A Decade of Crime, Wealth, and Revelations awaits you in Mafia II
Arriving in with his family as a child, Vito Scaletta grows up and finds that a normal life is not going to get him where he wants to be, so he teams with his best friend Joey “Joe” Barbaro and together they commit petty crimes. One night of stealing goods, Vito and Joe get spotted by cops, and attempt to escape. Joe is able to get away, but Vito is seen and gets arrested. Offered one chance to avoid jail time by joining the army, Vito accepts and leaves to fight in the war while Joe continues down the path of crime. The friends are split for a while, but soon reunite and begin their journey through the crime underworld together.
Mafia II tells the story of man seeking fortune and respect in the ever expanding city of . As with the first game, the world that Mafia II takes place in is simply just a set piece; a beautiful stage to observe the violence that will occur throughout the game. There are no side-missions to speak and you always know what you need to accomplish next, but this is what makes the Mafia games so great. You’re thrown right into the center of the story from the very start, and once you begin, there is no looking back.
If you take away the excellent narrative of Vito’s life, Mafia II could be described as a standard but enjoyable third person action game set in an open-world with minimal distractions from story missions. Almost every chapter in the game begins in your apartment or house, and then you drive to a destination partaking in shoot-outs, stealing items, or completing hits for the many associates you will meet in order to get one step closer to the top. A cover system allows you to avoid the hail of bullets that will come your way, which is pretty necessary since Vito can’t take that many before going down.
When you don’t have to engage into heated firefights, a simple fighting mechanic is used for fun one on one encounters, an element that improves a bit later in the game when you have to let your fist do the talking.
Driving feels solid in the game and includes many classic cars that do a great job of simulating how cars from the 40’s and 50’s would feel. They’re not as slow as you would think, and a most can even be tuned a bit at repair shops to help you avoid the police presence a bit easier.
Speaking of police, they appear to be a nice element to the game, but be careful how you get around in Empire Bay since they will stop you for major traffic violations including speeding, crashing into other cars or their own, which will make them pursue you. If you get caught by police you have two options: Pay a fine or resist arrest. This small touch is a nice change from other games where your only option is usually just to flee. When you’re cruising around the city, people seem to behave pretty normally. They’ll greet others, pass out papers, and even a few will speak to you. Once you pull out weapons though, they’ll get out of your way and seek the nearest officer for help.
The story will last you about 10 or so hours depending on the difficulty, and once you’re done you can finish off some of the last achievements you may have missed since most are pretty easy to obtain.
Overall Mafia II provides an immersive story with an excellent cast of characters that will keep you engaged until the end. If you enjoy a good crime game, you will definitely enjoy Mafia II.