Review: Mafia II

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Review: Mafia II

Having Mafia 2 on your shelf will someday get you laid.

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Oooo, I want this, waiting for my personal treasury to increase, of all the times for me to need to hire a suit, it had to be when this was released.

Why in the video did you say that your body was going through the chain fence? Was it a poor attempt at humour? As there is no way in the game that your body can fly out the vehicle in a heavy crash (Like Gta IV).

I'm gonna get this game...

Someday :(

You know Mr Pitts, at certain times, you sound a bit like the late Carl Sagan.

Certainly love the look, and the whole time change too.

Man Italian Americans are bastards. That game has warped my fragile little mind and now I'm racist.

I find it amusing that the game leaves all these Play-boys lying around for you, then discourages you from taking time out to actually look at them. I kinda thought we'd left morality behind when we started killing people during the cut scenes.

Still gunna try to get it though. I wanna see if you can put people in the car crusher like in Goldfinger. Also it WILL get me Laid, RIIIIIIGGGGGHT?

Arachon:
You know Mr Pitts, at certain times, you sound a bit like the late Carl Sagan.

In a good way?

Spot1990:
Man Italian Americans are bastards. That game has warped my fragile little mind and now I'm racist.

I know right, this is such a poor portrayal of the Mafia. Since when were they Italian Americans?

Also, that hat makes you look stupid

Zeeky_Santos:

Spot1990:
Man Italian Americans are bastards. That game has warped my fragile little mind and now I'm racist.

I know right, this is such a poor portrayal of the Mafia. Since when were they Italian Americans?

Also, that hat makes you look stupid

Sarcasm much?

Wait... The Cather in the Rye, didn't that kill John Lennon?

Are you trying to imply that this game is trying to get us to kill Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?

Zeeky_Santos:

Spot1990:
Man Italian Americans are bastards. That game has warped my fragile little mind and now I'm racist.

I know right, this is such a poor portrayal of the Mafia. Since when were they Italian Americans?

Also, that hat makes you look stupid

I see what you did there...

After recently finishing watching the whole Godfather movies(Sh! I'm young!) i am definatly in the mood for a Mafia game. However, i'l probably have to wait till my Birthday or Christmas, both in December.

Great review! Other reviews have been quite harsh on it for linearity.

Blue-State:

Zeeky_Santos:

Spot1990:
Man Italian Americans are bastards. That game has warped my fragile little mind and now I'm racist.

I know right, this is such a poor portrayal of the Mafia. Since when were they Italian Americans?

Also, that hat makes you look stupid

Sarcasm much?

It's my only weapon against those idiots who actually protested against Mafia II on the grounds that portrayal of the 40s-50s American organised crime syndicates run by Italian Americans as being Italian Americans is racist.

Mr. Grey:

Zeeky_Santos:

I know right, this is such a poor portrayal of the Mafia. Since when were they Italian Americans?

Also, that hat makes you look stupid

I see what you did there...

My pleasure.

Blue-State:
In a good way?

Well of course, Carl Sagan, duh.

Zeeky_Santos:

Spot1990:
Man Italian Americans are bastards. That game has warped my fragile little mind and now I'm racist.

I know right, this is such a poor portrayal of the Mafia. Since when were they Italian Americans?

Also, that hat makes you look stupid

I know next thing you know WW2 games will feature nazis and then I'll have t start hating the Germans too.

A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.

Personally, this is my second favorite PC game of the year and it totally rocks imo. There are some little niggles, but if you overlook them, you can end up having alot of fun with it.

I'm also really enjoying the game, but as Russ said, the storyline really doesn't seem to leave much 'breathing room' for exploring the city. Unless, of course, you deliberately ignore what you're supposed to be doing.

In GTA, and most other 'open world' games, you get a mission from someone, do the mission, and then you're back in the open world to explore until you choose to go get your next mission. In Mafia II, you always have a plot-related objective to meet, and missions are frequently bookended by chapter changes/cutscenes.

On another note, the game (PC) is almost perfect if you have a 3D-capable display. Other than a few minor issues with some reflections or other light sources it has worked perfectly, and the immersion level is incredible. It's the first full game I've been playing through since I set up my 3D monitor, and it's a very nice experience.

I don't fall as far on the positive side of the reactions to this game, there are issues all over the place. The first game told a brilliantly written and acted story and the second game follows suit, the characterisation doesn't work as well however.
Thomas Angelo joined Salieri out of desperation and fear for his own life, if he hadn't gone to him he would have ended up dead and throughout the game we continue to see aspects of that humane side of him. Vito on the other hand really is a scumbag, he joins up with these people all too readily and barely questions what they demand of him, his relationship with his family is pretty much the only redeeming aspect he shows to us.

I have plenty of issues with the sandbox too, in that essentially there isn't one the first game featured a very detailed sandbox for it's time, with a fair bit to do, 6 years have passed since then however and Mafia II shows very little progression from it. It offers you a couple of forms of side missions sure, except I haven't been find any, whether this means that they are extremely thin on the ground(not a good idea) or that you actually have to be in a specific chapter to find each one(an even worse idea) it does not create a positive impression, other sandbox games have moved on from those early days but Mafia II ends up seeming like a glass cage, we can't see the bars but we can still tell that they're there.

Makes for nice car porn though

I really loved Mafia 2, the Story, Dialogue, Acting were all amazing and the Gameplay was fun while not getting in the way of the story.

The world was beautiful, the characterization and development phonemically.

That being said the game doesn't end with a bang, it ends with a splutter and feels like they ran out of time. There are also a ton of fully developed areas that have been locked off from the player, presumably to be sold to us as DLC because $60 for a game with only 12 hours Gameplay isnt enough money to 2K it seems.

There is also a distinct lack of clothing, because surprise surprise, it all got cut up and divided up between the various pre-order bonuses.

Mafia 2 is a great game, 2K's handling of it as a publisher however is deplorable and I am honestly reconsidering setting down $120 for two copies of Civ5 (even though myself and my wife are long time Civ fans) simply because I am afraid of what convoluted nonsense 2K will try to force on Sid and the Civilization series. Cutting out a leader to weasel an extra $10 is already a giant warning bell.

Mafia II is one of the most immersive, rewarding videogame experiences you will ever play

NO. Mafia II is one of the most CINEMATIC experiences in games, as in YOU FUCKING WATCH CINEMATICS instead of playing. ALL THE TIME. Oh and you drive, not just a lot, but the whole rest of all the time.

This is exactly the way games shouldn't be made. A shining example of a dead way, a videogame turd.

Also, there's a reason why every M2 video review begins with the same scene from the demo. Because everything is the same anyway. And forgettable. And boring.

Man, if you like M2, that's fine, but just don't pretend it's a videogame and should be judged by videogame merits. Release it o DVD as a movie and it might fare better.

Now this review puts me in a conflict. It makes the game sound awesome, just as it felt when I played the demo. But what I heard and read in other places didn't put it in quite that good light.

Virgil:

In GTA, and most other 'open world' games, you get a mission from someone, do the mission, and then you're back in the open world to explore until you choose to go get your next mission. In Mafia II, you always have a plot-related objective to meet, and missions are frequently bookended by chapter changes/cutscenes.

And that's why it's had so many harsh reviews.

The open-world is a backdrop that's there to add the driving gameplay and reinforce elements of the story. The developers have never said that they just want a sandbox for people. Plus, if you give people the sort of freedom they get in GTA then the pacing gets shot-to-pieces.

People never complain about something like Half-Life 2 being linear, because obviously it's supposed to be. Mafia 2 is supposed to be linear, yet because of the open city everyone ignores what the developers are trying to do and come up with their own assumptions.

Anyway, as for the game itself: I loved it (now on my third play through) although I feel that they got a tad trigger-happy with cutting stuff out, which damages the story a little. There are times when spending more time with certain characters would give certain events more of an impact. The story seems to have had a major shuffle around in the last year or so, which is particularly odd considering it's been in development for 6 years.

The ending is far too abrupt too; especially since the first game's ending is so well-rounded and bathed in delicious moral contemplation.

All-in-all though, the gameplay is great (there's shooting/cover issues on the PC version), as are the writing and acting.

For the record, I don't know what other reviews are saying. I didn't read any other reviews, nor did I read any previews or anything the developers said. I didn't even play the demo. My observations are purely based on the game I'm playing.

Woodsey:
The open-world is a backdrop that's there to add the driving gameplay and reinforce elements of the story. The developers have never said that they just want a sandbox for people. Plus, if you give people the sort of freedom they get in GTA then the pacing gets shot-to-pieces.

I'm not so sure about that. There are world widgets like the car crusher and other side jobs, as well as the different achievements, that definitely give the impression of having some open-world goals. There's just very little 'breathing room' in the storyline that gives you the space to go out and play in it. I'm sure you could just ignore the ringing phone or your destination to do it, but it's irksome.

I don't find the fact that the story is linear to be a problem - even other open world games are just thinly-disguised linear stories. I just think that it's a pacing issue.

I'm definitely enjoying the game though, and it's worth playing. If anyone is on the fence, ignore whatever harsh reviews there are and give it a try. Hell, rent the console version - worst case, you'll be out $5 and you can send nasty emails to Russ!

He says that the story of the game will leave you haunted for days. Not really. I beat the game in one sitting (the main story) and there were a few point in the game where it was heart breaking, but the end of the game just shot it all to hell for me. I was so disappointed by the end of the game I don't want to complete the free DLC I got with the game. I may even take it back to Gamestop to get some money back for it. It was a good play through, but the ending just killed it for me. It may set up a sequel, but the game should be able to stand on it's on without having to set up a sequel.

Woodsey:

Virgil:

In GTA, and most other 'open world' games, you get a mission from someone, do the mission, and then you're back in the open world to explore until you choose to go get your next mission. In Mafia II, you always have a plot-related objective to meet, and missions are frequently bookended by chapter changes/cutscenes.

And that's why it's had so many harsh reviews.

The open-world is a backdrop that's there to add the driving gameplay and reinforce elements of the story. The developers have never said that they just want a sandbox for people. Plus, if you give people the sort of freedom they get in GTA then the pacing gets shot-to-pieces.

People never complain about something like Half-Life 2 being linear, because obviously it's supposed to be. Mafia 2 is supposed to be linear, yet because of the open city everyone ignores what the developers are trying to do and come up with their own assumptions.

Considering I havent played the game this was my first thought too. I'm sick to death of Sandbox games. I stopped playing GAT after Vice city, and I hated prototype. I like the idea of a linear driven story, with exploration elements, similar to the Arkham Asylum model. Always another objective but you need to explore your world to complete it

worried by the claims of too many cutscenes but will reserve judgement until I have played it myself

Played it, liked it, was shot in the face and left disappointed. The story is great and all, and so is the feeling, but when you're not on missions, you simply have no real way of having fun.
In the oft-hated GTA IV, all you had to do for some fun was jump out of your car at random times, and you were guaranteed to giggle at least for a while. Not here. 7/10 for really cathching the feeling of the thing but forgetting replayability or simple, stupid fun.

i have to agree with this review in nearly every sense, however i feel that mafia 2 is so incomplete [SPOILER ALERT!!!!]

for example why have 2K spent so much of their time making the city so beautiful so that when you complete the game to prevent you from mooching around and just enjoying the freedom of the game. plus i also feel the game is far to short i remember playing the first one, i played it solidly for about 2 weeks and i think i only made it about half way through, basically it was huge, yet when i got this just 2 days ago i plowed through it and had it finished in a day, i'm not saying the game is bad just lacking in some things that would make it perfect, in my opinion their should be some DLC just make the game a few hours longer and maybe to finish the game off to a standard where you can continue to play after completion.

I have to say Mafia II failed to impress me in any way, shape or form. Besides the main story line there is nothing else to do, the AI being insanely dunb, the main character is emotionless and the game has staggering amount of bugs. I would have returned this game day one if it didn't lock to my Steam account.

Sometimes I wonder if reviewers played the same game I did... First, you can routinely blow by police doing 10'ish miles over the limit without them batting an eye. In fact, there was one mission (saving Leo Galante) where if you didn't ignore the speed limit - to a point - you have virtually no chance of getting there in time. I think you have to be going 15-20+ miles over the limit before the police will issue a warrant.

Also, I played the game on it's normal difficulty - and I certainly didn't think any of the fights were too difficult... I had no problems with the in-game camera... and the cover system worked beautifully. Sure, I died some, and I'll grant you, if you think you're going to run-and-gun through Mafia II, you are in for a rude awakening. It's not gonna happen. Using the cover system is mandatory for those precious seconds you need after taking a few hits to regenerate the majority of the health you lost. In the open, you can go down to a just a few shots from a handgun - and shotguns will take you down in a single shot at times; so using cover and waiting to take that aimed shot at someone is a must. Charging blindly into a room thinking you're the mafia version of Rambo is a death wish.

Could they have a done a better job with Mafia II? Absolutely. It's kinda on the short side for $50 imo; but the worst thing in my viewpoint was that they went to all this trouble to create and populate the city, and then gave you no real time to enjoy it. Just the inclusion of a few people with side missions, and the ability to explore the city without blowing off a mission requirement would have been nice. In fact, the junk yard owner goes as far as to tell you to come see him for some work; but he never has anything for you. Frankly, I think they're setting us up for DLC on that count. I liked the original Mafia, but frankly, eight years later, I expected a better product for Mafia II.

Finally a reviewer who gets it. I played the game before looking at reviews and loved every minute of it. It was just like Mafia, but better in every way, just like a true sequel should be. And you know what that is?

A linear game set in a non-linear world for immersion.

Did you hear that? Repeat it. Now repeat it again. Do you get it now? No, the game doesn't need a billion pointless side missions. This is not GTA IV. I wouldn't even really call it a "sandbox game", because you're not playing in a sandbox. If anything, I'd praise the game for not using invisible walls in the game world, and for letting you explore it.

I'm on the last mission right now... Stuck. Every time I move forward a step, three guys will come out of corners with shotguns while five more will cover them with Thompsons. =_=

All I know is that when I played the demo the shooting mechanics were terrible. Maybe they tweaked that in the full game, but I'm not willing to risk that.

Also, I'm a little tired of these "wiseguy" stories.

I'm finding Mafia II to be a great game. It's not GTA, it's not Red Dead Redemption, but it's damned good nonetheless. I wouldn't call it a sandbox game, it's a pretty linear experience with a couple of minor side trips available. I wish they had done the game in more of the spirit of the GTA series, but that's a minor gripe, I'm judging the game in the same way I would a more standard FPS.

I would quibble a couple of minor points in the review, specifically the part about the police, speeding and lockpicking. I haven't noticed the problems you bring up, Mr. Pitts. I've banged into cars in front of an officer, and had him immediately begin to give chase. I also don't notice any real increase in the number of times I get caught picking a lock, as compared to breaking a window. A slight increase, yes, as it takes longer to pick than smash, but nothing as bad as you seem to describe. I do find the speeding vs. red lights thing a bit odd, though. I wish they'd take out both, that was one of the things that annoyed me the most about the first Mafia.

To be fair on criticism, the game isn't having claims of racism thrown at it for portraying the italian americans in the Mafia as criminals, it's because they regularly use derogatory terms for the black and asian people in the game. However, that's how things were back then, and I for one can respect that and don't want to see these things magically edited out as tho they didn't happen.

From what I've seen of it, it's VERY heavy on the story, so if you don't like cutscenes and heavy dialogue, then it's not for you, however that doesn't make it a bad game, just the wrong genre for some people.

It absolutely is not a GTA clone. As far as I can see you can't even attack passers by, as no-one who was a genuinely criminal in a gang, would just draw police attention to themselves for giggles.

SenseOfTumour:
To be fair on criticism, the game isn't having claims of racism thrown at it for portraying the italian americans in the Mafia as criminals

Umm... actually it is. From The Escapist web site.:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102889-Mafia-II-Accused-of-Racism-Take-Two-Responds

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103123-Mafia-II-Protestors-Claim-Victory-Over-Mafia-II-Party

itf cho:

SenseOfTumour:
To be fair on criticism, the game isn't having claims of racism thrown at it for portraying the italian americans in the Mafia as criminals

Umm... actually it is. From The Escapist web site.:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102889-Mafia-II-Accused-of-Racism-Take-Two-Responds

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103123-Mafia-II-Protestors-Claim-Victory-Over-Mafia-II-Party

I take it back, the game is only having STUPID accusations of racism thrown at it for that.

Yet the ones I'm talking about, where the characters use racist terms in the game, I feel are entirely allowable as part of a piece of period fiction, and wouldn't be blinked at in, say, an HBO drama about the mob.

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