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Mafia II Review

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.Originally announced in August 2008 at the Leipzig Games Convention, it was released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows in August 24th 2010 in North America.

The remarkable thing about Mafia II is not that it’s bad, but that it masks its awfulness so well. The game opens with striking visuals: the backdrop of Empire Bay (Mafia’s stand-in for New York City) is packed with World War II-era details, and the characters are authentic-looking, with a veneer of humanity. The nicely curated oldies soundtrack promises to immerse us in the culture and spirit of the period. Mafia II has the production values that players interpret as signs of quality. What comes next is cognitive dissonance.

2K Czech’s developers have dressed up their latest title to masquerade as a vast, Rockstar-style open world, and a pretty masquerade it is, too. But the reality is that Mafia II strings the player through a couple of dozen mandatory missions, all of them straight out of the Grand Theft Auto reject pile, and the potential for exploration is nil.

The game is set from 1943 to 1957 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York’s state nickname “The Empire State”),a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit.The game will feature a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game.There will also be around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

Many firearms from the previous game will make a return, for example the Thompson submachine gun, the Colt 1911 and a pump-action shotgun. As seen in screenshots, new WWII-era weapons like the MP 40, the M3 submachine gun, and the Beretta Model 38 will make an appearance in the game as well as the MG 42.

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 will be included as in the original Mafia game. The checkpoint system has been completely overhauled.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. Flanking may be a large part of the combat.

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.

The Vegas Pack containing two additional cars and suits for Vito and the War Hero Pack containing two military-style vehicles and suits will be available from GameStop and EBGames. The Renegade Pack containing two sports cars and two jackets will be available from Amazon and the Greaser Pack featuring two hot-rods and two suits will be available to Best Buy customers.

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