WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
This article may reveal major plot points, especially considering the game had either been released recently or not in specific countries yet.
Mafia II is a 2010 action-adventure game developed by 2K Czech and published by 2K Games. It was released in August 2010 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. A remastered version of Mafia II with updated graphics titled Mafia II: Definitive Edition was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows on 19 May 2020.
In 1943, Sicilian immigrant Vito Scaletta is arrested during a robbery and opts to join the United States Army to avoid jail, enlisting as a jeep driver in the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Vito first experiences the power of the Mafia when an operation in Sicily goes away and Don Calò arrives and orders the Italian soldiers to stand down.
In early 1945, Vito returns home on leave to Empire Bay and reunites with his childhood friend Joe Barbaro, who has joined the Clemente crime family in his absence and supplies Vito with counterfeit discharge papers.
Why It Rocks
- Great story about the rise and fall of mobster Vito Scaletta throughout the 1940s and 50s. The cutscenes also make it feel like your watching a mafia film due to their presentation.
- It has very likeable and memorable characters, such as Vito Scaletta, who is a well-written and likeable protagonist. A lot of the side characters are also likeable such as Joe Barbaro, Eddie Scarpa, Henry Tomasino, etc.
- Joe Barbaro also has a lot of hilarious and memorable quotes such as: "Come out of your hole you f***ing rats!" "You shoot like my sister." "You drive like my fucking grandmother, you know that?"
- Excellent soundtrack composed by Vladimir Šimůnekv that's beautifully composed and very dramatic. It even features a lot of 1940s to 50s songs on most of the radio stations.
- Empire Classic Radio - Big band and swing music in both segments of the game but introduces more popular adult contemporary tracks in the 1950s.
- Delta Radio - Jazz and blues music during the 1940s segment and doo-wop and rock-and-roll hits during the 1950s portion.
- Empire Central Radio - Big band music during the 1940s segment and more mainstream pop and rock during the 1950s portion.
- Press Radio News - It details world events, mostly involving World War II in both Europe and the Pacific theatres. Some topics mentioned include the Yalta Conference, the Battle of Manila, and the Russian liberation of Auschwitz.
- Much like the previous game, all of the vehicles are based on real-life 1940s and 50's cars. Much like The Grand Theft Auto series, they also have fictional car companies too such as Ascot, Berkley, etc.
- The realism of how cars behave is still intact as cars can run out of fuel, suffer body damage, collect dirt, and etc. Players can also customize many parts of their car to their liking, including engine upgrades, colour changes, tires, as well as personalized license plates. Additional upgrades are added through certain DLCs.
- You can take cars to Mike Bruski's junkyard and crush cars, which Mike will give you over $400. Between chapter 8 and 14, however, you can get over $1,000 by giving fancy cars to Dereck.
- Similar to San Andreas, there are now a number of stores and shops to visit as you can order beer at bars, buy food to refill your health, and can buy clothes to customize Vito's look.
- While the Definitive Edition wasn't the best remaster, if you own Mafia III: Definitive Edition, you can wear Lincoln Clay's outfit.
- Throughout the game you can find 159 Wanted posters littered about the world and Playboy magazines in each chapter.
- The cop AI has been improved as you will no longer be fined for doing things like running a stop light, the police are less aggressive, and the game has a wanted system similar to GTA meaning that doing something minor like speeding makes escaping cops a lot easier.
- The DLC is great as it comes with 5 packs each with new cars and out fits and 3 expansions.
- The Betrayal of Jimmy: You play as Jimmy and unlock new city-based challenges ranging from assassinations to timed vehicle based missions that include shootouts, car chases, and explosions.
- Jimmy's Vendetta: You play as Jimmy in a more arcade-style gameplay with new missions and leaderboards to track your progress and rank you against your friends and competition. The gameplay continues the story of Jimmy, beginning with his escape from jail. If Betrayal is not installed, Vendetta will also add stage 3 vehicle tuning and custom paint jobs to all Charlie's Service & Repair shops.
- Joe's Adventure: Tells about Joe Barbaro and his life and rise in the Falcone Crime Family while Vito Scaletta was in prison.
- The gun play has been improved and isn't as janky like before.
- There are a number of saddening moments:
- The part where Vito receives a letter informing him that his mother had died.
- In chapter 14, it's revealed that it was Vito and Joe who killed Tommy Angelo, the protagonist of the first game.
- The game's ending. Vito and Joe have managed to kill Falcone Family, ending all tensions between Empire Bay Crime family and Triads. It's seems like Vito and Joe are now free and can go back to their ordinary routines. Except, it doesn't work that way as somebody has to take a fall for massacre they've done Triads territory. Vito learns this hard way as he watches Joe being carted off to be killed as a price for it, unable to do anything about it.
- The game is a little short as there are only 15 chapters.
- There was a lot of content removed in the beta version, such as using melee weapons during combat, an extra side mission Steve could give you, bicycles, and even a gun license.
- Historical Inaccuracy: The game features a number of cars, songs, and items that wouldn't have been around in 1951. Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly's songs didn't come out until after 1951, Playboy magazine wasn't founded until 1953, and intermittent windscreen wipers weren't invented until 1963.
- The Definitive Edition was very buggy upon release.
- The PlayStation 3 version suffers from frame drops, has worse draw distance, and is missing certain graphical details that were present in the Windows and Xbox 360 versions including three dimensional grass, pools of blood forming under dead bodies and realistic cloth physics. These details were said to be present in earlier builds of the game, but had to be removed to increase the game's frame rate, which is ironic.
- Getting 100% gets you nothing even when getting every Wanted poster and Playboy.
Sonia Alfano, a member of the European Parliament and president of Italy's association for the families of Mafia victims, called for the game to be banned. Alfano's father Beppe was murdered by the Mafia in 1993. Take-Two Interactive quickly responded to the issue, stating that the game's depiction of the American Mafia was no different from organized crime films such as The Godfather. They also responded to allegations of racism from Unico National, who claimed that the game portrayed Italian-Americans unfairly and "indoctrinating" youth into violent stereotypes.
The game received favorable reviews as it received a score of 77% on Metacritic with critics praising the game for having "A great, story-driven action game which offers great cut scenes and a believable game world."
- Each collectable wanted poster in Mafia II was one of the development team's staff members depicted as a gangster.
- In Mafia II's 'Buzzsaw' mission, Joe comments on Vito's ability to heal incredibly quickly. A neat little reference to the game's health regeneration system.
- Mafia II's radio reporter often talked about the British bombing of a Nazi factory and states the British national anthem is "God Save the Queen." At the time the game is set, between 1945-1951, King George VI was still alive. The anthem only changed to "God Save the Queen" in 1952, one year after the events of the game.
- Mafia II drops the F-bomb 397 times throughout the entirety of the game. It broke the Guinness World Record formerly held by House of the Dead: Overkill with 200 instances.
- When creeping past the goons of Mafia II, they could sometimes be heard talking about how great video games would be.