JoyPads: Mafia II Review
I want this guy dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground! I want to go there in the middle of the night and piss on his ashes!
2K Czech have created a Mafia game which blends the world of Godfather and Goodfella’s into its only little gem of a gangster world in New York. Mafia II certainly has the right ingredients with the enjoyable characters which makes the game more believable, and the atmosphere of the 1940s to the early 50s setting in New York. With at least 10hr’s gameplay, probably a little bit more. Playing as Vito the beginning of the uprising to become a force to be reckoned with, starts off slow but when it gets going. The word Mafia pours out everywhere.
Mafia II starts off with Vito fighting in WWII before returning home to his mother. Vito got into trouble with his friend Joe, which led to Vito getting sent to the War. Once Vito comes back from the War. Vito meets up with Joe and tells him about Empire Bay on how its changed since he went. Joe offers Vito a place to stay, and the bumpy ride into the Mafia world starts to roll in motion. Vito want’s to become someone, help his family whilst his Father’s death still being a burden on his shoulders.
At first Vito gets the small jobs which offer small amounts of money. You’ll be stealing cars, sell ration stamps, beat people up to a pulp and driving about the streets of New York in its gritty setting. Driving around New York isn’t bad at all. The car chases are very good, but the shoot outs are far and between and not very spectacular. The cops have indeed got hawk eyes. They are good at spotting offences such as; speeding, hit & runs, so you will be dodging the cops by driving down tight narrow alleyways most of the time when driving about.
The slow start to Mafia II is annoying one, but this isn’t to say 2K Czech has created a dull and boring game. They have certainly created a game which definitely sings out the grittier side to the Mafia world which makes it so believable. New York is magnificently crafted which is very close to the real New York back in the 40s to the early 50s. The characters for Mafia II is what makes the game come alive. The emotions and actions are brilliantly done to care to detail, and they play perfect stereotypes of the Mafia world. Being perfect Mafia stereotype characters. Strong language will fly out like there is no tomorrow and probably would bring a smile to Joe Pesci’s face from Goodfella’s.
When you finally get to some action. The basic cover and shooting mechanic is introduced. It isn’t the best third person shooting but it does a good enough job. The enemy AI will tend to run straight into the open which makes your life a lot easier. They will use cover just like yourself but they tend to dash about and get themselves killed quicker. Whilst you are in cover you can’t vault over them and the snap into cover is rather basic. You do have a wide arrange of weapons at your disposal. Tommy gun, handgun, Molotov cocktail or down to the bare basics and let your fists do the talking and of course more weapons. Comparing the shoot-outs to the brawling. The brawling comes out on top. Holding the corresponding button to dodge and hit them with a counter attack and then perform a combo against objects is rather believable in this vibrant world, even though the brawling is also quite basic. You will get more thrills out of brawling than you would hiding behind a box with a gun.
Once Vito gets slammed into the can (prison). You will come across a lot more tedious fights, but it also shows a stereotypical prison warden and its guards being ever so corrupted when dealing with ‘special’ inmates. After Vito leaves the can, several years have past and Empire Bay has changed. The city is even more vibrant, colourful than its grey and dull representation of life during the war. The story starts to shift up into the higher gears and the story beings to unfold a rather intense plot and better shoot outs to come.
2K Cezch have definitely delivered a grand job. Even though the action doesn’t quite live the Mafia way of dispatching a few idiots who push above there own weight, but 2K Czech do offers a dynamic plot-line which I have really enjoyed so far this year. The characters probably being one of the main highlights to make the world believable makes up for the linear action. Gameplay is everything to a videogame, and Mafia II is just acceptable, but that doesn’t mean the whole game itself is a dud. The visuals and sound to Mafia II are brilliant even though I spotted some framefrate issues now and then but in the visuals department are very good.
Overall Mafia II is cracking game in the storytelling but with a few roadblocks encountered. They stop the game from being a masterclass work of art. With a poor display of action and not enough in that department. The game suffers to deliver a brutal Mafia game, but the rise of Vito is certainly a good positive. There are collectables in Mafia II and with no further a due. Playboy magazines, 50 of them in fact show some rather lovely pictures to consume your time. Mafia II is worth ago and to delve into a intense story with good enough action, but lacks sadly, to experience a rather enjoyable game.