Zero Punctuation: Mafia II

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Lol, dont mean to be a wiseass here but on every forum ive seen before this review, anybody talking about mafia 2 said "Well not sandbox game has to be non-linear" and defending it with stuff like that, and now people are saying "totally agree, the game was meh." or "the game was shit".

Talk about being a little hypocritical.

I don't know if anyone else did it, (or if he even read it) but I messaged him 10 days ago telling him to review it.

Dave Green:
I don't know if anyone else did it, (or if he even read it) but I messaged him 10 days ago telling him to review it.

Welcome to the escapist, and since your new here, you shouldn't know that it takes about 3 weeks after he makes a review for it to actually to be posted.

Hey Yahtzee! you didnt finish the vi

A mafia plot that ends early, that sounds suspiciously like The Sop [Fade to Black]

Extra props to Yahtzee this week for referencing "Bugsy Malone". I watched it as a kid and thought it pretty cool what with the mobster-setting being played out by kids (one of whom was Scott "Chachi" Baio!)

I played through the demo a couple of times and rather liked how it felt, that you weren't the super-soldier type (despite coming from a soldier background, if I recall correctly) so you couldn't just stand there taking bullets in the face all day. Cover-fire seemed decently done and, again, since I didn't want to be killed outright seeking refuge behind chest-high walls & pillars seemed the smart thing to do. I'll wait to pick this one up, though, as it didn't grab me enough to pay full-ticket for the ride (and I did find the hidden Playboys a bit senseless, do we get to see any nude characters in the game or just the Playboy bits?)

Haha, interesting.

The problem /w Mafia 2 for me was also the random ending. Didn't like it at all.

That said, my brother liked the game as a whole

Nice "Return to Blue". I didn't even notice the transition until I looked at the ZP Videos list directly.

A criminally-centric sandbox game...hmm. I think I've seen this before!

Methinks the only reason we see so many criminal-centric sandbox games is to remove most ethical/moral consequence as a result of the player going on a rampage.

"License to kill" = "License to Lunacy"?

Does anyone else find it ironic that Yahtzee's complaining about cover up systems has become as boring and repetitive as the systems themselves?

It seems that Yahtzee has run afoul of Candleja

i just wanna point out that you have to say candlejack before he gets

Haha, I love the way you ended it :D I found the last review funnier but it was still pretty hilarious.

Funny video! Count me as one of those who like to witness Yahtzee give a game he dislikes the boot.

I have only played through all of the original Mafia on the Xbox but lost interest in this sequel. Mafia II seems to follow its predecessor in never actualizing a full sandbox game which I thought was one area that could have made the game much better, even if it simply meant the "free roam" mode was improved beyond killing gangsters. While I'm glad that they seem to have kept with having the focus on narrative, I found that the first game suffered because a mission was a mission, but there was no "down time." It would be great to have the opportunity to explore and interact more with the game world, but I do not think just driving home to fall asleep for the next progression in plot hits the mark.

I will just content myself with my experience with the first game because I am one to have a very limited interest in the vast amount of Mafia gangster stories. Avoiding the "Crime doesn't pay!" lesson is also something that I approach games for in the first place.

Interesting as always....

Surprised you didn't mention Nolan North.

Don't know if this has been said before, I'm too lazy to read 160+ replys... But i am surprised Yahtzee hasn't reviewed Amnesia: The Dark Descent this week o_o

This was my reaction from beginning to end.


What the hell about the newish combat mechanic. Yes we know about the gunplay and the cars, that's to be expected from any shooter these days not to mention Mafia, which never seemed to stray far from it's shiny cars. But what about the one button dodge, the next swing thing! What the hell man? Yathzee! You're getting lazy!

I remember vids when you'd pay more attention to the mechanics of the game then just repeatedly highlighting the obvious stuff.

I know I'm just a random comment from some person you'll never meet and I have about as much say in the order of things as a dust mite, but I expected a bit more. REMEMBER YATHZEE, you have power in the world of the gaming industry, you could be working to move it in a better direction. Don't be shy to use that power.

Les Miserables reference ftw! Jean Valjean is the deepest character EVAR.

I liked how mafia 2 ended, it was perfect because if it had kept going I would have been yelling at the cutscene to end to I could shoot everyone and SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER. Ending it there was the ultimate sign of powerlessness, you CAN'T do anything.

I agreed with most of this review, although I have to say I was surprised not hear him mention


the mission where the house and cars and clothes you've spent the whole game accruing gets taken away from you -- leaving you and Vito both running around in slack-jawed rage, going "MOTHER-FUCK, my STUFF!"

I thought that was an incredibly effective story-based manipulation of my emotions, and I really applaud the Mafia II team for the idea. Sure, it's been done in RPGs and things before, but you always get your things back. Here, it came pretty late in the game, and because of how it coincided with the 'things can't make you happy' theme of that area in the plot, it was very effective.


And I absolutely LOVED hearing Vito so frankly go, "Yeah, you know why I did all this shit? MONEY! You know why I wanted all that money? TO BUY CLOTHES AND CARS AND A BIG HOUSE TO FUCK HOT WOMEN IN!!!" I thought that was very ballsy, unique, and kind of hilarious to have a blatantly materialistic main character, and to connect me with the drudging, hoarding, senselessly violent grind of his life.

But overall, still a pretty poorly-thought-out game . . .

blue thumb nail huh?

Thats a first, I'm used to yellow!

Great review as always


Bud the Wise:
Quick question, who is that one guy in each of the new ZP videos? I have no clue who he is nor was it ever explained but it is a real face of some dorky guy in each of the new videos.

Does this answer your question?

Yes, yes it does. Okay now that makes sence. I spent quite some time thinking it was like his best friend or his gay lover or something.

Ironically this review actually gave me more interest in the game then I had before. The fun bits do actually sound like a lot of fun.

Not a fan of the linear narrative then. Oh well, each to his own I suppose. It's better than a corridor game though, you have to admit.

Bonus points for the Bugsy Malone reference, btw...

Yes, the standard Crime game formula: If it aint broke why fix it?

So when are you reviewing Starcraft 2?

Well, I'm not hearing him blasting about horrible controls, responses that seem random each time the same button gets hit, or anything like that, so the game can't be all bad.

Ironic Pirate:

Onyx Oblivion:

It seems that Yahtzee has run afoul of Candleja

You're doing it wrong!

You have to completely utter Candlejack before you can cut out adru

Does it really matte

Christ, you really showed how much you don't know about Candlejack when you did that. You have to say Candlejack before you can get kidna

ah how nice, found this video right after I saw RoosterTeeth's video about how many times Mafia II drops the f-bomb...(200x) lol sweet

I've seen one story where someone joins the mafia and everything is hunky dorey. Although it was a Japanese story and their view on organized crime is directly relatd to how many katanas are pressed against thier anus.

Sorry but "marfia"? Did no-one else get annoyed by that?!

I've been looking forward to this review, but there are two points that disappointed me.

1. You do not get pulled over and cited for running red lights or stop signs in Mafia II. However the police did do that for the original Mafia I for the PC. This feature was removed in the PS2 and Xbox ports...because....well I guess the developers didn't think much of console gamers.
2. I'm disappointed after your memorable Uncharted, Farcry 2, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand and Resident Evil 5 reviews that you didn't mention anything about the game's blatant racism. For a long time developers have pussyfooted around this issue, to the point where the only reason that Nazis are bad guys in games was simply because they were assholes. To have racism addressed in video games such as this and the recent Red Dead Redemption and Ballad of Gay Tony seemed like a breath of fresh air.

This focus on authenticity was actually my favorite part of the game, and this made the segment of the story taking place in prison my favorite chapter. I'm Chinese-American and played this next to my best friend who is African American, and laughed at all the lines like "Dem moolies are animals all dey do's is smoke dope and kills each otha." or "A Chinaman? Lemme get him a step ladder and dis'll be a fair fight." However there were some cringe worthy points which me think that the developers weren't portraying racism from another era but instead being racist in this era.

It's surprising that an Italian American group were the only ones incensed enough by this game enough to denounce and protest it. It is true that the game perpetuates the stereotype of Italian people as gangsters, but it does this with other groups as well. And unlike the other groups, Italians are shown in a three dimensional light where they walk all facets of life. With this taken into mind, every black and Irish character is written as a savage brute with diminutive intelligence and every Asian speaks Engrish, is short and is untrustworthy.

Whenever a black character spoke "motherfucker" and "cracker" were the most commonly used words, and their speech was exaggerated to the point where I half expected them to ask "Where dems white wimmins at?" or sing about watermelon. After defeating a Chinese inmate in a prison brawl his "Dai Lo" remarks in silly laughable Engrish "Oooh dis not happin, if he yoos tiga style!" After completing a mission where you massacre a Chinese restaurant you gain an achievement called Chop Chop. These moments made me wince, and the knowledge that immature teenage boys will be reciting them on Xbox Live for years to come made me shudder. However in a game that takes place during Jim Crow, segregation, the height of Klan Power, the holocaust, the Red Scare a non-respectable portrayal is better than avoiding one.


But otherwise your points were...on point. The game is very linear and all the driving segments from mission to mission are boring. In the first game you had plenty of side missions and a free roam game, to pass time. Here driving is just a chore.

The first game received a share of criticism that the realistic depiction of the clunky cars made before power steering, fiberglass and polymers were introduced into car design made the driving no fun. Though I did not agree with that, I did see that having the speed limit at 40mph everywhere including on freeways, highways and uphills was indeed annoying. But at least the driving was easy to do. In Mafia 2, I don't know what happened. Getting from point A to point B without getting into a serious accident is next to impossible. Every car handles as if the tire treads have been scraped off, the road lubed with margarine and the airbrakes filled with water.

For those unfamiliar, the game first starts off in the winter, where the roads are slick with ice and sprinkled with generous servings of snow. I had first thought that the lousy driving was simply due to the loss of traction due to slick roads. But once that passed I was proven wrong. The driving experience never improved. The slight tap of the A or D key on the PC or the analog stick on the PS3 sent the car into a 90 degree angle.

The first Mafia's realistic but easy to handle car mechanics was a joy to an OCD inflicted person like me. I would follow all the rules of the road from following the speed limit, not tailgating, turning your wheels toward the curb when parking on a slope, parking eight inches from the curb, and using the turn signals (which sadly you can no longer do in Mafia 2. In the first game you could use the signals only by using your turn buttons. There was an actual push to add a dedicated turn signal buttons to the game, which I see was not only dismissed by the developers but opposed with the total removal of the player's turn signal. Drives then were then a breezy cruise, now they are a dreaded nuisance where I pray I won't wreck my ride and have to pay for damages or steal a new car then be chased by the coppers.


The game's save system, is all sorts of fucked up. Instead of segmenting each gameplay change and location of a chapter the chapter selection features just one chapter as a whole, making you play the whole thing right from Vito waking up in the morning. And there were times where I did the tedious chore of driving from one side of town to another to reach objectives, completing said objective to drive to another side of town to complete another, wherein something pressing in reality comes up and I quit the game thinking I would start again in my current location. When I restart the game and click on "Continue Story" I see that it loads the very beginning of the chapter with Vito waking up.

If a game doesn't allow you to save on your own whim, they should autosave after the completion of an objective!

Good review although it was cut ---

Onyx Oblivion:
Is it odd that my favorite part of an open world game is driving around listening to the radio?

Even in Saint's Row 2, I find that the most entertaining part of the game...

I have the perfect game for you.

I finished the game. It was good, but it could've been great. That's all I can say.

Man ,I love zero punctuation.
Ben Croshaw is the wittiest game reviewer I ever heard.
I wish I could cram so many words in a sentence and talk talk talk until heads explode.

Just like Yahtzee predicted the entire story with pinpoint precision before playing it, I predicted Yahtzee would skull**** this game into oblivion.

Doesn't GTA1 convey the message that crime does pay though? I never got through to the ending, but if that's the case then just remaking it would ironically take the sandbox mafia game to a dimention that's so old it's new ag

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