Mafia II Review

How bad do you want the finer things in life? How much do you want the money, cars, clothes and the women? What is the price for the lifestyle you choose? Mafia II raises and answered these question. However should you join the family? Or should you give their offer a pass?

Story - After being caught for a robbery. Vito Scaletta has a choice either go to jail or join the army. Vito chooses the army and joins Operation Husky. Operation Husky is a mission to free Sicily. Vito is injured in the war is able to go home in Empire Bay. Vito is broke, no place to call his own and has to pay off his father's debt. What's a guy to do right? Vito then re-connects with his best friend Joe, to help him out. Together Vito & Joe will be on a path that is only fit for a gangster. The story is very well written. The character developed for even the minor characters are on point. You will feel the emotions and connections to these characters as the story plays out.

Gameplay - Mafia II is an open world, third person shooter. Empire Bay is huge, however there isn't much to do in the city. Besides the missions and a couple of side missions. For instance selling stolen cars to mobsters. Otherwise this is an empty city with nothing to do. When it comes to driving Mafia II has a speed limit system. If you go over the speed limit the cops will be after to give you a ticket. Playing it I find it very strange, that the cops will give you a ticket for speeding, but not running a red light. However the speed limit system gives the game realism. Players if you think you are just going to go a killing spree, beware cops are everywhere. If you hijack a car, chances are a cop will be there around the corner. Shoot someone chances are the cops will be right there. The free roam aspect of the game is very limited and disappointing.

The missions that you take for the mob are pretty standard. Some missions you have to blow up a building, wack some guy, intimidate some workers. Each mission is different, but it can get a little repetitive. However the gun fights are very enjoyable. Just like many shooters today, players have the ability to regenerate they health, if they just duck and cover. However this doesn't always work because the A.I. will sometimes run up to you and shoot. Mafia II also has a fighting system. Where players will fight one one one with their opponent. Players will have a strong attack, quick attack and dodge button. If the players dodge correctly they will be able to counter attack. Their is also special finishers players will gain as the story goes on. I must note that if you are going to play this game play it on the Xbox 360. As a owner of the PS3 I experience lag issues and freezing once in a while.

Gameplay Video

Graphics -
The graphics is wonderful to look at. 2K really made sure that players will get the 1940's to 50's, feel of New York, San Francisco and Chicago. There is very much detail from billboards, cafes and even things that they eat. However on one of the missions when you are on the roof and you get to see the entire city. The graphics doesn't look so pretty. Other than that complaint and a few lag issues on PS3. The graphics hold up pretty well.

Sound -
Besides the well written story. Sound is one of the games strongest points. The music 2K has chosen from composition to the radio is flawless. If you love music from the golden age, you will love driving through Empire Bay. Voice acting is wonderful. Every actor major or minor hits their mark. The actors make this world believable. Only complaint will be the Asian and Black voices sound a little stereotypical, but it doesn't ruin the experience.

Replay Value - With playboy magazines to collect, wanted to posters to destroy. Jimmy's Betrayal DLC to play through. Not to mention a great story that you would want to relive at least twice. Mafia II will keep your attention for a while.

Final Grade B- Great story, great production and fun gunplay. However the open world aspect is very disappointing. With cops everywhere it's hard to really create havoc in the city. There are some lag issues, but the game is solid enough to keep you playing for a while. Final grade is a B-.