Product Type: Take 2 Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... simple to follow because as a Sicilian gangster working his way up in 50's america, there isn't really much to get confused about. Ever... more
Mafia II in the vibrant 1950's, only its a shame...
Mafia II (Xbox 360)
Member Name: teamshepherd
Mafia II (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Open world game
Disadvantages: Lack of exploration
With the initial success of the original Mafia game, it was simply a matter of time before 2K games made a sequel to the mobster loving franchise. Set between the 1940s and 1950s, Mafia II puts the player in the shoes of Vito Scaletta, an Italian born American immigrant that found himself falling in with the wrong crowd from a young age.
Vito's story starts as the teenager is caught stealing with best friend Joe Barbaro. While Joe would avoid the law, Vito was given an ultimatum, he could either spend his time in prison or take up arms in world war II as the military needed Italian speaking soldiers to help in the invasion of Nazi Italy. While returning to his home town while on leave, Vito runs into his old friend Joe who has apparently got himself involved with organized crime syndicates and pulls some strings to get Vito out of the military and back into the real world.
It is here that the game starts to take off as Vito finds himself taking work with his friend Joe to help pay for his deceased fathers debt. The first portion of the game takes part in a snowy 1940s America while the second half takes part in the sunny, vibrant 1950's. These two parts of the game feel significantly different with the 1940s having a darker, grim feeling as Vito attempts to save his family and find a way to earn some money for himself while the second half of the game is a much brighter look as more vibrant cars and radio stations pop up around the city.
The cities are huge and believable, it's just a shame that you'll rarely find yourself exploring the city as there is literally nothing to do in it. For an open world game, you'd expect to have some third party missions available to you but that simply isn't the case. Mafia II shows players the world they created through main story missions. The only problem is that you'll likely forget the city in a heart beat as you attempt to chase down a foe or speed to a friends need. This is where Mafia II falls flat on it's face. Almost all open world games alow the players to explore by themselves and learn the lay of the land. Those that have ever played any of the Grand Theft Auto games will know how easy it is to recall certain parts of the city just because they've spent so much time driving around it doing side missions and just exploring.
Overall Mafia II feels like a rushed game. It looks like the team over at 2K spent so much time building the city and making the missions that they completely ran out of space to really make the city come alive with things to do. It's a shame too as the game itself had so much potential but alas, maybe if Mafia III ever goes into production, a real fully fledged 1950s America can be realized.
Despite it's flaws, I give Mafia II three out of five.
Summary: A lot of unfulfilled potential in this game.
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