Zero Punctuation: Mafia II

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You know how much you love Silent Hill 2, Mr. Croshaw? Try "Amnesia: Dark Descent" on Steam. I dare say it's scarier.

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'm sort of in that boat. I love playing around either a) Role playing, or b) Test-Driving cars in a manner which I am glad I didn't pay for them. However, SR2 and M2 are exceptions to this rule for me. SR2 because it's horribly optimised and/or the driving mechanics are incredibly bad. M2 because I hated all the Music. Yes, it's relevant to the time sure, but the songs don't get any better with age. [By that I mean both I don't really like it, and the repetitiveness is annoying as all hell.]

Anyways, loved the ZP this week and pretty much summed up my feelings. Especially at the end, also I was disappointed when the video ended so abruptly. :(

Mafia 2 engaged me until the story abruptly ended. There is literally nothing at the end. Why the hell couldn't they have unlocked the world for free-play after the story?

Joe Pesci eats babies = truth

This review was kind of a downer after that masterful trashing of K&L last time. There wasn't any passion in this one. I don't think he really disliked the game too much. It almost feels like he doesn't get paid unless he craps on a game, but when he doesn't really hate something it shows, and results in a rather lame episode.

While this game does have its flaws, it will still suck you in and never let go if you let it. There are few games with this much style and immersion. The gunfights ncan be alot of fun and chaos if you just go Tommy gun crazy and hose the enviroment down.

I bloody loved this. I was getting a little down about the way ZP was going, as the last few hadn't made me laugh that much. But this had the cutting English wit, the speed, the venom, everything Yahtzee does so well. Bravo.

Nice video as always. I think the names come from a random video game name generator. Also, ever since the "Sopranos" cut the end of the season finally mid sentence, everything is doing it. Is there nothing more to do, can we not stop this from cont

What's with Yahtzee and ThunderCats, anyway? I hope they make a ThunderCats game someday so he'll be forced to face the demons of his childhood.

as always epic video!!!

I'm late on watching the review (nice job ZP). Mafia II was such a disappointment for me, my ideas for a sequel after playing the original Mafia years ago were nothing like what the actual sequel turned out to be. I felt like the game lost its "soul" and was a step backwards in areas while only stepping forward a couple.

Dude.....I would loooooove a bed car. Also to find random playboys in my locker or dresser drawer.

Things he says like "Vito is an immigrant that just came into the country and starts doing things with this friend" (he actually comes back from war having lived in the US since he was a kid) or "cops come after you for running red lights" (which they don't on any difficulty level) make me thing he sort of skimmed through the game without paying much attention, just looking for stuff he could make fun of while enjoying the sound of his own voice probably playing Barry White in a dim-lit room while doing it.
I mean, no, the game isn't perfect. The cut content is really obvious at places, and I find this the biggest flaw of all - a fact he barely touches in the review, since he wasn't really paying attention while playing after all. The story is good but not brilliant like in Mafia 1. But when I compare Mafia 2's storytelling with most of the games that are coming out these days, it's still one of the best in a while and definitely one of the positive examples of good storytelling in a game.
As for the sandbox thing, if you accept the game as a linear gaming experience with a bit of latitude between the missions, it's great. If you expect it to be GTA that allows you to do pointless things like get bored out of your skull while bowling on a date, then yes, Mafia 2 doesn't follow suit. Thank god for that.

I wholly regret buying Mafia 2. As ZP said, what's the point of having an open world if there's not really any point to exploring? Well, besides the vintage titty mags.

I never really was interested in Mafia 2. Glad to know I am not missing out on anything. If I want to play a sandbox shooter, maybe Saints Row 2 lol!

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Mafia II

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Mafia II.

Watch Video

Contrary to your review, the driving is the only things I enjoyed because of the radio that played a playlist of the best oldies music, and my collection of fine looking cars. I hated the scenery during the driving though because it seemed to have all been done in the same color, and after committing two robberies it became way too easy for me, and that is a sad statement since I have horrible eye-hand coordination, and tutorial mode is like suicide/Nightmare/hardcore/ultimate mode for me.

First, I know I'm late to comment on this. Secondly, I don't know why but when he says "...and everything is lovely forever. Or that could have been the point when the PCP kicked in" I started laughing my ass off. The way he said "PCP kicked in" made it sound like he really thought he was starting to trip balls. Also filing bullets under faces is win.

Had I picked this up when it came out for $60, I would have been disappointed. Far too much commuting between pretty brief missions (and sometimes that's just cleaning toilets). It's not terribly long even with the commute times, but this is off-set by a reasonably entertaining story. I also like the changing conditions in the game, which coincide with the story instead of just being whatever random weather condition happens to be happening when you accept the mission.

But the Platinum Hits version puts in three story packs which offer up the sort of sandbox action that the first game should have had and for the $20 I bought it for, this makes all the difference in the world. Although that still sort of misses the point of an open world game where you do these sort of things when you feel like doing something a bit different. As with L.A. Noire, there's a sense that you should finish the story missions as fast as possible, then go back to fuck around.

And one day, I wish games could figure out how to do the whole collectible thing right. The Playboys meet the basest requirement by having me look for stuff that I think is worth finding, but in the basest possible manner with tits and ass. But having them in the main missions does break immersion as you're constantly running downstairs to look for Playboys when the cops are chasing you upstairs. To me, the best way to do this sort of thing is to make them so omnipresent that you quickly lose interest with the "got to get them all" mentality and you just kept an eye out for them as you played the game, which is how Bioshock deals with the recorded messages. If you really want to go crazy and find them all, then you'll probably do it after you've finished the game at least once.

But Wanted Posters... that's about as pointless as the Film Canisters in L.A. Noire. They're not interesting enough to really warrant the effort it takes to look for them. It's just marks the checklist next to "Collectible Item" that all sandbox games seem determined to follow. Without a tangible reward, it's collecting for collecting's sake. I always think these kinds of things should be attached to some sort of reward system. Give the player access to special weapons, vehicles, power-ups, and locations for finding them. Stuff that isn't necessary to finish and enjoy the game, but something that makes all that searching worth the effort.

Yahtzee was way too kind to this game. He's definitely right about the driving, there's a ton of that. But I swear to god the story also makes you lift a box into a truck, clean toilets in prison, and sort out cigarette colors.

Chapters 6 through 8 really pissed me off, mostly because after cleaning toilets, I then had to ferry two drunk guys around with my radio stuck on a station because jackass one and jackass two wanted to sing along and I actually committed suicide at that point even though all it would do is set me back a checkpoint because I wanted to get away from the damn plot. So then chapter 8 comes along, and it's titled "The wild ones". So I'm thinking "All right! What do we get to do this time? Car chase? Police Chase? I'm up for anything". But NO! I have to sort cigarette color packages. Fantastic, right? Being told which cigarette color to throw then going over to the box and pressing X to give him the packet? What amazing gameplay.

Plus, I swear to god the "We're in bad debt and need to make money quick" plot line is used at least 3 times throughout the game. First after you go to jail, then when someone burns down your house, then when you're in debt to a loner after a drug deal goes bad for about the 4th time in the story. Yeah, not only are there repeated plot lines, but sometimes the repeated plot lines intersect each other. So much so that you feel you have done the same thing 3 or more times during the game.

To top it all off, the open world might as well not be there at all. Seriously, there are some clothing stores, weapons stores, gas stations, and garages. That's it. No side activities, and even getting drunk in the game isn't fun because all you get is a slight blur effect. GTA IV and RDR both had ragdoll physics and made your guy stumble all over the place and it was hilarious, but no, mafia II doesn't want anything funny in it lest the serious tone ever be ruined.

Then there's the ending. Oh the ending. Major spoilers follow here, so stop reading if you plan on completing this game.

But, oh god, that damn ending. So, you kill this big mafia boss guy to get out of some police charges, right? Joe's there with you and he decides to help you out instead of following out his hit orders on you. So you finish the firefight and then you're both in seperate cars, when suddenly the other car with your friend in it pulls in to a driveway. Then when you ask the briefing guy about that, he says "Your friend wasn't part of the deal". So, of course you're thinking "All right! A big epic final shootout with police to get your friend back!", right? WRONG! Instead after he says "Your friend wasn't part of the deal" the camera just pans up and the credits start. No big finish, no final epic fight. Just, boop, the end.

Fuck this game. This is easily the worst sandbox game I've ever played, and further more as an "Interactive drama" it's boring and repetitive, not to mention a complete rip off of every mafia movie ever. This game sucks, and Yahtzee, you were way too fucking kind to it.

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