Mafia II Boxart
Mafia 2 Boxart

Mafia II Boxart

Mafia 2 Review & Strategy Guide by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“I was expecting more action from this action game…”

Overall Score:
5 out of 10

Overview:

Mafia 2 is the sequel to the original Mafia 1 which took place during the Great Depression. This one takes place from World War 2 to 1951. You’re Vito, an Italian-American that got caught, arrested, and drafted to go fight the Axis in Europe. After getting hurt during the war, you come back stateside and your friend (that originally was there when you got arrested) arranges for you not to go back and you start doing a bunch of crime stuff, GTA-style, trying to become a made-man for the Italian Mafia.

The game is available for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Difficulty/Difficulty Versatility & Fun Factor & Replayability & Gameplay:

The game has only 3 difficulty settings and I played it on Hard right from the start. I found the game extremely easy, I would say, 97% of the time. There were some parts where I died over and over by being instakilled by some hiding enemy. Since the game uses autosave checkpoints and some of them are not the most convenient, one gets really good at doing some parts over and over again. Still, I found them most annoying overall, those hard parts, rather than challenging. The game does not let you change the difficulty once you started it, which most games like this now do, so it loses points for that. Difficulty itself gets a score of 2 out of 10. Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 3 out of 10.

I’m probably not going to be replaying this game as I didn’t have as much fun playing it as a I thought I would. I was bored driving around a lot and YES I do like these kinds of games. Compared to Mafia 1, Saints Row 2, and The Saboteur this game was rather boring. The Saboteur was the funnest of those three. Replayability gets a score of 2 out of 10.

Most of the gameplay consists of you just driving around in 1940s-1951 cars delivering packages or going to talk/fight people. Most of it felt like a chore rather than an action movie. Some of it felt like a mob movie but not an exciting one. As far as those movies go I would say Once Upon A Time In America is NOT as exciting as Casino or Goodfellas. Sure, they are all good movies but not everybody can sit through Once Upon A Time In America. This is sort of the same difference here. Maybe I can compare The Sopranos. Sure, it can show a realistic portrayal of mobsters BUT does it really make an exciting action game? There’s a few shootout scenes for which there were a lot more in Mafia 1 but most of the time I just found myself driving at the speed limit. To see how unrealistic some of the game was look below for my strategy guide tips. I give Fun Factor a score of 3 out of 10. I give Gameplay a score of 5 out of 10.

Value:

I beat this game in 8 hours taking my sweet time playing it. Right now the game is selling for about $50 which is way too high for a game that is so short. I would say rent the game if you’re a console player, for sure, if you are into these kinds of games. For the PC people, I would say not to buy it until it hits the value $5-15 range.

Sound:

The sound of the guns firing is great stuff, as well as the sound of the old cars driving around. It sounds like the actual cars. The voice acting was spectacular. The characters even say racist things which seemed realistic to me. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Music:

The music is this game is authentic to its era. I don’t like 1940s music that much so that part was kind of boring for me but I do like seeing the emergence of Rock N Roll so it added to the factor that you are actually doing things in that time-frame. I don’t know how many people in the console crowd really wants to hear WW2 pop music! The score of the game was really great but there are not many scenes where you get to hear this music play out completely. I wish they had added more. I give the music a score of 8 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game never crashed despite having multiple programs open and alt-tabbing all day long. Stability/Reliability gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are standard for these GTA-style games. The only really annoying part is that hitting the windows key alone will take you to the desktop. Although that was annoying, the game did have the useful function of letting you press ESC during any cutscene and pause the game and even letting you skip most cutscenes. However, pressing the windows key even if by mistake takes you to desktop. This was really annoying at times. Controls get a score of 6 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

The graphics looked really nice, especially the character models. I was surprised by one of the hookers that had actual real looking breasts rather than cookie-cutter breasts like a character in a super-hero comic book. Kudos for that realism. Graphics I give a score of 8 out of 10. As far as performance goes, with my typical 1024×768 on my 2007 Windows XP gaming PC the game ran fine except when I needed it to, which was when I was trying to drive fast or complete some fast maneuvers in a car (like when they are chasing you drilling you with tommy guns). I guess I can’t expect my PC to last forever but I have played other new games on higher settings that run faster. I give performance a score of 6 out of 10.

Strategy Guide Tips:

One of the really annoying parts I found is how much fist fighting there was in the game. My tip on beating those parts easily is simply to dodge all the time. You can try to counter punch if you have good reflexes or you can simply wait until the enemy sidesteps. Once he does that just throw 3 quick punches and he will always get hit. I found sometimes the enemy will try to walk into you (it will look like he is running in place), this is a good time again to launch 3 quick punches. In time, he will go down if you’re patient and it’s easier to just do this every time rather than risk losing and doing the fight again like 6 times.

As far as driving the cars go just drive fast as hell. The game is unrealistic in the sense that cops WON’T pull you over for running red lights or stop signs (the game Driver 1 did) but they HATE speeding. Just make sure you have your finger ready over the L key (PC version) to lock the speed control. It’s kind of like a cheat because the car will slow down without using the physics engine of the tires skidding as you try to force brake. I guess this is a bug and an exploit but whatever works works.

As far as stealing cars, just take parked cars, lock picking them as it doesn’t bring you too much attention and it’s much easier than carjacking somebody that will usually start one of those dreaded fist fights.

For weapons the Dirty Harry magnum is the most powerful weapon in the game. Think of it as the sniper rifle. The tommy gun that holds 50 bullets is the best overall weapon.

My History With This Game & Conclusion:

I was disappointed by this sequel as I was expecting the brutality and difficulty of Mafia 1 all over again. I see more of this trend to make games more noob-friendly and it’s pissing me off even more. I guess I’ll just stick more to more hardcore FPS and RTS games myself. I don’t know if I’ve leveled up too much as a gamer and I refuse to go back but I have talked to other gamers that don’t play as much as I do and they say the same thing.

Well, at least the Obsolete Gamer Crew had fun going to the Mafia 2 release party. ;-]