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Monday, August 30, 2010

Mafia II - Personal Review: 8.5/10

Mafia II - An action-packed action game (with a good flavor)!

I successfully finished Mafia II today, and let me tell you: I'm impressed. And I'm not easily impressed. Overall experience: very satisfied. This game will immerse you into the unforgiving world of the Mob, with a unique style and brand of story telling and acting.

Story

The story is kind of linear and has some twists that the player doesn't expect. But all-in-all it's a good story, going from growing up in the slums to becoming a real-time gangster, despair, loss, drama, comedy, everything you could want from a game. The main character that you're playing, Vito Scaletta, starts out as a boy from Sicily, who immigrates to Empire Bay in the US, and tries to start a life there, along with his parents. Later on he starts robbing stores and finally gets caught, and sent in the Army to war. After coming back on leave because of a wound, he reunites with his family, and his friend, Joe, who arranges for him to be pardoned. They start on small-time jobs, from stealing cars to beating up people, until Vito gets caught selling Federal Gas Stamps and gets thrown into jail.
In jail, he makes a friend, who is a very influent person on the outside, and who helps reduce his sentence and gets him out of jail quicker.
Once on the outside, he starts doing jobs again, and becomes very successful at what he's doing, and, together with Joe, they go on a rampage of jobs, ranging from deliveries to 'whacking' people in broad daylight. But all is not well in Empire Bay, and the player finds out what kind of twists and turns the plot reserves for him. But that's to the player to discover, not for me to spoil (more than I did).
Overall, I give the story (including ending) an 8.
I purposely left out details because you have to play the game to get the feel of it.

Gameplay

From the way the cars feel, to the way the game runs, it's one good piece of work. The controls of the cars are simple, the feeling when driving is great, the sounds are authentic, and everything is dandy. The game runs very good on a GTS 250 (aka. nVidia 9800GTX), and can run on lower end systems. The physics are realistic, and when you shoot walls, glass or wood, they will start to break into tiny little pieces or holes will remain in walls, and rubble will fall off. It helps if you have a good GPU to get to the eye-candy.
There were some graphic glitches sometimes when driving or going into some zones (big black textureless lines), that will disappear when reloading a checkpoint or going out of that zone and coming back again.
When you get into a vehicle, you can access the radio, which has three radio stations, playing either the music of those years (1940-1950), or the news of the latest jobs you pulled. The track listing can be found at the following address: http://www.2kgames.com/mafia2/community/us/features_song_list.php.
The weather effects are dazzling, and when it's snowing, raining, it feels vivid. Also, it affects the handling of the vehicles very much, the cars being a lot harder to drive on a snowy or rainy day.
There are bonus things you can collect, one of them being Playboy magazines. You can collect them, as well as artwork, and visualize them in the main menu.
With all these things in mind, I give the gameplay a big 9, because of the authenticity.

More of the review I will leave to you, the gamer, or the player, because trust me, I have to recommend this game to you.

Good luck!

- David aka. Tassadar over and out.

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