Mafia II is is a game with all the trappings of a hit that was to go down smooth - only to turn out the hit was nothing but a setup. And the supposed marks are the ones pulling the strings. Would a made man allow this to happen?
THREADBARE UNDERSHIRTS UNDER FLASHY SILK SUITS
The first thing that grabs you is how dull the graphics look once the (well-done) cinematics end. On top of that, it is not that the environments are badly designed, it is that the same patterns are used over and over resulting in...chain deja-vue episodes. This cookie-cutter approach could had made it easier to get lost - unfortunately, there is not even a chance for that.
FOLLOW THE SCRIPT OR ELSE, CAPICE?
If you enjoyed the freedom experienced in the GTA series, well, do not expect anything close to that degree of sandbox roaming. This a linear game only set on an open-looking background. Which, once more, shows that looks were considered more important than substance. And if you make a mistake and have to reload, be prepared to replay quite a long sequence because this is yet another game with only an autosaving option - and, once more, 2K behaves as if autosaving points are charged by the unit.
JUST KEEP MAKING THE ROUNDS PAISANO!
The next disappointment is how repetitive the gameplay itself is. "Great fighting mechanics" means all of two options: hitting or backstepping. Whereas, "realistic driving" means that your cars handle like boats - and you will still get killed once those 1940's-Detroit death-traps hit a wall or a tree. Realistic? Sure. But fun? Veramente not! All the mini-games and the money-worries are simply too trivial and half-baked to save the day. Fight-by-numbers made it to the big leagues...
NICE SHADES MAN, BUT CAN YOU SEE THROUGH THEM?
As if all of the above were not enough, the camera placement was so bad it reminded me of the notorious NeverWinter Nights. And sometimes, this turns more into a spectacle than a game.
VITO! CLOSE THOSE SHUTTERS, NOW!
I always had a problem with censorship boards (from totalitarian censorship bureaus to Nielsen ratings) but, at the same time, I do respect the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit. Well, Mafia II will manage to enrage both sides of the generation gap. If the slow-news days keep up, expect some "outraged" news-reports on the content of this game before school begins. True, there are numerous instances in which this game justifies its MATURE (17+) rating - but this hardly makes it an adult game. Like a Dutch school painting of children looking like smaller adults, Mafia II offers the juvenile version of a grownup world. I very much doubt that any teenager (which obviously is the target demographic for this game) will be impressed.
And for all this ...fun, we still have to activate the game and tie to permanently to a STEAM account. This is clearly not one of those game you would want to keep, so shouldn't you be able to resell it? Well, 2K GAMES thinks not. You can now make your decision accordingly.
My advice: pass on this infamnia and, instead, get your Mafia fix from a good old Godfather Trilogy weekend. This game is so bad it almost enters cult territory.
But it is also boring so it fails to even do that.