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Mafia II

by Karthikeyan Ganapathy on September, 2010

in Gaming

Rating: 4/10

Mafia II is the strangest game I have played in quite some time. It’s an open world game, but it isn’t. There isn’t anything to actually do in the meticulously constructed Empire Bay outside of the plot missions. No side missions, no mini games, just the option to buy gas, new clothes, and some guns. If you’re feeling particularly wild you can sell cars at an impound lot or knock over a store for money that you don’t really need.

It focuses so much on driving around Empire Bay that you get to the point when you loathe the end of a mission because you’ll need to drive all the way home just to go to bed so you can start the next chapter. If you removed all of the back and forth driving this game would be five hours long, and a lot of that would be spent watching cut scenes. It’s a good enough mob yarn, a bit cliché, but for a videogame it’s actually quite good. The only problem is that there just isn’t any real gameplay here.

The game focused heavily on graphics and sounds, and not so much on the story or game play. The city, characters and cars all looked good, each district felt and looked completely different, providing a nice environment for the city. Many of the nicer looking areas of the city were not essential to the story mode, leaving them unappreciated and un required really. I liked the ability to customise your character and cars, it added a nice touch to the game, even though there were not that many options, a minor problem that could easily be fixed by mods or DLC.

The Story of a young Italian going from war-hero to leading a life of crime, a story that was bursting with potential, but went no where. No “depth” given to the story left many things unanswered. The “ending” to Mafia 2 was probably the biggest disappointment the game had to offer. Looking past how the actual “story” was rushed along from chapter to chapter, the ending only showed you that little or no effort had been put into it.

A major let down was the lack of freedom that Mafia 2 offered. There are no side missions, no mini games, and no free-ride mode, offering little to no reason to replay this game. Restricting players to follow the story makes the “open world” a bit redundant. Ok you could drive around anywhere before or after the missions, but there was no reason to, nothing to do other than to take in the graphics of the city. Missing features like shooting whilst driving and melee weapons, took out some of the “realism” of the mafia world. Hand to Hand combat had been greatly improved, but was only really needed during story elements, everyone else you just shot.

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