“This was not the way I had imagined life would be. I dreamt of a life of cars, money, women, respect, freedom. I guess I ended up having all of that, but along with it came prison, living in constant fear and the blood of my friends. I ducked it as long as I could but it was finally catching up with me. It was all just a matter of time.” — Vito Scaletta
Mafia 2 is set in a New York-esque city called Empire Bay in the late 1940’s where the Mafia feeds on the naive and gives to the corrupt. We take on the role Vito Antonio Scalleta, who immigrated with his family from Sicily for a better life in America. But just like most dreams of greater life, Empire Bay squishes the Scalleta family. With financial woes and family drama, Vito takes on petty crime with his low life friend Joe Barbaro in order to provide for his family. Vito finally gets to go home after serving 2 years in the army due to getting caught during a jewelry store robbery. As soon as he lands back home he teams up with Joe yet again as low level associates of the Clemente Family.
Shootouts, fist fights, drugs, and betrayal are what ensues for Vito and Joe as they move up the ranks in the Clemente Family. Mafia 2 is a solely single player experience consisting of easy, normal and hard difficulties. Every mission is completely story driven with no side quests. The game is a classic 3rd person shooter consisting of multiple fist fights, driving segments, and of course, shoot outs with hardened criminals. As assumed, the game is set up for a more adult viewership (17+) due to intense violence, blood and gore, as well as partial nudity. The game will run you a good 8 hours to complete and a bit longer if you are hunting down the achievements. I found the game’s length to be a tad short for me but still enjoyable. I never felt like it was boring or that something was too tedious. As far as replay value there wasn’t much that brought me back besides collecting all the collectables which are probably the best collectibles I have found in any game. Once you beat the story, that’s it! There’s nothing to do but replay the same game with the same outcome. Graphically speaking the world of Empire bay looks stunning. Tons of details have gone into the buildings as well as the people walking along the street. The cars certainly increased the feel of being in that time period as they were all modeled after classic cars. Characters themselves can sometimes look a little stiff but other than that I would say that Mafia 2 is a beautiful game.
I found the sound quality of Mafia 2 to be impeccable. The part that stood out the most to me was the music they chose to play over the in-game radios. When I was driving I really had a sense of being in the 50’s listening to some great classic music. The voice acting was amazing as well. Each character was believable and you could definitely tell the emotions each character experienced just by their voice. The guns all sounded great; you could definitely hear the power between your pistol and the Thompson machine gun. The only hick-up was and odd time where the voice and lips didn’t sync up.
Overall Mafia 2 is a stunning game. The music played in the game and the looks of the surroundings were all extremely well done. I was never bored with the missions and always felt a need to keep progressing instead of taking the occasional bathroom break or beverage refill. If you’re a fan of any mob related movies you will certainly enjoy Mafia 2
Rating – 8.5/10