The original Mafia game was a major hit and definitely goes down as a legendary production. It took aspects of GTA and the workings of a third person shooter and produced a masterpiece. Mafia 2 hasnâ€™t changed much in this regard, but then again nothing needed changing.
The only change, was of course, the storyline which follows the meteoric rise in rank of Vito Scaletta (the players character) assisted by his best budy Joe. They go about taking on jobs and getting them done and I mean done – Mr Scaletta is one gangster that is not to be messed with.
Throughout the story Joe and Vito steadily climb the â€œorganisationâ€™sâ€ ladder, all with the subtext of the decay in the relationship between the three families. Culminating in Scaletta becoming the key to one familyâ€™s destruction and for the other, a new start. The story line is very linear and thus simple to follow. Deception, mystery and revenge are the agenda. However, as with many American mobster stories I found it to be overly bellicose at times.
Major shootouts, car chases, stealthy shindigs and the occasional fist fight Mafia 2 is a very engaging game and very, very entertaining.
The script is brilliantly written and unlike so many period based games, the dialogue actually fits the era. I especially enjoyed the gangster-like expletives which are always tossed out at just the right moment during a fierce gun fight. It truly does add to the character of a marvellous gun fight.
Speaking of gun fights, the over the shoulder view is awesome, almost as awesome as the ability to carry a multitude of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Being heavily armed is just what Vito Scaletta needs to enforce his â€˜not to be messed withâ€™ persona. Each weapon has a different feel and it is easy to feel the power variance between a shotgun and 9mm, big props for the attention to detail.
If you are a man who enjoys really getting into the nitty-gritty of killing a fellow, Mafia 2 will really tickle your fancy. Fist fights are a huge part of the game – Three quick jabs followed by a bob and weave and then a massive right hook. Watch the poor brute fall to the ground and once he is there send him on the fast train to St Peter with with a boot to the face â€“ lovely!
The boxing styled fist fights are always pleasing and the finishing move never disappoints. This and the driving system, both simplistic, make anyone look like a boxing wheelman. Impressively, Scaletta can also suit-up (Yes, itâ€™s a verb now, thank you Barney Stinson) in different colours and styles. Robbing stores and stealing cars to make money to buy gangster threads is also great fun. Scaletta: boxer, wheelman, gunner, robber and suiter-upper, quite the combination.
Empire Bay is also very well done, with each area having a distinct feel and many different people looking unique. Graphics may not be spectacular but are certainly adequate enough.
Mafia the original was epic to say the least and Mafia 2 only strengthens this family. It is no rat but rather a badass, job doing, grease-gun wielding, suited up Mafioso.
Josh “Swift” Sack
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