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Review – Mafia 2

Posted by Spat on April 27, 2011 in Reviews, Video Games |

So, I just wrapped up the single player run of Mafia 2 for the PS3.

Mafia 2

Mafia 2

I originally got the game for free as a “thank you” for helping put together the release party for it back in August. But the version they sent was for the XBox, and it took me forever to convince someone at GameStop to let me swap it out for a PS3 version (thanks, Stuart!).

So, months after everyone else got their hands on the world of Vito, Joey and Mafia 2, I finally got to play!

Initially I thought I had figured out the game before I ever even popped it in the machine.  I was sure it was basically GTA4, but set in the 1940’s.

 

Yeah, I was pretty wrong.

The game does start off in the mid 40’s, but over time (and a brief stint in prison that I was sure was an homage to “Hot Tub Time Machine” because you actually play through some of your prison time), it wraps up in the early 50’s.

You play Vito Scaletta, a soldier wounded in the war who comes home to find out that his old neighborhood in Empire Bay is now being run by organized crime.  He has a choice (for a second) to get a real job working on the docks loading trucks like his father did, or to turn to a life of crime like his childhood friend Joe Barbaro did.

As the game progresses, you delve deeper and deeper into the war going on between the three families running Empire Bay, and soon become a “Made Man”.

The world of Empire Bay is (of course) based on New York.  There’s even one part of the game that is IDENTICAL to a stretch of the BQE Westbound right before the Atlantic Avenue exit.

It is a lot like GTA4, in that it’s a 3rd person shooter and you can run up to cars on the street and steal them.  A nice additions was the mini-game of actually picking the lock on the door.  You also have the option of just smashing the window.

A nice addition to the game is the speed regulators on the cars.  You can set them on, so the car won’t go above 40mph on the streets, or 60 on the highways.  And if you blow past the cops at high speed, they will try and pull you over and give you a ticket.  I never stuck around to see what happens if you get a ticket.  I assume it just takes away some of your money.

One of the big differences between this game and GTA4 is that Mafia 2 is not very open ended.  While in other open world games, you can troll around and take other missions and have crazy adventures, there are no other missions in Mafia 2, other than the main storyline.  You can cruise around in between missions and explore, other than buying new clothes, ammo or fixing your car, there’s not a lot to do.

Basically, once you wrap up a mission, going back to your house and sleeping is what saves the game and gets you ready for the next chapter or mission.

It would have been nice if there was more to do in Empire Bay, but the fact is the game’s regular missions are interesting enough that you really don’t need more to do.

The game doesn’t really play out like a standard video game.  It actually plays out like you’re watching a missing installment of the Godfather series.  You have no control over the outcome, there are no optional paths, dialogue wheels, nothing to help steer the life of Vito one way or the other.  The course through the story is set in stone and all you get to do is follow.  But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The fact is, the story in the game is amazing.  While I might have made other choices moving through the game if there were options, the over-all story is fantastic, and worth a play through.

There are also a lot of DLC out there, and I would have picked some up and reviewed it as well… but the PlayStation Network is down this week due to a hack attempt.  Sad face.

As with a lot of other games, there’s special hidden collectibles in the game for you to find.  But unlike other games, these are collectibles that you’ll actually want to find!  Gone are the laptops, green dragon statues, or Snow Globes from other games.  Mafia 2 takes it up a notch by having you find…. Playboy Magazines!

And… each time you find one, you get a view of the Centerfold!

Playboy

Playboy Collectible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course this is the least risque of the collectibles.  The other ones show boobies.  Yes, this game definitely earned it’s “M” rating!

I have never spent so much time hunting collectibles in my life!!  I must find them all!!

Anyway, loved the game.  Great action, amazing story, characters you actually care about, and a soundtrack ripped from Fallout: New Vegas.  Yes, those songs that annoyed you all through your treks through the wasteland are back in Mafia 2.  At least until you get to the 50’s.  Then you get to listen to some Rock ‘n Roll and beat up Greasers!

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