is always in the forefront of the gaming revolution…Couple it together with 3D, with moving objects, that is exactly what you want and get – explosions, fireballs, swirling smoke and fog, all realistically rendered.

“And in Mafia II, players will be blown away by the added depth of field on display as particles and explosions literally come off the screen.”

Mafia II will be available in North America on August 24 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.