Mafia II Reviews

AuthorReview
Richard Bastion
129,326 (87,157)
Richard Bastion
TA Score for this game: 1,086
Posted on 26 August 10 at 08:41, Edited on 05 November 10 at 08:59
This review has 74 positive votes and 22 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Mafia 2 is a dark and excellent take on the gangster genre. Despite a few graphical glitches and a couple small annoyances, it is a superb game that should not be missed.

The Story(Spoiler Free)

You play Vito Scaletta, a young man with a troubled past who joined the army to get out of jail time, and is now on his way home. Vito learns that not all is well upon getting home, and Vito needs a good bit of money. Luckily, Vito met up with his old pal Joe Barbaro, who as it turns out, has ties with the Mafia. Eventually, Joe takes Vito under his wing, and the crime spree ensues. The game's story takes place from 1943 to 1957, in Empire Bay, a $60 New York.

The story is very well written, and it features many memorable characters, all with excellent voice acting behind them. It also captures that dark, gritty feel of the gangster genre that not many games have been able to. Like all good gangster or Tom Cruise movies(Top Gun, Collateral), the story takes a bit of time to get going, but once it does, you'll be on the edge of your seat until it stops. Mafia succeeds at making the story very emotional; I cared for all of the characters. Whether I wanted them to live or die, I felt strongly about their fate, and I think you will, too. There are many twists and turns in Mafia 2's story. Some you'll see coming, and others will take you by complete surprise.

The story will take you a solid 15 - 20 hours to complete. Not what I had expected from an open world game, but I'd take a story as well written as this over a story triple the length with worse writing any day. I thoroughly enjoyed Mafia 2.

I should also mention that Mafia 2 has no connections to Mafia: City of Lost Heaven. It does make a few nods at it, though.

The Gameplay:

The gameplay in Mafia 2 was better than I could've hoped, but it does have a few annoyances with it.

The gun play in Mafia 2 is excellent. It's definitely some of the best shooting I've seen in an open world game. A lot of the environment is destructible, and you can destroy everything in your path with guns that both feel and sound authentic. The controls are tight and the action fast. The game also features a well done cover system. One thing that did bother me about the combat, was how your vision darkens, blurs, and fades to black & white as you take damage. If you're fighting in a dark area, this can make recovering quite difficult, as you will not be able to see. Luckily, you won't be fighting in the dark all that much, so it's not that big a deal.

Unlike in other open world games, there aren't any side quests to be found here. Just the main story. This seems like a bit of a waste for an open world game. It would've been nice to have some extra stuff to do between missions. Other than robbing stores and killing cops, there's really not much to do in Empire Bay.

There are 38 vehicles to found and driven in Mafia 2. It might not sound like much, but it's plenty. The driving can be hit or miss. For the most part it works well, but sometimes when you get a faster vehicle, it's hard to keep straight, as it tends to swerve all over the place. The game features 2 control schemes for driving, Simulation and Normal. Simulation makes things like water and dirt much more realistically affect your car's performance and handling, as well making your car car generally behave more realistically. Normal mode in this game is still much more realistic than most sandbox games, but it's certainly not on the level of any real simulation racing game. The garage in Vito's apartment can hold up to 10 vehicles. Upon parking a vehicle in the garage, it's stored there until destroyed, for use whenever you like. Gas is also required to drive. You don't have to fill up frequently enough for it to become a hassle, just enough to add that extra bit of realism.

Vito can visit various clothing stores to purchase new outfits, I bought myself a stylin' pink suit. There aren't that many different outfits, but you should be able to find somethin' ya dig, like my stylin' pink suit. Your vehicle can also be customized. You can change the color, the rims, tune the engine and even change the plates. I change the plates on all my cars to "Azkikr." Ya get it?! Right! Because I dislike Arizona, and I wanna kick it with Texas' boot. 1.

You'll need money if you want to buy cigarettes, hamburgers and milkshakes. There are a few ways you can make money. Obviously by doing the main story, but you can also crush cars and rob stores. Robbing a store is basically as simple as walking in with a gun and killing everyone who makes a fuss, than helping yourself to the phat loot. Crushing cars is done as a job for a certain someone in Mafia 2. You steal a car, drive it into the crusher, press a button, and then ya get $400. Other than suits and customizing your cars, there's really nothing else to spend your money on. You can go to a restaurant, buy guns, buy gas for your car, and that's pretty much it. You'll generally have plenty of guns from doing the story missions. And if you need a car, you're forced to steal one. Apparently there are no car dealerships in Empire Bay.

The game also features a whopping 3 radio stations. Nothing compared to the amount found with GTA games, but they serve their purpose. So hopefully you like 40's and 50's easy listening, easy listening and rock-esque easy listening music. It's easy listening music, so it's hard to fault it. There are no talk stations. The DJs say a few words between songs, and it's funny in a sexist 50's way. Unfortunately, it's nothing compared to the greatness of GTA radio stations, specifically: WKTT.

Empire Bay is about the size of 1.5 GTA4 islands. Maybe 2. It's not huge, but it's big enough.

The Graphics:

The graphics in this game are - barring the occasional bug - excellent.

The characters, cars, environments, guns and effects are all done very well. The animations are excellent, as well. The game's cut scenes are done using the in-game engine, and they look great!

Sometime store textures will fade from the plane of existence into the veil, and then zap back into normal space and time as you near them. Hopefully ghostbusters are investigating this phenomena. Luckily it doesn't affect gameplay. Other than that, there isn't that much texture popping. Shadows have a tendency to become pixelated. This happened several times, but it usually didn't last long. Smoke also has a tendency to do this, especially when it comes in contact with shadows. In fact, smoke almost always becomes pixelated when it's in shadow. Sometimes it'll even disappear completely.

The Sound:


The game's original score is performed by the Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra, and it's very well done. Whether the mood is joyous or depressed, the orchestra makes it sound beautiful.

As I mentioned earlier, the guns sound realistic, as does the rest of the world, and all the characters are backed by fantastic voice actors.

The Achievements:
*Keep in mind that this has no bearing on my score*

The achievements are all pretty straightforward. Some of them you'll have to be on the lookout for, such as the 209 collectibles.. sigh. None are particularly difficult, but one of them is extremely time consuming. And that one is finding all 159 wanted posters.
Mafia IICard SharpThe Card Sharp achievement in Mafia II worth 109 pointsFind all of the Wanted posters.

The other collectible achievements are finding any collectible, and finding all 50 playboy mags. I think you'll enjoy finding the playboy mags.
Mafia IILadies' ManThe Ladies' Man achievement in Mafia II worth 85 pointsFind all of the Playboy magazines.

The rest of the achievements are pretty easy, and the difficulty achievements stack. There are several mission-related achievements, but since you can replay missions, it's not hard to get these, so you won't need any more than one playthrough to get everything.

The Final Verdict:

Mafia 2 is, in this guy's humble opinion, one of the must have games of 2010. If you don't buy it for the action, buy it for the excellent story. If you don't like either of those things, go back to your dolls, because we - by which I mean I - hate you.

Pros N' Cons:
Pro = + // Con = -

+ Exceptional story and writing
+ Deep and interesting characters
+ World feels authentic, and it's easy to get immersed
+ The action is frantic, and the gun play fun
- Some minor graphical bugs
- Other than story missions, there's not much to do in Empire Bay

1. I'm just kidding. I've nothing against Arizona. Good people that just happen to have a soul crushing hatred of Mexicans that is rivaled only by that skateboarding bird Sonny's insane love of Cocoa Puffs. 2.

2. That was also a joke.
Given 4 stars by Richard Bastion
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Saint Devourer
179,476 (118,633)
Saint Devourer
TA Score for this game: 957
Posted on 22 October 10 at 04:07, Edited on 30 March 11 at 18:22
This review has 31 positive votes and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Mafia 2 is quite the mixed bag. On one hand, it tells an interesting story extremely well, with believable and dynamic characters existing in what seems to be a living world. On the other hand, however, you'll soon figure out that the same world is nothing more than a set; a static environment with nothing to do in it. And in that static environment, you'll be doing the same thing, over and over. It could have been the most compelling sandbox game to date, but instead, it's a great gangster drama built around repetitive motions and poor mechanics.

You play the role of troubled youth Vito, arrested at the age of 18 and drafted to fight over in Italy during World War 2, due to his ability to speak Italian. After taking a bullet, he returns to his home town of Empire Bay a decorated war hero. He then meets up with his old friend, Joe, who pulls a few strings and gets Vito discharged from the Army. This is the start of Vito's rise to power, his rise through the ranks of the Mafia.

The story of Vito's rise is brilliantly told. During the game's 10-hour long story, there's rarely a moment where you're not doing something related to the story at hand. You're usually doing something, whether it's driving Joe back to his apartment or selling cigarettes to make some money, all to make it in the mob. While it all helps to tell the story, not all of it is fun and engaging. Apparently, the only way to become a mafioso is to drive everywhere, as that is what you will spend a majority of your time in Mafia 2 doing. Spending all this time in a car is all the more infuriating when you calculate in the hit-or-miss cops and the distinct lack of grip that all cars in the 1950s apparently had.

But at least your on-foot experience is better than it is behind the wheel. The shooting mechanic is your basic cover-based shooter, with being able to slide into cover and pop out and fire a few rounds it's key features. It's honestly nothing special, but it functions well. The various enemies you face off against use cover to their advantage as well, sometimes for long periods of time. And when you're not armed with a gun, you engage your enemies in hand-to-hand combat, which is basic, to say the least. With a light attack, a heavy attack, and a dodge, there isn't a whole lot of variety to be found here. Everyone even fights the exact same way.

And that, ultimately, is Mafia 2's downfall: it's lack of variety. With no sidequests, there simply isn't much to do. Your actions are limited to driving, shooting, and fighting, and none of these are done well enough to not feel repetitive. The driving, especially, feels like a chore, and is put on you far too often. And it's a shame, because the city of Empire Bay is beautiful and alive. But there's no way to interact with this city; it's just there for decoration.

It's disappointing. That's the best way to sum up Mafia 2. It has a great story, but it's clear that 2K Czech spent too much time fine tuning the story and not enough time building the mechanics to compliment the story. But as it stands, it's a movie quality story that's stuck within the realm of a repetitive and unimaginative video game. Although, if you're a sucker for a good story, Mafia 2 delivers here, but just know that it's a dull ride getting to the story's climax.
Given 3 stars by Saint Devourer
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Blind Hedshott
73,825 (50,410)
Blind Hedshott
TA Score for this game: 2,231
Posted on 29 August 10 at 16:37, Edited on 29 August 10 at 16:38
This review has 28 positive votes and 9 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The Story
Mafia II tells the story of Vito Scaletta who has returned from World War II to Empire Bay where he reunites with old friend of his Joe Barbaro. Vito is offered numerous jobs by the local mafia that plunge him into the dark and gritty underworld of Empire Bay in the 1940s and 50s.

The Graphics
There were one or two glitches i noticed whilst playing this game but apart from them the graphics are excellent. The cars, the environments and everything else are extremely detailed. The cut scenes are amazing.

The Sound
Gunsounds and other sounds around the city are very realistic, wherever you are the faded sounds of poilce sirens or seagulls are present. The cast was chosen extremely well for their parts and the soundtrack that was created for the game gives it so much atmosphere.

The Achievements
Relatively easy to get 1000 on this game, i am currently working on the two harder achievements which are the collectables, put together there are 209 collectibles but other than those two the achievements are pretty straight forward

Overall
In my opinion Mafia II is a must have, and in my opinion one of the best games I've ever purchased, I had been waiting for this game for quite a few years and i was not dissappointed due to its excellent storyline, the authenticity of the city and in between missions there is so much you can do round Empire Bay go for a drink, go rob a store, sell cars to dealers, go buys guns and suits, fill your car with fuel or clean it in the car wash or even just go and customise it in a body shop, the options are endless. I hope you enjoy playing it. smile
Given 5 stars by Blind Hedshott
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silver DewSky
157,979 (119,365)
silver DewSky
TA Score for this game: 1,811
Posted on 30 August 10 at 19:30
This review has 22 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
A Decade of Crime, Wealth, and Revelations awaits you in Mafia II

Arriving in Empire Bay with his family as a child, Vito Scaletta grows up and finds that a normal life is not going to get him where he wants to be, so he teams with his best friend Joey “Joe” Barbaro and together they commit petty crimes. One night of stealing goods, Vito and Joe get spotted by cops, and attempt to escape. Joe is able to get away, but Vito is seen and gets arrested. Offered one chance to avoid jail time by joining the army, Vito accepts and leaves to fight in the war while Joe continues down the path of crime. The friends are split for a while, but soon reunite and begin their journey through the crime underworld together.

Mafia II tells the story of man seeking fortune and respect in the ever expanding city of Empire Bay. As with the first game, the world that Mafia II takes place in is simply just a set piece; a beautiful stage to observe the violence that will occur throughout the game. There are no side-missions to speak and you always know what you need to accomplish next, but this is what makes the Mafia games so great. You’re thrown right into the center of the story from the very start, and once you begin, there is no looking back.

If you take away the excellent narrative of Vito’s life, Mafia II could be describes as a standard but enjoyable third person action game set in an open-world with minimal distractions from story missions. Almost every chapter in the game begins in your apartment or house, and then you drive to a destination partaking in shoot-outs, stealing items, or completing hits for the many associates you will meet in order to get one step closer to the top. A cover system allows you to avoid the hail of bullets that will come your way, which is pretty necessary since Vito can’t take that many before going down.

When you don’t have to engage into heated firefights, a simple fighting mechanic is used for fun one on one encounters, an element that improves a bit later in the game when you have to let your fist do the talking.

Driving feels solid in the game and includes many classic cars that do a great job of simulating how cars from the 40’s and 50’s would feel. They’re not as slow as you would think, and a most can even be tuned a bit at repair shops to help you avoid the police presence a bit easier.

Speaking of police, they appear to be a nice element to the game, but be careful how you get around in Empire Bay since they will stop you for major traffic violations including speeding, crashing into other cars or their own, which will make them pursue you. If you get caught by police you have two options: Pay a fine or resist arrest. This small touch is a nice change from other games where your only option is usually just to flee. When you’re cruising around the city, people seem to behave pretty normally. They’ll greet others, pass out papers, and even a few will speak to you. Once you pull out weapons though, they’ll get out of your way and seek the nearest officer for help.

The story will last you about 10 or so hours depending on the difficulty, and once you’re done you can finish off some of the last achievements you may have missed since most are pretty easy to obtain.

Overall Mafia II provides an immersive story with an excellent cast of characters that will keep you engaged until the end. If you enjoy a good crime game, you will definitely enjoy Mafia II.


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XvQUAZZYvX
65,563 (46,915)
XvQUAZZYvX
TA Score for this game: 1,260
Posted on 30 August 10 at 04:25
This review has 26 positive votes and 11 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
WARNING THIS IS VERY LONG, AND SLIGHTLY OVERLY CRITICAL.

smile

+Very compelling storyline with lovable characters that suck you in
+Gameplay feels very tight
+Graphics are tight, right down to the dust on cars.
-Very little to do other than main story and collectibles.
-lip syncing is iffy
-While graphics are extremely good, there are slight graffical bugs

THE SHORT VERSION
This game has great graphics, looking past minor glitches, and an off lip syncing. Everything feels complete, right down to the gun that is in Vito Scalleta's hands. Vito himself, has quite an interesting life as a Mafioso, with a story that is very compelling and will keep you guessing right until the end. However this sand box only has one toy: the main story. No side missions or multiplayer make having a giant world rather dull and just increases the driving time between missions. The only thing that you can do is find all 159 wanted posters. Gameplay is very tight, with a moderate assortment of guns to use, but you will only need the starting pistol, Tommy, and single shotgun. All other guns are the same thing except with different clips sizes. The music in this game is wonderful, setting atmosphere and fitting the time period at the same time, but in a game where all there is to do in a the city is drive, you could at least add more than 3 radio stations. Overall, i found this game to be pretty average, with a great story, but lacking in the content department. Overall this game is fun, but repetitive, and a relatively easy 1000G.

STORY
Vito Scaletta, arrested in his youth and sentenced to serve in the war as punishment, returns home to his bestfriend Joe, to learn his familly is in debt, and times are not good for the working man. Desperate, Vito turns to a life of crime as he and Joe begin to make ties with the local families. This is a typical Mafioso story, and is extremely interesting, and will keep you guessing from start to finish, along with a mission that is a homage to the original Mafia.

GRAPHICS
The graphics are extremely good in this game, down to minute details of shine on cars and even takes the risk of bright colours, contrast to other games that are afraid to venture past the the 3 main colours of black, blackish grey, and grey. Everything is polished to a mirror shine, which is why i feel let down by graphical glitches and neglections. For example, in one mission you are required to to tie someone up with tape, but after you finish tying him up, theres no tape. The character is just holding his hands close together and having a minor siezure trying to struggle out of the "tape." Little things like this bring down the immersiveness of this game, when everything feels so worked on, yet minor inconsistensies have gone unnoticed.
Also, when fist fighting, if you land a particularily heavy punch, blood flies out of the opponents face realisticaly, but he recieves no damage from the punch, contrasting the realism. If you punch some one so hard across the jaw that blood flies from thier mouth and they flail around, when they get up you almost expect to see a gash around thier mouth, or a bruise or blood, but thier face is as clean and unhurt as ever. Again, minor things like this can draw from immersion.
Cut scenes are extremely well written, and well created, but with one problem that becomes very apparent very quickly. The lip syncing. No matter what expression a character is conveying, their mouths never open more than a half a centimeter. While this can just be nitpicking, it becomes quite obvious when a character's eyes widen in anger, his body tenses, and yells at someone at the top of his voice, yet his mouth has barely opens enough to let a whisper out. Those points being said, shooting people leaves realistic bullet holes and blood flies, heck, shooting walls and objects causes them to break and smash realistically.


GAMEPLAY
Mafia 2 is a sandbox game set in the 1940's and 1950's, but other than the huge city thats about the size of a GTA island, theres nothing sandbox about it. Again, this is something that takes time to become apparent. There are 15 chapters, and each one always has an active main story objective, and waypoint to that objective. This gives a linear feeling quite quickly. Eventually you will reach a point where the objective is "earn XXXX$" and that's when i realized "Well how am i supposed to do that?"
Besides the main story, which is 20ish hours long, give or take, you can rob stores, for minimal amounts of cash, sell cars for minimal amounts of cash, or sell expensive cars, for quite a lot of cash. However the third option becomes void partway through the game due to the plot. The cash itself, is pretty much useless, as there is nothing to buy besides extremely cheap food to replenish your health, which replenishes on it's own, and even if it didn't, you can't carry any healing objects with you anyways, and guns, which are dropped by pretty much every person in the game. It's only symbol is pretty much Vito's living conditions at the time, as you gain or lose massive amounts of money at a time due to plot conditions, and circumstances. The only use full thing it does is upgrade and repair vehicles, but there are unlimited amounts of cars in the game and if you screw up your car, you should be able to steal another one almost immediately.
Speaking of cars, most of them handle beautifully, and realistically feel like your car can only go 80MPH. Cops, are realistic too, to the point where if you speed, they will pull you over and fine you, if you stop and get out of your car and let them. Or since you are speeding already, and they are not, you can go straight for a few seconds and they give up. This defeats the purpose of having the cops enforce the speed limit.
The guns all handle beautifully, though there are many that are pointless to have included. Some guns are introduced on the last chapters of the game, which to me, is useless. The fire rate between the 3 types of machine guns are the same, and appear to do the same damage. There is only 1 type of shotgun and i never even felt the need to use a grenade or Molotov besides one extremely hairy moment.
One last thing about the "sandbox" part of the game is that, once you beat the game and the credits start rolling, that's it. Finished. You cannot free roam afterwards to collect collectibles, or spend your money on stuff you will never use because there are no side missions. While you can reload a chapter and replay it, theres little value in doing it besides collectibles. Since you know the story, and the gameplay in one mission is pretty much the same as the others, theres little replayability unless you want 1000G on the game.

SOUND
The sound fits the time frame perfectly. It also sets the atmosphere no matter what mood is being portrayed. That being said, the major part of this game is driving, and there are only 3 radio stations, meaning that they will inevitably begin to repeat themselves.

ACHIEVEMENTS
You can get 920G in one playthrough without the collectibles. The achievements are mostly story related, with very few missable ones. There are classic sandbox game achievements like evade the cops for 10 mins. The collectables are the only time consuming ones because there are 209 things to collect. Difficulty achievements stack, and any game that has an achievement for collectiing 50 playboys is alright in my books.

Is it fun? yes
Is it repetitive? yes
Would i recommend it to a friend? yes
Is it a must have? Not particularly. It is good fun and well written. But the fact is that this game is only slightly above average in my books.
Given 4 stars by XvQUAZZYvX
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Omeks
97,653 (65,784)
Omeks
TA Score for this game: 955
Posted on 25 October 10 at 01:33, Edited on 25 October 10 at 02:00
This review has 17 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The Wild West. World War II. There are eras in American history that beg to be re-told into the video game world. Yet, the crime-driven lifestyle of the Mafia hasn't gotten near as much attention as it should. The original Mafia delved into the stereotypical pasta eating Italian crime organization years ago, and Mafia II looks to follow up with an amazingly well-told story. Still, even with the engrossing story and beautiful graphics, Mafia II is lacking in some areas that other open-world games perfected long ago. I can recommend the Mafia II experience for the story, but the $60 price tag is hard to swallow given some of the dated open-world elements.

Overview:
Mafia II details the misadventures of Vito Scaletta and his friend Joe Barbaro as they move their way on up through the ranks of various Mafia organizations ruling over Empire Bay (a fictitious version of New York City). Unlike the first game, Mafia II takes place during the 1940s and 1950s, even going as far as to incorporate a bit of World War II into the mix. Over 15 chapters, you'll follow Vito's backstory as a child who immigrated from Italy to the U.S. and his shady dealings with the Mafia, as well as meet a variety of interesting characters.

Story/Setting:
Setting Mafia II during the 1940s may seem like a bizarre design choice, given that most people identify the Mafia with the 1920s and 1930s during the prohibition era. The time frame works, though, as it details the Mafia dealings during the rationing of World War II, during the prosperity of the post-war period, and other eras that most people probably don't associate with the criminal organization. It also gives a chance to show how the Mafia has fared since the end of prohibition and how it reacts to the events of the 1930s. It's interesting to see the game and it's elements, such as radio stations, cars, clothing and the general look of the city, evolve from the classic "black and white" 1940s into a "Grease" influenced 1950s style.

Vito's story is probably the best part of the Mafia II experience. Vito shares a lot of similarities with Niko Bellic from GTA IV. He's a likable, almost innocent character who falls in with the wrong crowd. He does terrible things, but at the same time, you feel sympathy for him and his situation in life. Even the other characters that show up like Joe Barbaro have their own demons, but still remain likable additions. Meanwhile, you're also introduced to many characters that share those same qualities, but could betray you at the drop of a hat. There are shades of gray all over the place in Mafia II, and it keeps the story on its toes and the player always wondering what will happen next.

That's not to say Mafia II isn't somewhat predictable. If you know anything about Mafia-driven stories, it's clear to see where things are going to end up in the long run. Additionally, it's hard to predict Vito's motives. One moment he may be committing crimes to help his family, while the next he kills anyone he's told to without any remorse to try and move up the ranks. It's easy to identify with Vito, but his character can be difficult to predict, and can at times feel a little robotic.

Gameplay:
If the story is where Mafia II excels, the general gameplay is where it stalls. Mafia II is an open-world game that allows you to explore the vast city of Empire Bay. You are technically free to do whatever you wish, whether it's scrapping cars for cash, running from the cops, or just being a mobster in general. But the game's story progression limits what you can do. While you're not forced to take on a mission, every chapter will place a guide to the next location. You can avoid this waypoint, but let's face it, the game is basically prodding you into the next stage of the main story. Additionally, since the story is the main attraction here, other ventures that don't have Joe alongside you or involve cutscenes aren't really that interesting, so you're automatically drawn to story missions.

It's this that makes Mafia II feel like a dated open-world game. Although a game like GTA IV, or even the almost ten-year-old GTA III, has its own storyline you tend to have to follow, the game allows you to complete main story missions at your leisure. Mafia II just moves through every chapter in succession, not giving a whole lot of room for freedom. Furthermore, a lot of missions fall into the "tedious" field, driving from Point A to Point B, going through a shooting gallery of enemies, then driving home to the next chapter. Luckily, the excellent graphics and cutscenes help break up the monotony, but the dull gameplay keeps Mafia II from really soaring.

Another element that is missing is online play, adding to the dated feel of the game. GTA IV and other open-world titles have long since evolved to include online elements, and the lack of those elements here hurts replayability and just makes it feel out-of-touch with other games on the market. There is something to be said for focusing entirely on single-player and avoiding churning out a weak attempt a multi-player, but it's hard not to imagine how fun an online war between Mafia hit-squads could be.

Graphics/Sound:
The graphics are the other main achievement of Mafia II. Almost everything looks great here. Vito and other characters have great detail and animation, while the city, cars, and environment all matchup in detail. You'll see the city during the snowy winter as well as the hot summer, while cars and attire also change with the era. Voice acting is also top-notch, with most characters having a believable, yet stereotypically Sicilian mobster accent. As with GTA, the game also has its own radio stations, the developers having gone as far as to license artists from the 1940s such as Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters, to 1950s hits by Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. The music definitely adds to the feel of the era, although unlike other games, you're not going to have as much variety or freedom of selection with what you listen to. If you're not a fan of these eras of music, then you're not going to care much for the three radio stations. Though the news stories detailing events from World War II and even your own exploits are always entertaining and immersive.

Achievements:
The 50 achievements included with Mafia II range from easy to moderately difficult to obtain. The game's hardest achievement seems to be beating the on Hard difficulty, which isn't that hard of a task. The majority are completed by simple story progression. Other achievements seem to be sandbox-styled, such as selling a number of cars for scrap or finding collectables. One of the annoyances, such as with finding all the Playboy magazines, is that, given the chapter progression, if you miss one magazine or don't realize they are they in the first chapter or two, I don't believe you get a second chance to get them in future chapters. Furthermore, the game doesn't give you the option of continuing after finishing, so you may need to start a completely new game if you miss a few of them.

Final Verdict:
Mafia II is definitely entertaining and it's worth playing if just for the story alone. However, it's difficult to warrant a full $60 purchase for a game that feels dated when compared to other open-world games. Also, once you've completed the story, which should take between 8-10 hours, there doesn't seem to be a lot left to do beyond complete achievements, and unlike other games, it doesn't allow you to keep playing after beating the game. The good news is that there is a lot of DLC in place for the game's future, but it's hard to tell if the $10 price tag warrants a purchase of them yet.

I can recommend to anyone that likes open-world games like GTA that Mafia II is a must-play, but I can't recommend it at full price. Until a price drop occurs, I'm going to have to recommend it as a rental, due to the dated feel of the gameplay and the fairly low replayability. Still, the story in Mafia II is entertaining and something everyone should witness.
Given 4 stars by Omeks
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DrkStar47
93,713 (65,461)
DrkStar47
TA Score for this game: 2,236
Posted on 01 October 10 at 15:28, Edited on 02 October 10 at 16:58
This review has 21 positive votes and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Written for Gameboyz.com (Dagameboyz on Metacritic)

Review – Mafia II


Developer – 2K Czech
Publisher – 2K Games


Features

Available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
Single player story mode
HDTV - 1080p native resolution (optional 480p, 720p and 1080i)
In-game Dolby Digital Audio
Downloadable Content

Introduction-

Mafia II will “make you an offer you can’t refuse.” This latest multiplatform offering from 2K Czech and 2K Games will thrust you in to the depths of “this thing of ours” with all the grit the streets of Empire Bay. The story follows a returning second world war hero Vito Scarletta as he “makes his bones” in an effort to climb the ladder of Empire Bay’s mob underworld. This game has the feel of an openworld game that the player can explore from borough to borough. If you love Mob stories depicted in movies like the Godfather series, Good Fellas or Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America ; Mafia II is a must play for you.

Graphics

The game is visually stunning. The textures of the environments from the first frame are photographic in quality. I played on the Xbox 360 version and I was taken aback with the richness and detail of the scenes. 2K Czech got it right; the mid-1940’s Empire Bay of Mafia II looks like the city it is replicating, the New York of the mid-1940’s. One of the dominating feelings I had from the outset was, I never played a period game like this where everything in new and fresh. I personally tend to favour ’30’s, ‘40’s and ‘50’s architectural features and design but have grown accustomed to having these elements portrayed in a state of ruin as in Fallout 3 or the two Bishock outings. 2K Czech has painstakingly drawn the scenes with such detail that it is a treat to jump in one of the many period cars and just cruise around Empire Bay soaking in the atmosphere of the era. From traversing the snow and ice covered roads of 1945 Empire Bay to the balmy dry pavement of 1951 Empire Bay in summer, every aspect of Mafia II’s environments reinforce the tone and fullness of the story

2K Czech, 2K Games have finely detailed the characters of Mafia II in a manner true to the era. From the subtly of movement within the gameplay to the detail and camera movement in the cut scenes the graphic qualities are worthy of such great cinematic directors as Francis Ford Coppala.


Sound

The first thing to blow me away in 2K Czech, 2K Games Mafia II is the soundtrack/score. When the orchestral scores of games like the Halo series intensify the gameplay; Mafia II’s soundtrack punctuates the period of the game. From the Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” to the crooning of Dean Martin over the car radio or the one in the many bars and clubs that Vito frequents in his rise in the Empire Bay mob world there is never any doubt as to the where and in what era the player is in. The use of licensed music from the ’40’s and ‘50’s is nothing short of brilliant. There were many occasions where I just cruised around the varied streets and neighbourhoods of Empire Bay just to listen to the tunes of the times on th car radio.

Mafia II’s story is told through the characters and their dialogue. The script is well crafted and the voice characterizations are true to that script. These characters are believable. The colloquialisms and the speech patterns are what we have come to expect from mob figures. The delivery is on the mark and the humour is true to the development of the characters. From Vito’s best friend and fellow mobster wannabe, Joe’s jibes when Vito misses a shot or two in a gunfight to the planning of a job by Vito’s many mob Bosses every line fits the scene. This is a story worth telling and worth telling well and 2K Czech does it very well.


Gameplay

I love a good story. I really love a good mob story. Some of my favourite movies of all time are movies like God Father 2. I have played the two God Father Games and thought hey were reasonable depictions of the movies, but 2K Czech, 2K Games Mafia II goes where no other mob game has gone before.

Our story begins with our protagonist Vito Scalleta alongside Italian Resistance fighters battling Mussolini’s army in Sicily. After his return as a decorated Second World War veteran; we begin Vito’s quest to become a “made man” in the Empire Bay underworld the player moves through four distinct chapters of Vito’s story. From stealing cars to sell for scrap to selling cartons of cigarettes of the back of a truck, to the odd mob hit, every turn in Vito’s journey offers insight to why he is driven to be a member of the Mafia. To say that the story is rich with atmosphere and character is an understatement. The sometimes over abundant cut scenes are presented in a seamless manner not unlike those in Uncharted 2 and are key to storyline in a way that gameplay alone could not provide. As in Uncharted 2 the cut scenes are animated in a precise way that transition from one step in Vito’s climb up the mob ladder to the next step as he strives to become a “man of respect.” More than anything Vito is a likeable character not unlike Niko Bellic of Grand Theft Auto IV fame. I found myself caring about the character and wanting him to succeed.

The cars of the game feel as cars should feel. The camera choices while driving vary from third person, to over the hood to a low driver’s-side fender angle. The sloppy driving physics that plagued GTA IV are not found here. The weaponry of the game found in guns a small as the Berretta Model 38, to the bigger Second World War period MP 40 and M3 submachine gun, are matched up well with the Mobster’s weapon of choice the Thompson Machine Gun. The aiming of these “gats” is not as precise as I would have liked at the higher difficulties, but it wasn’t bothersome enough to distract me from the game. The one inclusion that helped with the lack of precise aiming was an excellent cover system mechanic. One of the surprisingly fun aspects of gameplay were the melee battles. The fistfights in Mafia 2 feel like fistfights. There is the oft used mash button to punch or dodge but there is the subtle inclusion of a sort of quick time event to finish the opponent. The melee mechanic feels a bit alien and takes a bit of getting used to but can be quickly mastered.

For the player who likes to hunt for collectibles in a game; 2K Czech, 2K Games’ Mafia II has has collectible hunting like you have never experienced before. I would go as far as saying one set of collectibles in Mafia II is simply titillating. Hunting for Play Boy pinups is fun to do and the results are fun to look at and further reinforce the mood of the game.




I became so engrossed in the storyline of 2K Czech, 2K Games’ Mafia II and I needed to see what next befell the protagonist Vito Scalletta that I found it difficult to put down the controller. The obvious flaws of imprecise aiming, frequent and over abundant cut scenes are easily over looked for a well crafted story and very high production values. When it comes to authenticity, Mafia II is an homage to gangster films as Red Dead Redemption was to Westerns. The script, the voice acting and the soundtrack are worthy of the big screen , and the cutscenes are never dull. For me, a fan of the Gangster genre, 2K Czech, 2k Games’ Mafia II took aim at and hit the target on all counts. I was compelled to play hour after hour and will replay hour after hour to devour the atmosphere and depth of Vito Scalleta’s story. Mafia II strips away the glossy veneer of the mob underworld and reveals a gritty and seedy interior like no game before it. I strongly recommend you visit Vito Scalleta’s world to experience it yourself.

For the wannabe mobster Mafia II should be number one on your need to play list.







Score

Graphics - 4
Sound – 5
Game play – 5
Tilt – 4

Overall score – 4
Given 4 stars by DrkStar47
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LesserHuman
78,823 (56,195)
LesserHuman
TA Score for this game: 2,461
Posted on 06 June 11 at 14:13
This review has 13 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Mafia 2 is a fun game. It has face criticisms due to the fact that there is no free roam. This doesn't limit the game as much as it is often made out.
Story
The story is this. You are Vito and you want to make money without having to do hard labour, this leads to many shootouts and they are fun and aren't too hard even on the Hard Difficulty. You are made by the Falcone family and then it all goes downhill but no more will be said or it will spoil it. Great story though.

Gameplay
The contols are easy to get to grips with. They are fairly simple controls, LB=run RT=shoot Y=Steal a Car.

Collectibles
Best.Collectibles.Ever. Who doesn't want to collect Playboy magazines. The wanted posters are fairly easy to find and the travelling is the time consuming part but if you play your cards right you can get One Careful Owner. The only hard one is the Wanted Poster on the top of the roof but follow guides and you will get it.

Achievements
The achievements are fairly easy but can be time consuming. The main story achievements aren't missable but you might want to have a guide handy for the playboy magazines and the wanted posters.

Overal I would recommend this game to anybody who enjoys Grand Theft Auto or the Godfather game series. To be honest if you see it in a shop for £10 or $15 there are worse ways to spend a weekend.
Given 4 stars by LesserHuman
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Balsin Fase
149,931 (103,278)
Balsin Fase
TA Score for this game: 1,260
Posted on 01 August 11 at 21:19
This review has 11 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Man, don’t you just love in GTA and Saint’s Row how you can jut go out and kill people and no one can stop you? Isn’t it cool how you take a city by storm, committing every kind of crime possible while working your way up the ladder until you control the city? Isn’t it great how no one can stop you no matter what kind of evil crap you do?

If that’s your line of thinking, put Mafia II down right now. I’m absolutely serious. Sandbox crime games have been all over the place since GTA III put the first mainstream one together, but one main factor in each of them is that crime pays. The characters are shown as anti-heroes, going outside the law to do what they feel is right. It pretty much always works for them, which is pretty much the opposite of real life, which is where Mafia II steps in.

Everything else about the game is handled competently. The controls are solid, everything about the gunplay to the driving feeling like it’s spot on. Not exactly innovative, but they manage to do the job just as well as any other one of this style of game. I never found myself floundering for a weapon or doing some stupid action I didn’t mean to at any point. If things went sour, I was pretty much always the one to blame.

The enemies, even on the highest difficulty, at most get the job done. They rarely leave cover, never put up more than a feeble attempt to flank you, and more often than not only kill you by spawning somewhere you aren’t looking. No less than three times during the last level, a gangster with a shotgun appeared somewhere during the few seconds I wasn’t looking at a spot, and promptly blew me back to the loading screen before I could even process his appearance.

This usually doesn’t happen all that much during the game, though, because your AI backup is a crack shot. I’m used to having a doorstop for a partner in any game that sticks you with one, but Joe was a surgeon in this game. Well, a surgeon who frequently gets hit in the head with a bat before opening up a patient, but still a surgeon. He stand there and soak up bullets, killing half of the enemies before I could even notice them. It never felt like it was taking my work away from me, as there were always more than enough enemies left behind for me to feel like I still had my work cut out. Instead of making me feel like I was watching the computer play with itself, I got the feeling that I was just another part of a big gunfight, and that I was working as a part of a team, even while alone.

You’ve probably heard the complaint that the rest of the game is linear, and that there aren’t any side missions to do in the city. Well, you’re right, but where you say side mission, I say loose editing. You see, most of the side missions in open-world crime games revolve around busy work, like doing races or stealing certain cars, or overall doing more of the same stuff you already did in other missions. They pad the game, giving you the impression that there’s lots to do when you are just doing the same thing, over and over. Mafia II goes with variety instead, somehow making driving and shooting feel different in each mission. No two missions felt the same, and I never had the sense that the game was deliberately wasting my time like I usually do in sandbox games.

That comes from the tight story. This is a story about the real bad stuff that comes about when you’re a career criminal. It’s a close focus on Vito’s life, and the downward turn it takes from the very first moments of the game, where he has to choose between prison and going to war for stealing jewelry from a store window. This isn’t the game that all of the kids are going to be begging to play, because in all of the work in the game, you see the story of how greed and taking the easy way out will erode your life. It points out that nothing easy comes without a price, one that Vito just keeps paying, over and over. Once he’s that far in, there’s no way out, and by the end of it, you feel a great deal of pity for him. He was just a man who wanted to get ahead, and the route he took ruined his life.

The story holds it all together, giving it a life and cleverness you don’t expect in this genre. It’s a sandbox games for adults who want to explore while being told a great story. It’s a little wonky during sequences where you don’t have any backup, and overall a little too easy even on the highest difficulty, but the story shines far too bright to let this game pass by because of a few minor problems. If you get a chance to try it, you should check it out.
Given 4 stars by Balsin Fase
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Twinkling82
91,136 (54,400)
Twinkling82
TA Score for this game: 1,051
Posted on 10 February 12 at 13:52
This review has 14 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This review was originally posted on my website, http://gamingirl.com

External image


Cruising down the snowy or sun heated road made me wish I were born in the 50’s, because the cars really had personality back then. Instead I have to imagine how it was, and it’s pretty easy when you’re playing a game as good as Mafia II. Though, the missing technology and bullets flying past your ears by millimeters curbs that anticipation.

I like how the story develops, but I must admit I felt like I was thrown into the middle of the game (not that it’s a bad thing) – this goes for the first mission only. You are then introduced to your good friend, Joe which I ended up liking quite much. Your (Vito, red.) mum is a loving and caring, very Italian woman, with a big heart and good manners – the fact that the voice behind the character has accent, is just adding to the games authentic feeling.

External image


In the first mission, you are in the middle of World War II, dodging bullets and fighting for the people’s rights against Mussolini. Getting hit by a bullet, Vito – your playable character – is sent back to America, after a long visit to the hospital. From there, in spite of the fact that Vito wants to fulfill his mothers wishes for Vito to have a legal, decent job, Vito is swirled into the mob life once again – if not for the money, then for the survival in the underground 40’s and 50’s America.

Changing Lanes
What I like the most in this game, is the story and change of environment, making it very authentic – the story extends over a decade, so in particular the cars and the music changes. The game is all about the story – the cut scenes are long, but they are really well done, and the voice acting is flawless and fun. The story turns unexpectedly a few times, and once or twice it changes the gameplay for an amount of time. I love the gameplay and how the developers did choose to make it mission-to-mission, so when you finish a mission, you are starting on the next. This has it’s good and bad sides. I like when games have a certain feel of pace – but it’s still allowed for you to fool around, shooting people and drive like a maniac – you know, the stuff you aren’t allowed to do in real life. If you just want to fool around, the goal and the route on the map in red might get to you in due time.

Mostly, you are driving from point to point, get involved in fist- or gunfights and only on a few, rare occasions you will get to do something else. There could be more minigames and variable missions, where you have to do something else than shooting and driving – but the story is so good and intense, that I didn’t care for the minor repetitive feeling I got once or twice while playing the game (other than the trial and error problems I had in a few occasions).

There’s a lot of covering and shooting going on, and it works really well. Even if you are in cover, a bullet might graze your arm or leg, and you lose a bit of health – and your opponents might even be able to destroy the very thing you are covering behind – if you are hiding behind certain materials, like a wooden table, bullets will still go through, shatter the wood and hit you.

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Driving physics might feel a bit sluggish at start, if you are accustomed to arcade racing games, but the cars are heavy, and doesn’t have a lot of horse power, so the cars are supposed to have this feel, they aren’t the super modern sport and racing cars, that we know from the high speed racing games. It is possible to upgrade your cars and customize them a bit, like paint them, change the registration plate and so on. It’s pretty easy to die in the car when crashing and the car can run out of gas.

Not only your character is able to get a wanted level – the cars are able to as well. Driving a wanted car will get you a wanted level when spotted by the police, and you can paint the car or change the plates to remove the wanted level on the car.

No Biggie
I had so much fun playing Mafia II. I got through the story relatively fast, but I was playing intense – it took me three days intense playing, barely 20 hours (and that was including some of the oddball achievements, like drive 125 mph), on hard – which meant 3 or 4 of the missions was trial and error for a few hours, dying heaps of times. I still need to go after the last few achievements, but they don’t seem to be too hard. I would say that’s a wee bit short for a big title as this is, but I am actually relieved – most newer big title games can be quite hurtful to work through, if you are going for all the achievements.

If you are expecting another GTA IV experience, you have to look somewhere else, as this game is different – not too different, but still different. Driving, shooting and movie sequences is basically the same, but the atmosphere and environment is so much different. If you love to shoot, drive and enjoy a great story/movie, you really shouldn’t miss out on this particular title.
Given 4 stars by Twinkling82
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NZ DeadMan NZ
74,114 (46,170)
NZ DeadMan NZ
TA Score for this game: 1,368
Posted on 15 February 11 at 16:44
This review has 11 positive votes and 11 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Il make this review nice n short

The games based around a character called Vito Scalletta. Him and his pal Joe do jobs for various criminal organisations and in the process get into all sorts of trouble. The game is set with chapters, when a chapter progresses so does the time and era. You find yourself going throughout a variety of times with also a nice change in scene.

This game also has the record for the F word used most.

Storyline 9/10
seemed solid and had a very nice twist at the end. At points characters were introduced without enough background and you were left wondering "how do i know this guy again?" but on the whole the game brought to the screen exactly what the mafia world is about.

Graphics 8/10
The graphics were nice and kept up with the times they related to. There were a couple things that could be improved but on the whole it wasn't half bad
Had some kick ass cinematics

Gameplay 7/10
Reason for this is yes the game is fun, however you miss out on the freeroaming abilities that GTA has to offer. The game rushes you into the next chapter as fast as possible it seems.

Longevity 4/10
once you pass the story, theres nothing really to be done besides hiddens.

Achievments 9/10
Very easy game to 1k minus the two collectables achievments. Of which 1 is very entertaining. The other is incredibly boring but easy to find.
Given 5 stars by NZ DeadMan NZ
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MarkySharky
172,749 (115,617)
MarkySharky
TA Score for this game: 822
Posted on 16 July 11 at 10:00
This review has 4 positive votes and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Finished the main story of Mafia 2 today. It was OK but left me feeling rather empty. It was like watching a mafia movie with a great supporting cast in it but the lead role was miscast. I just found Vito to be so dull and lifeless and not very engaging. The other characters such as Joe were really good and believable but Vito just lacked emotion for me and I couldn't connect with his story.

One thing is for certain the game looks very good and has an excellent sound track. However considering how nice the city looked I just never felt compelled to explore it nor did the game give me any incentive or encouragement to do so which is a shame. That just left the story missions to do none of which were particularly excellent but some were quite enjoyable. I just never 'felt' like a mobster it was almost like a 9-5 job. You'd go and kill someone or whatever then the game would tell you to go to bed!

I actually think the Godfather game portrayed this lifestyle better for me and prefer that as a game. If you have a passing interest in the mafia and/or a fan of gangster films then certainly give this a go as there's an OK movie feel to this but as a game it was rather lacking on the whole.

6/10

I've got the DLC to try now but I hear that's cack.
Given 3 stars by MarkySharky
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