Mafia II

8.5 Overall Score

Written by on September 15, 2010 in

by Ken Crockett

Don Corleone ,  Tony Montana,  Vito Scarletta… if you have ever watched any Mafia movies, you know who the first two are, but who is the last one? He is the main character in the new game, Mafia II, developed by 2K Czech.  In Mafia II, you play as Vito Scarletta, who has recently returned from WWII.  While home for shore leave, he manages to completely leave the military, thanks to the connections of his good friend, Joe Barbara. Vito soon starts his life from the bottom of the barrel and makes his way up as he gains favor from the mafia. He starts out in the game as a small-time burglar and car thief, soon catching the eyes of those high up within the three different crime families: Clemente, Falcon, and  Vinci, and eventually becomes a “made” man.  Playing this game will make you feel like you’re in one of the famous Mafia movies.

I also found it quite enjoyable that the developers decided to include a mission that those of you who played Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven will appreciate. I won’t say what it is but the developers did an excellent job of including a little throwback to that game, so players familiar with the series will enjoy seeing that.

In Mafia II, the sandbox is not quite as large as GTA IV, but when driving around and just moving throughout the game, it does feel very much like a GTA game.  However, that’s where the similarities seem to end.  The controls took a bit to get used to, shooting with one gun, I realized I needed to be shooting with an automatic weapon instead of a pistol, but once I figured that out, I got used to it quite quickly.  The game will even switch to the next available weapon in the same weapon class should you run out of bullets.  Also when you need a vehicle, unlike GTA IV, you have the ability to either break a window or pick the lock on the car. Picking locks does take some getting used to, but once you have it down you will be a pro and can easily pick any lock within the game.

The cinematic scenes are very enjoyable to watch. The scenes range from very short to quite long, and 2K Czech did an excellent job of choosing where they would be placed etc. Many games now, especially in this sandbox arena, either put too many or not enough.  Mafia II has just the right amount; enough to give you the break you need between missions but not so many it starts to feel like a movie.

The only gripe I have with the cinematics in the game is that the developers, for whatever reason, made the subtitles quite small. Even with a large HD television I have to squint to see the text.  My guess is that the developers wanted to make sure people watched the scenes instead of reading them but there are many reasons someone would want to turn the subtitles on.  One being that this is a game that you will want to play when your kids are not around. The amount of “foul language” is enough to even make your mother want to wash out your mouth with soap. If you ever watched the “Godfather” series,  “Goodfellas,” or even “Scarface,” then you know what you’re in for. Another not so family friendly aspect to the game is there are many, many “Playboys” to pick up during the game, yes you heard that right, Playboys. During the game there will be many “Playboy” magazines littered throughout the game. Pick one up and you are graced with that magazine’s actual pinup from the era. While some would consider these on the classier side of Playboy, they do include nudity and therefore and should not be seen or played in front of minors. This is indeed a game you must play when the kids are in bed and fast asleep.

One letdown for me is that the game does not include any multiplayer whatsoever. This type of game is just screaming for a multiplayer aspect.  The whole theme of the game could easily be adapted into many different multiplayer modes.

All in all the game has a good storyline that kept this writer coming back for more. Depending on your schedule you could knock out this game quickly, in a day or so, or like me, it could take around two weeks to finish. The game’s ending does leave you wanting more and does hint that maybe we will get to see the continuing story in the third game.

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Author: Guest Editorial View all posts by

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