Gamebytes and Bots
Gamebytes and Bots
GAMEBYTES AND BOTS
Mafia 2 screenshot
Mafia 2 screenshot
Mafia 2 screenshot
Action, TPS
screenshot

MAFIA 2: Aug 2010
DEVELOPER: 2K Czech
GENRE: Action, Third-Person Shooter
MODES: Single-player
STEAM RATING: Very Positive

screenshot
screenshot

MAFIA 2: Aug 2010
DEVELOPER: 2K Czech
GENRE: Action, Third-Person Shooter
MODES: Single-player
STEAM RATING: Very Positive

MAFIA 2
REVIEW: Played Oct 2016
MAFIA 2
REVIEW: Played Oct 2016

I can't say I was a super fan of Mafia, so you might be wondering why Mafia 2 is showing up in my list of reviews. Quite simply, it was free. I got it for voting in the Joystik Awards. I doubt I would have purchased it as I'm not fond of driving games and no matter how you cut it, Mafia 1 and 2 are stories that require driving to and from every mission. So you spend a great deal of time on the road. Both games are based in cities, which means no direct routes, stopping at every red light, dodging other cars, and retracing routes over and over again. So, it's not just driving, it's "irritating" driving and if you are playing with a keyboard and mouse, imprecise turning mechanisms make it doubly irritating driving.

So, on to the story. You play as Vito Scaletta a young man newly arrived back from a stint in the army during War 2. Due to go back after a short furlough, your best friend, Joe, arranges for your discharge through his connections to the Mafia. However, you soon learn that your now deceased father managed to land the family in a serious amount of debt and your mother and sister are being pressured for it. Unable to find "honest work" that pays a decent amount, Joe offers to set you up with some crime sharks looking for an odd jobs man. Turning to a life of crime is a no brainer for Vito as getting caught in the act is what landed him in the army to begin with and he is no stranger to it. Neither is he averse to killing.

Mafia 2 screenshot

Although there is little evidence for much story until after Chapter 5, it does start to unfold after that and ends up being pretty decent in a way. I say in a way because there is really not much character building. Characterizations are seen solely through some conversations, but most of those center around the current missions. Vito doesn't seem to have any goals apart from making money to rise above the poverty experienced by his family while growing up. But that insight is just thrown in as a passing comment on one of the missions. Unlike the story of Mafia 1, Mafia 2 has no redeeming moral stance. It's about mob violence and arbitrary killing and even our main character has no reservations in the least. There is also no romance to soften that view and little interaction with Vito's mother and his sister. It's all about the mob, their rivalries, and nothing else.

Although the game makes a pretence at offering other things to do in an open-world environment, like collecting or selling cars, there is actually no incentive to do them. There are no side missions and money is only needed for some outfits, and some car repairs and upgrades. Although there are gun shops as well as clothing shops, you really don't need to buy weapons as you will either be given a pistol by Joe, or pick up guns during missions. You can, if you wish sell cars for scrap or for importing, but there is little incentive to do so. You can also steal cars and have them legitimized at a garage. These then become legally available to you. However, once again, there is little incentive to go out of your way, especially as the game only saves within certain points in the main missions and you don't need the money anyway. The story will also have you losing everything a couple of times as well, although you will retain any cars in your garage.

My complaint about the driving is not so much the handling as you can set this to normal mode in the options menu, which will see you through. Simulation mode will make things a bit tougher. My complaint is more about the amount of unrelieved driving. You drive everywhere regardless of who is with you or whose car it is. You drive to pick up the job, drive to the mission, drive back to the same place to get paid, possibly drive Joe home and then drive yourself home to sleep and progress the game. Then you wake up at home, drive to Joe's or drive to get a job. Drive to the mission, drive back to get paid, drive Joe home, drive yourself home, etc. etc. IOW, a great percentage of the gameplay is just driving back and forth along the same winding routes dealing with red lights, pedestrians and other very bad drivers where rules of the road don't seem to apply.

The missions themselves are pretty good and combat uses a cover system. For most missions you have Joe with you and maybe some other help. A few you do on your own and this will usually involve using a stealth mechanic. Another area that is employed is melee fighting. You become quite the boxer, although moves are quite limited to a dodge and counter attack. The gameplay here is pretty smooth and realistic and the AI are developed quite well, but are very predictable, popping out of cover with anticipated regularity, so that combat is just a timing thing.

Police are everywhere patrolling and driving around the city. You have to keep a sharp eye for them if stealing a car or you will become "wanted". They will then chase you down and if caught, will have the option to pay a fine, pay a bribe or resist arrest, which will end the game. You can also get caught for speeding, crashing into other cars, or mowing down a pedestrian. In general though, the rules are pretty lax unless you get caught at the scene of a gunfight. You must then try to outrun and lose them. If on foot, you can find a clothing store and change clothes to lift the wanted bulletin.

Collectibles, playboy magazines, and wanted posters would be the only reason to free roam, which is a shallow way of padding the game. There are achievements and you can collect cars, I suppose, if your so inclined, but there is no advantage to doing so except personal driving preferences. Often, you will not be using your own car for missions and therefore cannot choose a speedy get-away-car.

In summary, Mafia 2 visuals are pretty good, the city looks great and it's just too bad there is nothing to do in it. The characters look pretty good too and the voice acting is superb. Combined with good missions, the game seems to overcome its myriad of shortfalls, although its abominable checkpoint saving system is a sore point with fans.

Game Issues Experienced

There was a glitch in chapter 14 where Joe wouldn't follow Vito to the ground floor. The segment had to be replayed and everyone killed before going down into the lobby.

There was a glitch where the doctor's house gate wouldn't open. People get various glitches, not all in the same places.

Development Note

2K Czech developed both Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven and Mafia 2 and announced via their website that they would be assisting Hanger 13 with the development of Mafia 3. However, in 2017, 2k Czech was merged into Hanger 13 and no longer exists as a separate studio.

2K Czech began business as Illusion Software, which was acquired by Take-Two Interactive in 2008 and rebranded. By that time, Mafia had received worldwide acclaim and sold over two million copies. It was off the market for a while due to music licensing issues, but has recently made a return. The studio was also known for its Vietcong series, which was highly popular in the Czech Republic, and its Hidden and Dangerous series.

Although preliminary work on Mafia 2 began in 2004, the game was not released until 2010. In Aug of 2015, the PC game was suspended from sales with no explanation, but returned to Steam in June of 2016.

Mafia 2 did not receive quite as good reviews as the first Mafia, but was still well-received in general.

NOTE: For the vast majority of PC games, many digital distributors will offer "Online" CD keys that can be added to your Steam Library
WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE
MAFIA 2
A Digital Deluxe version is also available
Other games in series:   Mafia   Mafia 3
GAME SPECS & REQS
  • Genre: Action, TPS
  • Developer(s): 2K Czech
  • Publisher(s): 2K Games
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, Mac OS X
  • Release: Aug 2010
  • Mode(s): Single-player
  • Media: Download, Optical Disc
  • DLC Available: Yes
  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Vista, Windows 7
  • CPU: Pentium D 3Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ (Dual core) or higher
  • RAM: 1.5GB
  • Hard Drive: 8GB free space
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce 8600, ATI HD2600 Pro
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0 compliant
  • Shader Model:
  • Input for PC: Keyboard & Mouse, Windows compatible gamepad
  • DRM: Steam
NOTE: Minimum requirements are those officially published at the time of the game's release.
AROUND THE WEB
Official Site - 2K
Achievements: GameFaqs
Cheats: cheat happens
Patches: Steam Auto Update
CAN I RUN IT?
To indicate what kind of performance you may get, compare your specs to the system this game was played on. You can also try  Can You Run It
screenshot
  • Version:  Steam Download
  • OS:  Windows 7 SP1
  • CPU:  Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz
  • Ram:  8GB
  • Disk Drive:  DVD/CD
  • Video:  ATI Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • Shader Model:  5
  • DirectX:  11
  • Resolution:  1650 x 1050
  • Input:  Keyboard & Mouse
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