Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Mafia II

     Sometimes you play a game because you hear how great it's gonna be, sometimes you take a chance on a series that isn't great, and sometimes it turns out to be a great game. Mafia II is not one of these, the first in the series was not necessarily well received. Mafia II was supposed to rival Grand Theft Auto and create an atmosphere that would rival any game.

     The opining hour or so of the game sets up the story very well, driving into Empire City (New York) in the middle of winter with snow pelting down and some dramatic music in the background was very atmospheric and added a lot to the game, but as the story goes on it begins to lose its atmosphere and personality. It becomes a generic sandbox game with a mafia theme, oh wait did I say sandbox, I lied, ill get to that in a minute. It was very difficult to connect with Vito given that there is never a romantic interest, there is rarely any mention of his family, and the only person he is constantly in contact with is his dumb friend Joe. Oh yea, and not to mention every three chapters there is a catastrophe and you have to start over with no money, because we all know we want to play a mafia game where we have no cumulative money. 

     I mentioned sandbox, and in any review of Mafia II that word should only appear after the phrase "this game is not a" or in all caps after the word "SHITTY", because we all know when we are outraged we use caps and lose the ability to make full sentences and we resort to profanity and sentence fragments. The game does have a free roam element but is there anything to do, NO! there isn't. The side missions are non-existent robbing and selling cars to two different people are it.

      The twist at the end involves your best friend Joe holding a gun to your head as you run in to kill the Boss. This is not an original but it was fine with me until Vito said, "Trust me on this," and Joe simply replies, "let's shoot this cock-sucker on the count of three." When Vito asks Joe why he did it he says the Boss made him an offer. Would a mobster really turn on a mob boss just because his best friend, who just shot up an entire observatory to kill YOUR boss, says trust me, COME ON no way.

     One more thing real quick, the checkpoints were few and far between making a 15 minute shootout that is already frustratingly cheap, frustratingly long, because every death starts you over.

     Overall this game makes me want to find everyone who was involved in making this game and make them all a set of cement shoes.

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