“… This wasn’t how I imagined it when I was startin’ out. I dreamed o’ money, cars, women, respect, freedom. I guess I ended up gettin’ all that more or less, 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
The hallmark of a good game is to create an environment that immerses the gamer and makes him believe that the characters and the story is real. I would have to say that Mafia 2 is not just a good game, it is a great game. There are a lot of good things that I have to say about this game and I hope I don’t miss anything.
The best part of this game is the story, it is a mix of Godfather, Goodfellas, but IMHO, it is most similar to “Once upon a time in America” ( It is a awe-inspiring movie about friendship, greed, betrayal and rise of the mafia during prohibition; needless to say, watch it ). Mafia 2’s story is simple, but because of amazing dialogues and prefect voice acting, it has a lasting impact on the gamer. It is like living through a period movie and exploring the world. The characters are life-like and you will be very aware of their experiences, hopes and dreams; and saddened when they are forced into an uncomfortable situation ( avoiding spoilers ).
The next good part of the game is “Empire City”. Now I usually don’t like open worlds; hate GTA, but this is different. The attention to detail that the developers have given is commendable. The change of seasons from winter to summer, the change of ambiance from day to night, the politics on the radio from during WW2 to post WW2, even the way people dress and move around changes. I got to see Empire City a lot closely collecting all those fucking “Wanted Posters” but I have to tell you it was not boring at all. Almost forgot, even the music changes with the time and with the mood, it becomes somber and sad when it is raining and when you go kill a bunch of Chinese, you heard Chinese music on the radio as homage.
The game has very nice cars and guns; and even though the developers were restricted to an era, they are quite fun. The shooting and driving are not as bad as I thought. The level design is also quite good, you travel to different parts of the map and if you are just rushing through the story you can miss quite a lot of this beautifully laid out city. Stealth is another thing that is easy to mess up, but Mafia 2 has done it well. It isn’t required all the time, but it can be quite fun. Missions were fun and diverse and not boring at all. The driving around during the missions was a breeze because usually an NPC would be talking to you and it would be completely engrossing.
There are only two things that really bugged me, I would have liked the difficulty to be higher, I finished it on “Hard” difficulty without any problem and “Easy” is so easy that you don’t even need guns. The other thing is that the side missions are few and irrelevant, you are never pressed for cash, so you don’t need to do them and they offer no other advantage. The wanted posters are not even connected to the game in any way that I could think of.
Anyways, I really liked this game and I thank IV for buying it 🙂
Also, First Platinum. WoooHoooo!!