Semi-New Review: Mafia II

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The only thing better than popping a guy after a cool catchphrase is doing so in a really expensive suit.

2K Czech’s second Mafia game takes a realistic spin on the open world genre.  Mafia II takes you back to the 40’s in the middle of WWII and straight into the shoes of Vito Scaleta.

GAMEPLAY: Unlike GTA4 and Saints Row 2, Mafia 2 took a much more realistic approach.  Instead of turning on a dime, being thrown from your car, or getting hit by cars for money, this game has you power sliding cars in the snow with the finesse needed for Grand Turismo, getting tickets for speeding, and getting one hit killed by computer baddies.  To make you feel worse, this all happens on MEDIUM difficulty!  Despite my ranting, the play isn’t hard to get used to and adds a nice feel of realism.  I found myself abiding by traffic rules and using cover like a person should.  However, with many games that employ cover systems, there is a small problem with sticking to walls.  Although it gives the feel of being a sandbox game, it has a pretty linear storyline.  You can cruise the town and buy suits and guns, but there’s not much else to keep you entertained besides running from the cops.

SOUND: 80%

GRAPHICS: Clothing physics, highly detailed faces, crisp lines.  Quite a nice change to stiff characters and cartoony feeling cars.  An interesting addition to this game was the collection of magazines…  Playboys, in particular.  Each one you find unlocks a real photo of an old Playboy pinup from around that era (something you may want to be aware of if playing around the family).

STORY The storyline will give you the growth and expansion you want and as soon as you start to feel comfortable, it will throw you out on your butt leaving you stuttering for example (spoiler alert), getting thrown in jail for a few years or getting your house burnt down.  2K made a good balance of ethics as well.  You start to really feel for the guy as he starts slowly trading his beliefs and honor for money and power.

OVERALLWorth playing.  Spent a few weeks playing it and enjoyed it quite thoroughly.

Now that it’s been out for a while there are a few DLC stories you can download as well; The Betrayal of Jimmy, Jimmy’s Vendetta, and Joe’s Adventures.

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