Mafia II


Mafia II
Mafia II
Mafia II Boxart.jpg
Developer(s) 2K Czech
Massive Bear Studios (Optimisation)[1]
Publisher(s) 2K Games
1C Company
Designer(s) Daniel Vávra
Pavel Brzák
Writer(s) Daniel Vávra
Composer(s) Matus Siroky
Adam Kuruc
Engine Illusion Engine
PhysX
Version 1.4
1.02 (PlayStation 3)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s)
  • NA 24 August 2010
  • AUS 26 August 2010
Genre(s) Third-person shooter, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s)
Media/distribution Optical disc, download

Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games.[5] Originally announced in August 2007 at the Leipzig Games Convention, it was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in August 2010.[2][6]

Contents

Gameplay

The player character engaging in a gunfight with the authorities. Police awareness in the game works in a similar manner as with the previous game and in Grand Theft Auto, although the player can now bribe or pay fines after committing an offense.

The game is set in the 1940's-1950's era of Empire Bay, a fictional city based on New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Detroit.[7][8] There are 30-40 vehicles in the game (45 with DLC) as well as licensed music from the era.[9]

Many firearms from the previous return, such as the Thompson submachine gun and Colt 1911, as well as a pump-action shotgun (though it was changed from a Winchester Model 12 to a Remington 870). New WWII-era weapons like the MP 40, the M3 submachine gun, the MG 42 and the Beretta Model 38 also appear in the game.

Interacting with objects in the environment involves two action buttons- a standard action and a "violent" action (for example, when stealing a car, the player may choose to either pick its lock or break the window glass), used in context-sensitive situations. A map is included as in the original Mafia game. The checkpoint system has been completely overhauled.[10] New controls include a cover system that allows the player to hide behind objects (such as generators, walls and large crates) to shoot enemies, rather than just using a crouch while behind an object.

It has been stated by 2K Czech that the game's cutscenes are created by the game engine, in real-time, rather than pre-rendered cutscenes. For example if the player is riding in a car and a cut scene starts, the player will be driving the same car and if the car is damaged, that will appear in the cut scene.[11]

The game has three different in game radio stations, Empire Central Radio, Empire Classic Radio and Delta Radio, with licensed music, news, and commercials. The radio stations includes music from different genres including rock and roll, big band, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, among others with licensed songs by Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Dean Martin, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Bing Crosby, Bill Haley & His Comets, The Chordettes, Bo Diddley, Rick Nelson, Eddie Cochran, The Champs, The Drifters, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters, among others.

Synopsis

The game begins with Vito Scaletta looking over a photo album, as he begins to tell his story in voice over. He is born in Sicily in 1925 to an extremely poor family. A few years later, his family immigrates to the fictional Empire Bay in America. They are no better off there than they were in Sicily. As he gets older, Vito gets involved with a local criminal named Joe Barbaro, who Vito becomes best friends with. Vito is arrested during a botched robbery and given a choice: Go to jail or join the army. He chooses the latter and ends up in Sicily in World War II, which he helps liberate before getting shot and sent home on leave. Once home, he is discharged courtesy of Joe's Mafia connections, and learns that his dead father left his family in massive debt. Hoping to make money, Vito turns to Joe, who introduces him to Henry Tommasino, an employee of crime boss Alberto Clemente. Working under Henry, Vito does several illegal jobs. Though he makes the money to pay the debt, he is soon arrested and sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Once inside, Vito falls in with the crowd of Leo Galante, consigliere for Frank Vinci, another crime boss. After doing some jobs for him, Galante manages to shorten Vito's sentence. He is released in 1951. Once out, he meets up with Joe, who now works for the last of Empire's three crime bosses, Carlo Falcone. He starts doing odd jobs for Falcone, eventually becoming a made man of the Falcone family, and buying a waterfront home. His biggest job comes when he is sent to kill Clemente, who has participated in the drug trade, against the commission's wishes. Though the job is botched, he and Joe eventually succeed.

Soon after, Vito is approached by Henry, who wants to defect to Falcone's crew. In order to do this, he is ordered to kill Galante, though Vito saves his old friend by convincing Henry to let Galante simply disappear. Soon after, a gang of Irish criminals, formerly led by a man whom Vito killed in prison on Galante's orders, burn his house to the ground. Broke, he turns to Joe who helps him get revenge. To help him get out of debt, Henry gets Vito and Joe involved in the drug trade, revealing that Falcone is also involved. Although Vito is successful, the Chinese who supplied the drugs, discover that Henry is a federal informant and acting on this new found information, they brutally kill him in the middle of the park with meat cleavers in broad daylight. Angered, Vito and Joe seek revenge and shoot up a Chinatown restaurant killing the Boss who won't give them any further information, they are now indebted to the loan shark they got money for the drugs from. Now very poor and in large debt, Vito is tasked to earn most of the money through his own means, which involves petty theft through out Empire Bay.

They eventually manage to get the money back; in the process, they kill Thomas "Tommy" Angelo, the protagonist of the first Mafia game, and Vito learns the truth behind his father's death. Sadly, the incident with the Chinese has caused too much tension between Falcone and Vinci, as both believe the other did it, and Vito is forced by Vinci's men, led by Galante, to assassinate his boss. With Joe's help, Vito succeeds and they go with Galante to celebrate. The car Joe is in suddenly turns away at an intersection, and Galante apologizes to Vito claimed that Joe wasn't a part of the offer he made for him, indicating that Joe is on his way to being killed. The game shows an angry Vito finally realizing that he's lost everything in exchange for the path he choose (being in the Mafia) then ends with a panoramic view of Empire Bay.

Marketing and release

System requirements
Minimum Recommended
Windows[12][13]
Operating system Windows XP SP2/Vista/7 Windows XP SP2/Vista/7
CPU Intel Pentium D 3 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ (Dual Core) or higher Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz
Memory 1.5 GB 2.0 GB
Hard drive space 8 GB of free space 10 GB of free space
Graphics hardware Nvidia 8600 / ATI Radeon HD 2600 Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX / ATI 3870
Sound hardware DirectX 9.0c DirectX 9.0c
Network Internet connection required (STEAM) for online activation and installation

A promotional trailer was released for the game in August 2007. A second trailer was released on the Spike VGA show on the 14 December 2008.[14] An extended version of the trailer was released on 15 January with an extra 30 seconds of cut scene footage.[15]

The first gameplay footage debuted on GameSpot on 17 April 2009 as part of an interview with Mafia II's producer, Denby Grace.[16] The video shows driving and gunplay aspects to gameplay as well as portraying the physics engine. The interview was later removed.

A third trailer was uploaded to the website on 28 May 2009. From 1 June 2009, four short videos are to be added to the Mafia II website. The first of these is called "The Art Of Persuasion" and features the song "Mercy, Mr Percy" by the female singer Varetta Dillard.

Another video was released featuring footage from the mission "The Buzzsaw". The video reveals the fate of "The Fat Man" who appeared in the earlier trailers.[17] On 27 March 2010, a new trailer was released showcasing the PhysX-based cloth and physics system used in the game.[18]

On 3 August 2010, Sheridyn Fisher, the face of Playboy Swim 2010, became the official ambassador for Mafia II. Sheridyn’s involvement with Mafia II highlights the agreement between 2K Games and Playboy magazine to use 50 of their vintage covers and Centerfolds in Mafia II as part of the in-game collectibles integration.[19] A demo for the game was released on 10 August 2010 on Steam, Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network.[20]

Japan version censored

In the Japan release, the in-game images of the Playboy centerfolds were heavily censored. All of the centerfolds which featured either their breasts or buttocks exposed were covered with black bars even though the game was rated "Z" meaning suitable for 18 years and up. The American version of the game does not censor and shows the centerfolds breasts and buttocks.[4][21]

Pre-order bonuses

On 26 May 2010 four content packs were offered as pre-order bonus's in America and European countries, each one available through different retailers. The Vegas Pack containing two additional cars and suits for Vito and the War Hero Pack containing two military-style vehicles and suits was available from GameStop and EBGames. The Renegade Pack containing two sports cars and two jackets was available from Amazon and the Greaser Pack featuring two hot-rods and two suits were available to Best Buy customers.[22] These pre-order packs are now available for purchase as game add-ons on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Steam. On 26 May 2010 a collector's edition was announced for Mafia II.[23]

PlayStation 3 version

The PlayStation 3 version became subject to controversy on 2K's Mafia II forums when 2K's interactive marketing manager Elizabeth Tobey stated that the PlayStation 3 version would be 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.[24] 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.

Upon release, the PS3 version received the same or higher review scores than the Xbox 360 version from Destructoid and Nowgamer (sites that review the game on multiple platforms rather than the normal practice of reviewing a single platform) due to additional content.[25][26] Metacritic gave both versions the same score of 74/100,[27][28] while GameRankings has the Xbox 360 version 4 points ahead of the PS3 version based on more reviews.[29][30]

Downloadable content

Three downloadable content packs have been announced for the game. The first, titled "The Betrayal of Jimmy" is a PlayStation 3 exclusive episode that was a free download upon release to users who purchase the game new. This was announced by Sony on June 15, 2010 at E3 2010.[31]

The second installment of downloadable content, "Jimmy's Vendetta", was released on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Steam on September 7, 2010.[32] "Joe's Adventures", the third and final DLC was released on November 23, 2010. "Joe's Adventures" focuses on the events that occur in Empire Bay during the years that Vito is imprisoned in the main Mafia II storyline while playing as Vito's best friend Joe Barbaro and seeing his prespective. The DLC combines standard missions with score-based, open world missions. It is estimated to provide eight hours of gameplay.[33]

The Russian company 1C officially announced Mafia II: Extended Edition for the Russian market. It will include the game, 4 DLC (Vegas Pack, Renegade Pack, Greaser Pack, and War Hero Pack), and "The Betrayal of Jimmy", which was previously available as a PlayStation 3 exclusive addon, as well as the 2 other addons (Jimmy's Vendetta and Joe's Adventures). It was released on December 3, 2010 for PS3 and Windows. It will be released for Xbox 360 later.[citation needed] The same package is released for Western markets as Mafia II: Director's Cut on PC and their respective budget labels on consoles.[34]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings PC: 76.48%[35]

360: 75.80%[29]
PS3: 75.05%[30]

Metacritic PC: 77/100[36]

360: 74/100[27]
PS3: 75/100[28]

Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B[37]
Edge 6/10[38]
Eurogamer 4/10[39]
Game Informer 9/10[40]
GamePro 3.5/5 stars[41]
GameSpot 8.5/10[42]
GamesTM 8/10[43]
IGN 7.0/10[44]
Official Xbox Magazine 7/10[45]
PC Gamer UK 78%[46]
X-Play 4/5 stars[47]

Mafia II received mixed to positive reviews from critics. IGN gave the game 7/10, saying "Mafia II is a solid little game that’ll give you a fun ride – just don’t expect the world." IGN AU gave it a 8.0/10 and said that Mafia II is "A deeply flawed game, where the story is the highlight - and far more engaging than most. I certainly enjoyed my 11-12 hours with Mafia II, and those looking for an authentic-feeling mob tale should definitely check it out. This one is more than the sum of its parts." Gamespot gave it 8.5 and stated "Mafia II's exciting action and uncompromising mob story make for an impressive and violent adventure." Game Informer gave it a 9.0/10 and said "In an era when video games are moving away from relying on cinematics for storytelling, Mafia II draws on the rich mobster film history to weave a gripping drama about family, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and pragmatism."

The most negative review came from Eurogamer who gave the game a 4/10 and said that "Mafia II gets the last word by destroying the myth that the mafia is interesting at all. It contends that the mob world is a hell of boredom populated by aggressively stupid automatons. These drones wake up each morning, carry out a series of repetitious tasks, and return home." The A.V. Club gave the game a D+, praising the game's attention to detail but criticising that "aging gameplay mechanics and weak plot turns make the game’s magic peel away faster than a bank-job getaway car." Zero Punctuation's Ben Croshaw called the game "generic", and noted the main characters similarities with the main characters of Grand Theft Auto IV, but criticised the lack of features prevalent in other sandbox games. He also criticised the mundane parts of the game, such as driving, making the game feel "unnecessarily padded."[48]

It has the most profanity in a video game, particularly the word "fuck," which is spoken over 200 times, beating previous record holder, The House of the Dead: Overkill.[49]

References

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  3. ^ "Mafia II rated 18 by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. 2010-03-24. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/website/Classified.nsf/e8ea0df3a881175480256d58003cb570/982f8cacfe0a6722802576f000540000?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
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  48. ^ by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, 15 Sep 2010 16:00 (2010-09-15). "The Escapist : Video Galleries : Zero Punctuation : Mafia II". Escapistmagazine.com. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/1988-Mafia-II. Retrieved 2011-10-27. 
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External links


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