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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Dream game..!!

10/10
Author: achraj from India
11 May 2012

The chronic oversaturation of the mafia in our international media has taught us much. Mafia II is an attempt to chronicle these teachings in game form. Fact number one: mafia men do lots of killing. Fact number two: they like suits. Fact number three: mafiosa don't call each other mafiosa; they use the term 'wiseguys'.

I've cross-referenced facts one and two with Mafia II, and they're definitely right – a lot of killing and a lot of suits. Fact number three isn't. 'Wiseguys', with its implied streetsmarts and cunning, doesn't fit Mafia II's mobsters. It certainly doesn't fit the mid-level gangster the game asked me to tail early in its middle act, who didn't have the presence of mind to check his rearview mirror as he drove away from a literal hatchet job. Had that guy done so, he'd have seen Sicilian-born WWII veteran and new-boy mobster Vito Scaletta about 20 feet behind, dressed in a red and white cod- Hawaiian shirt, driving a hot pink corvette with 'BUMS12' proudly displayed on the numberplate. That guy was not very wise.

Wise up

The other guy was me, and I was trying to be too wise. As Mafia II's protagonist, my first attempt to trail the escaping mobster ended in failure after my original car choice – an inconspicuous '50s saloon – was outpaced with ease on the motorways. I only chose that car, snatched unattended with a bit of pavement minigame lockpicking, to satisfy the mission briefing, which said my mark would notice anything too obvious. Dutifully I wrested against the vehicle's slightly clunky era-specific handling to try and keep pace. But after my AI target had pranged his own vehicle six times against anything and everything in his path, I realised that such forwardthinking wiseguyishness wasn't entirely necessary on my part.

That Mafia II so effectively harpoons its illusion of real life, showing its characters to be machines acting out prescribed paths, is to its detriment. But the fact that I bought into it in the first place is the game's greatest strength.

It's not that Vito is a sympathetic character. Returning from a war he held no moral stake in – after a botched robbery, it was that or prison – he joins the local mafia, even though his mum told him not to. Naughty. From there on, he relies upon menace through the typical mafioso triple-threat: punching, shooting, and scary staring. Best buddy Joe occasionally dips a toe into 'comic relief' territory, but then ducks back into 'just a bit nasty' land, gets his pistol and shoots everyone in comic relief territory. Those poor clowns.

City of dreams

It was the city that drew me in. An amalgamation of New York's streets and Hollywood's hills, Empire Bay is as interactively sterile as all other 'open-world' game-cities, but it's been coated in a veneer of dreamy credibility. Each street and hallway has a feature – a man shouting at an open window; a woman pressing her ear to a door; the sound of an argument. It's easy to see these details written down in a design document, but it gives Empire Bay a genuine rhythm, a pulse that Liberty City lacks. Plus, it helps that it is – on hefty machines – stunning. Turn up in the city in winter, and the streets are caked in snow, with layered bands of crystalline white on the untrodden paths contrasting with slush on the roads. And the lights! Even as the game transitions out of the 1940s and into the '50s, Mafia II's waxy lighting remains consistently arresting, casting pools of gold and yellow on windscreens.

But there's no point to any of it. The city breathes and grows, changing as the missions span the years, but it never moves or cries out. The game is presented in chapters, and each chapter has you wake up in your home. Vito, I can inform you, is a man who sleeps in the same vest and pants for nine years. Before the poor, smelly bugger can even get dressed, he's hit with news and a job. The game forces you to drive to a location: once there, Vito either shoots some men, punches some men or drives to another location.

Incidental chaos

Unless you make your own fun, that is. I enjoyed people-watching in a city where every pedestrian and car driver has the situational awareness of a frightened rabbit. Drive near one of the AI humans on foot and their preset reactions kick in, launching them in a seemingly random direction. Sometimes, this would be toward safety; more regularly, they'd hurl themselves into speeding traffic.

Having a woman – a few moments earlier happily strolling down a sunny street – chuck herself in front of a nearby van is certainly a surprise. Having that van then swerve to try to avoid her and plough through another three pedestrians is brilliant. Having that van then be spotted by a police car, having those police open fire before getting squished by the panicky, blood-leaking van driver, is better than another cover- shooting 'kill 50 goons' story mission.

Mafia II is a mafia movie run once through a game grinder, and that's simultaneously the worst thing about the game and the compliment it was developed for. In telling a story as convincing as most Hollywood depictions of the Cosa Nostra, 2K Czech have accomplished exactly what they intended to: only at the end does the artifice topple slightly, piling one too many game-cliché mass-battles onto the pile. But detach the story from its very familiar housings, and we're not left with much: a bit of walking, a lot of driving and too much shooting. Each is good, but rarely superb.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

From the biggest fan of Mafia I....

7/10
Author: Kristjan from Estonia
31 October 2011

Mafia: The city of Lost Heaven is for me the greatest game ever made. It has everything, from great missions to incredible storytelling and some awesome quotes from the main character.

That being said of course my expectations to Mafia II were high and I mean extremely high.

In the minute I started to play the game, I was simply stunned by the graphics. It's almost like your controlling a real human. A great idea which I had been missing from sandbox style games was winter time. This also looked amazing.

Game play was pretty good as well. Nothing bad can be said about the action. Driving was also made pretty fun, especially great was driving with a lorry, which was made very hard to stop. Similary to last GTAs, you could climb which made the game more enjoyable.

The story gave me mixed feelings. It was a good one but not that great as I would have expected. It was slightly darker than Mafia I, had lots of betraying etc, but this brought quite a big downside for the game as well, which I am going to talk about later. Many videos made were great but in the end gave the game too much of a film feeling which didn't feel very great.

The really bad thing was that Vito only wanted to improve his life and he really didn't care for whom he was working and so did Joe. This made the couple disloyal and not much of a mafioso type. They were rather just thugs. This converted the game into a GTA style game, but it sticked to Mafia I roots where you had to complete the missions linearly as well. I felt like a GTA was stuck in Mafia style of plot if you know what I mean.

Also an ordinary routine, which was all over the game, started to get annoying. Even though it added some realism, you can't say it was very interesting.

GTA influenced clothing and gun shopping wasn't bad. The car work shops topped that which were made way better than in GTA series.

But there's more negative. Some things what made Mafia I incredibly realistic were left behind because of an unknown reason. These include running through red lights penalty, limitation of how many weapons could be carried and lost bullets when reloading a weapon.

Also I felt Mafia II somehow unfinished. Nothing really came out of an relationship between the girl who had winked Vito sometimes and was once saved by him, or what happened to Vito's sister.

Missions could have been more interesting as well like they were in the first game. In here you mostly only listened to your assignment, then drove to the place and whacked all the bad guys. Nothing really interesting wasn't; for example in Mafia I: You lucky bastard where Sergio Morello always managed t survive different attacks or when you shot a man at his birthday in public.

Of course we all miss freeride and the thing that made Mafia I a very special game - freeride extreme.

And of course the game was too short as well. Some TLCs have been released, but the main story should be still far greater than it was.

So to conclude - I believe this game could have been better, although I definitely don't regret playing it. It's still a good action game, bringing in some innovation to the genre but failed to be as exciting as Mafia I for me at least. I would recommend it to play once, but the high expectations will likely be shattered by doing that.

So all in all I give it 7 out of 10.

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Can someone please make a good gaming sequel after 5+ years, All I ask is one

5/10
Author: WakenPayne from Valhalla
9 August 2014

The original Mafia is one of my favourite games, the story is really good and you have a likable protagonist to play as. If I could say bad things about the game it would most certainly be the difficulty is insane with scarce health packs and the added bonus of you being just as vulnerable as your enemies and with the odd exception there's about 7 of them and one of you. So how did they make a sequel to this game? Short answer is, some of the game's praise is well deserving... But in others it is horrible.

The story follows Vito. He climbs the ranks of different Mafias to "be somebody" with his friend Joe by earning the reputation of someone who gets the job done and doesn't ask questions nor "rats out". While on there he learns a lot and for about the first half of the game try and help out his mother and sister.

Okay, the game-play is infinitely better than the first one. No, Really! It would only make sense after an 8 year gap but the difficulty isn't anywhere near as hard (I even switched the difficulty to medium but even then I didn't get my ass kicked anywhere near as often as I did playing the original on Easy) and the weapon variation is actually your choice as opposed to "Hey guys, here's a pistol, go up against 7 guys with machine guns with that!" and the cops are much easier to avoid. You can just crush your car, run to the nearest phone booth and say "Here's some money to avoid getting me in jail after I killed 100 people" and the game map is really good too.

Onto the complaints, as many people who have played the first game have pointed out - one of the things you do in this game is murder Tommy Angelo, The protagonist of the original. Now if they presented a good story and another set of good or at the very least interesting characters to get behind then I wouldn't just have it sit on my collection... The keyword being "IF". The closest thing to me ever getting to give a crap about the characters is Vito's relationship with his sister (and maybe mother). But guess what? 5 chapters in, Vito's mother dies while he's in prison and when you get out you see Vito's sister once afterwards about her husband being unfaithful and through you beating him up she says pretty much "Stay away from us".

So Vito is a character of which I had no sympathies for and stayed that way until about Chapter 14 when you kill a character I actually LIKED! After that I was just in shock that it happened all I did was take a dive and have the cops kill them and you know what? If that was the ending of the whole game, it'd have no impact on me whatsoever that they died. Even worse still, the storyline progression in this game at least until around when I stopped completely, was exactly the same. Vito goes out to stop an assassination of a friend? Check (and guess what, I didn't give a crap about him either) Big job goes down without the Mafia's consent and something goes wrong and thus spins everything out of control? Check.

I can really go on about this for a third paragraph but anyway, final sum-up is that the game-play is really good and if they put that on top of the characters and plot of the original Mafia game - I think we'd have a video game classic on our hands - The kind to beat down all it's predecessors. It might be a chance of "pick what you want" but if I had the choice between good game-play on a rather easy difficulty with redundant story and characters versus good game-play on a very hard difficulty with decent story and characters you can actually get behind, I'm going to go with Option 2 ever single time. Because while Mafia 1 was frustrating, I at least liked it more than this.

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the best game i've played

9/10
Author: DRelmahdy from Egypt
4 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

mafia II amazing game and a worthy sequel to one of the greatest games I've ever played . what make this game fantastic is the gritty drama and the story of passion hope friendship and even murder.

vito scaletta the Italian boy how looking for the American dream but became one member of falcone crime family take you to another side of gangster life.

2K is obviously make this game with different levels of difficulty smooth picture easy control but i don't understand what is the purpose of pornographic picture.

i played Batman Arkham City dead island Deus Ex Human Revolution Hit-man Absolution and Tomb raider(all in mac version) but really this game is the best game i've played and this what make me write this review.

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A game you won't forget !

10/10
Author: Omid Soleymani from Tehran, Iran
13 March 2013

Mafia II is an excellent game for those who enjoy real time video games. In addition it has a very enjoyable game play and artistic graphics. I think one of the most interesting attributes of this game is it's story.

The story is very strong and attractive. It's more like an amazing playable novel! It's unpredictable and has many rises and falls and never gets boring. Dialogs are very impressive and perfectly present the characters. Characters look very lively and events are so real that you can feel yourself inside the game. Characters mostly aren't separated into absolute good and bad, some are better and some are worse. The story tries to teach us positive lessons out of anything that happens during the game with a logical perspective. I would love it more if the story could continue a little further because there were some things unfinished. Maybe it was one other elegant point that in the real world you can never finish everything. Or probably the rest will continue in the third part of the game.

Houses, streets, cars, shops, decorations, cloths, accents, musics and many other things give you a very close experience of living in New York 1940s. There are details everywhere which are artistically added. Traffic and pedestrian also look so alive that makes the city more real.

Shooting is very exciting in this game. Sounds of bullets when fired are very real. Taking cover and effects of bullets on objects and people makes the battles very natural and exciting. I would like it better if the number of weapons in player's coat were not unlimited and his garage could contain fewer cars as it was a small place. Game is played under various conditions ; winter, summer, war, prison etc. and each episode has a fresh action to do. Cars are so real as well and artistically made that makes driving enjoyable. Clothes also are so beautiful. I love it when some parts of the clothes like tie and coat shake and move around when the player is moving.

Altogether in my opinion, Mafia II is fantastic game which is definitely worth playing. It can be informative and makes enjoyable moments for you.

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It's not bad, it's just too limited

7/10
Author: uuuuuu12 from Latvia
5 September 2012

People anticipated this game for a long time. Release about 8 years later got quite a lot of hopes up for many improvements and new kind of mafia experience.

The truth turned out quite different. I'm saying now - this game is by no means bad, seven is a decent score as well.

The introduction of characters were very good, the main one soon became very likable. A proper game play tutorial was also very good and you could get used to things very easily.

The story is also very good, with its twists and emotional moments, as much as hardcore action and reflection of gangster life. A possibility to rob stores and bribe the police added a nice feeling to the whole package. Bunch of people complained about the driving being too difficult and chaotic, but in fact it's actually a nice change from the arcady thing that's been going on for like, forever... The gun play felt really powerful, the cover system was good - not perfect, but in fact quite decent. The voice acting was great, though the game has strong language (if anyone is worried about that).

But there were also many issues with the game. Overall game play was too short, a pair of extra missions wouldn't have harmed anyone. All the money you earned couldn't be spent, cause you could easily rob stores and get free stuff (if you pleased). There were promotional videos about the game and cuttings to show what it would look like, but much of the stuff was cut from the final version, leaving many people (me involved) dissatisfied. Most of this stuff was side-missions - even in the first game there was something you could do aside from the main objectives, and this game just screamed for extra activities.

Also, the chapter idea lost the feeling of free roam, cause player is attached to the main story line. After your objective is completed, there just isn't anything else to do.

Overall it is a decent game 7/10, but it just lacks side-missions/activities which prevents me from giving it a higher score...

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Not Disappointed/Not Impressed

7/10
Author: Mick Miguel from Canada
11 January 2012

I have enjoyed this game but perhaps my expectations were a little too high. And while I would recommend this game I was glad that I didn't pay the brand new cost of it. As a sandbox game, it does allow for some exploration. However here is my breakdown.

Story: I felt this was lacking only in the sense that there is a significant amount of drive time spent which really slowed down the pace of the game. Since the storyline is shorter than some other sandbox style games like Fallout 3 it almost struck me as filler. The actual missions though are fun to play out and overcome this. 8/10

Sound: it is outstanding and truly second to none. The music selections are certain points of the game are fantastic and the ambient sounds is excellent. 10/10

Graphics: I found the graphics to be very good. The characters are well designed and while the faces are not of the same quality the rest of the game is very reminiscent of LA Noire. 9/10

Controls: I found the controls to be rather awkward at times and not being able to jump felt limiting. 6/10

Gameplay: one of the most frustrating aspect was the fact being 3/4 of the way through a mission, dying, and having to start at or near the beginning. Fortunately, this didn't occur too often for me but I can see where this would be very frustrating. In addition there could be some side missions to help flush out the game. 7/10

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyed playing every minute of it but in the end it's still being a disappointment.

7/10
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
8 October 2010

Playing this game was a bit of a weird experience. I honestly enjoyed playing it but in the end the game still left a bad aftertaste.

No matter what the production companies claim; this game is certainly a GTA-clone, set in the '40's and '50's. It has the same game-play, similar sort of missions and a big fictional town you can walk and ride through, while killing people, buy clothes, or visit other shops and places. Even the map, menu options, statistics and radar seem to come straight out of the recent GTA games. But I don't mind this at all, since all of the GTA games are fantastic games to play, that provide hours of entertainment and you can play over and over again, even long after you've finished its missions.

And this game almost literally copied everything out of the GTA games, except for it's best parts. First the way you being capable to pick the missions for yourself and also deciding to play which missions when. in "Mafia II" you are simply not capable of doing that. It's story plays like a movie, so once you have finished one mission, you are starting the next one, until you finish the game. There are not even different missions to choose from. So obviously this brings me to this game it's most disappointing aspect; it's not really being a sandbox game, in which you can walk- or drive around freely, without having to complete a mission. You constantly have to complete a certain task so you have no time to fool around or to discover anything. Once you start fooling around, chances are you are going to get killed because you crash your car or get shot by the cops. And once this happens, you have to start a mission all over again. This all would had still been OK if the game had the option to be able to play the game in sandbox mode as well, so without any missions. This is not the case with this game, not even after you have completed it. So the game really doesn't has much re-playability value to it. When you've finished the game there is not much else you can do. A missed opportunity, that could had given its players days and even moths of fun playing it. And it's not like they couldn't had given giving this game that option. The town's size is there, the AI is there, all of the weapons, cars and other options to play around with where there, so what was holding them back? And the first Mafia game did had this option available by the way.

Instead now you are capable of completing this game within a day. It took me 16 hours but that was with lots of fooling around. To be honest I didn't even realized I had finished the game, till the end credits suddenly started to roll. Sure, the final mission is a bit harder than the other ones but there was nothing else indicating that this was going to be the final mission.

Guess this is also due to the way the story of the game is getting told. It follows a bit of a confusing story in terms of that it's not really wrapping up things. At times you just don't know anymore who you are working for and who is supposed to be the enemy or your friends. Characters like your sister and a potential love-interested disappear out of the game completely after a while, even though they still could had done far more and better things with them. Also the main character that you are playing is very gullible. For instance One guy tells him to kill someone you don't even know but the main character always obeys without thinking or protesting.

Still it's a game that really plays like a movie, which is mostly due to its story. It's the foremost reason why I still enjoyed playing it. You really become the character out of a gangster movie, so this means you don't always need to do any shooting or driving but also sell cigarettes from the back of a truck and even go to prison. I love this game for that approach. Also when you follow a person or car and you loose them, you expect that it means that you have failed your mission but it's actually a part of the game, so you don't always succeed at everything, which works realistic and refreshing.

It's also refreshing that for a change the voice-cast didn't consists out of big well known Hollywood names. It often works distracting within games.

The game-play is nice and the game learns you fast what you are all capable off and how all of the buttons work. So you don't need to be an hardened gamer to play it. I also loved how the action worked. You can't just barge in and blast away everyone but you always have to take cover, or you are going to get killed for sure.

The graphics are great looking. It's better looking than any of the GTA games but yet it's running way smoother and with often more details in it as well. The AI is quite good and enemies rarely do the same things, when you play certain missions all over again.

This game is notorious for having many bugs in it. I encountered one big one, which forced me to quit playing and to start a chapter all over again, since the game doesn't work with save files but with chapters, that are sort of levels and an option to continue playing the game were you left of, which is obviously not handy once you encounter a bug that makes you incapable of completing a certain mission.

In the end still a disappointment but the hours that you are playing it, you are probably gonna love it.

7/10

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I hate to say it but; It's disappointing in every way.

5/10
Author: briangcb from Ontario, Canada
19 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The original Mafia game released in 2002 is one of my all time favourite games. To this day I will still play it once and a while. Because it is a continuous story and not exactly Free Roam, it feels almost like watching a movie while playing the game. The original game, had excellent characters that you cared about, great action scenes, interesting missions, classic cars from the 30's that were a lot of fun to drive, superb physics for its time; you could riddle a car with bullets and it would be completely covered with bullet holes, smash windows, shoot out tires, break the fuel line and run out of gas in the car, shoot from the driver's seat (which was the first game you could do that to my recollection), the list goes on...the only thing that upset me was the final cut-scene of the game has your character gunned down on his front lawn by two hit men. So in the end your character dies tragically. But of course he paid the price for his actions.

Now for Mafia II...starts off during WWII, then a fair chunk of the game takes place in 1945 when you return from the war, then get sent to prison, then jump to 1951. You get out of prison and get right back into the life of crime. You start off as a low-level thug, doing petty jobs...which continues for a very large chunk of the game, until you become a made man. Then, almost immediately after you become made, you start doing things that are forbidden in the Mafia (at the time.) it is clearly stated by one of the bosses that you don't deal in drugs. Yet you do it anyways and through a course of action, create a major sh#tstorm between the Chinese and your mob faction. Then you're basically targeted for death, but you're offered a chance to save yourself by murdering your boss. Your character just shrugs and says okay. All of the characters in this game are under-developed. The missions play so fast, and NONE stand out as being unique. All verrry generic. The story is lacking, other than Vito and Joe, all the characters seem to come and go without getting much "screen time" so you don't get to care about any of them. Vito (your character) is just a douchebag. I didn't like him at all when watching the story and Joe could be funny, but he was also obnoxious, so I didn't warm to him either. As for the ending of the game? Well there isn't one. It just stops in the middle of a cut-scene, more or less like the end of The Sopranos. I assume they're releasing some add-on content to continue the story. The problem is, I wasn't interested enough to fork over any extra cash towards this game. If they continue the story with Mafia III, they better make some significant improvements...oh and I forgot to mention, there's also a mission which simply has you driving to a guy's house and activating a cut-scene...that cut-scene is the ending to the original game, which has you killing your character from the original game. So now, your current character just murdered a character I actually warmed to. But there's nothing else to the mission except escaping cops, which requires you to drive about a block before you lose them.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Excellent game!!!

10/10
Author: Jacob from Russia
7 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All in all, this game was great and deserves 10/10. First of all, it's marvelous visually, then the plot is truly outstanding. Frankly, I can't recall seeing any crime movie with a script this good during the last years. Although it took me 13 hours to play it, I never had the feeling of dissatisfaction, because as I said, the script and the game in general is very informative and rich in everything. In this one although the police won't try to arrest you for excessive speed, but instead of that every time when you're caught hijacking and even manage to lose cops, you'll have to change the plate number and even change your clothes if they have your description. Besides, you can get your car entirely fixed, starting with tires and ending with the engine. Here we also have full of new weapons.

Talking about the plot there will be plenty of surprises, especially if you are a fan of the first Mafia. Hoping to see another Mafia game released in the near future. Hey, there's no harm in dreaming, right?

Highly enjoyable and recommended.

Tribute to Illusion Softworks. Thank you guys!!!

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