117 of 141 people found the following review helpful
, August 25, 2010
This review is from: Mafia II (Video Game)
Back in 2007 when the first trailer for Mafia II debuted, I said to myself this looks awesome.
I played the first one and thought it was one of the best PC Games ever made, So I was looking forward to this game since it was announced. I was blown away by the demo despite it having a 12 minute time limit. It wasn't long into my Mafia II playing experience that I realized I enjoyed playing a 12 minute demo more than playing 2 hours of the actual game.
I was very disappointed in this one.
The game is set in a fictional called Empire Bay (Based heavily on 1940's-50's era New York City)Taking place after World War 2 and beginning in 1945 when The main character Vito, returns home from serving in the US Army. We are introduced to Empire Bay and the games characters. The vintage cars & Well put together oldies soundtrack add to the overall feel of the 40's and it certainly feels authentic. However This all provides a facade for a game that lacks much substance and leaves the player craving for any kind of excitement. This game reminds me of a beautiful woman, appealing and seductive at first glance, but you find she's as dumb as a bag of rocks.
Mafia II is similar to it's predecesor. The story is really the only thing that makes this game interesting but it's dense plot and predictable outcome really make it just as dull and boring as the gameplay. The voice acting is certainly one of the few postitives of the game, featuring the voices of TV stars Rick Pasqualone & Sonny Marinelli. The Cinematics really make you feel like your watching a Scorcese flick, sadly this isn't enough to mask the insipid world around the player.
The map itself isn't very big to begin with, Despite having an open world with seemingly limitless possibilities, The game feels more like a dictator forcing you to rush through the game and beat it as quickly as you can. For instance,
when Vito completes a Chapter/Mission he is always told to "go home" and "sleep" this leaves the story to proceed to the next chapter. I'm not saying it should be like GTA, But it would have been better if you could space out your story progression and do side-missions for different characters at your own leisure, rather than just go straight up the gut with the story. Perhaps 2k Czech did this purposely to hide what awful non-linear activities they have spread throughout the map
To put it blatantly there is really nothing outside the linear plot that can keep you occupied, The car customization option is a really cool feature and I'm sorry to say is perhaps the highlight of the game, allowing you to get a fresh paint job, new rims, and engine upgrade. Unless you enjoy robbing stores, Bringing stolen cars to a chop shop for money, Getting drunk or buying clothes this game is not for you.
There is no free roam save feature the game saves automatically when you advance to the next chapter, this really cripples the open world, sandbox type game I was expecting it to be. Mafia II lacks the diversity of the other mafia themed video games such as The Godfather. The Godfather allowed you to run a vast criminal empire of rackets, store fronts and prostitution rings, why wouldn't The people at 2k Czech realize that's what being in the mafia was all about and what makes the game fun and interesting. 2k Czech must not have played this game after they made it because they would realize how dull and un inspiring of a game it was, Which makes me wonder why they even delayed this game for as long as they did. It didn't improve anything. The map is consists of only 3 islands which are all clones of each other with simlar buildings, shops and streets.
If anyone played the demo, somewhere along your torturous experience in this game you'll notice the subtle differences like the bridge cincematic in the demo is not even in the game at all. I feel 2k sucker punched us and made us look like fools.
This game had alot of potential. It wasn't long into my Mafia II playing experience that I realized I enjoyed playing a 12 minute demo more than playing 2 hours of the actual game. My advice to those interested in purchasing this game, don't be decieved by the trailers, gameplay footage or what favorable reviews you may come across, This game isn't half bad however I would not reccomend buying it there is no replay value at all. It's the ultimate game designed to look good in Trailers, Posters, etc. and set us up for a high expectations and HUGE letdown. Perfect example of style lacking substance.
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