Welcome to the Familia- Mafia II Definitive Edition Review

The Scaletta way.

The Mafia games have been pretty quiet since the release of Mafia 3 in 2016. Needless to say, the games have built a following and pretty much excited gamers around the world with a simple tweet on May 10th especially since their last tweet was in 2018.

Speculation abuzz, on May 19th, they took to Twitter to announce the Mafia: Trilogy featuring a remake of Mafia I and Mafia II/III: Definitive Edition featuring all the DLC add-ons.

Wow that intro was long. Anyways, today we’re going to be talking about Mafia II: Definitive Edition which is actually my first ever time playing this game, almost nine years after it’s original release.

What You Need to Know

Players will assume the role of Vito Scaletta, and if he sounds familiar, it’s because he’s in Mafia III. This is his story though so stay focused.

The game will focus on Vito’s rise to power in Empire Bay and his adventures in the city.

Gameplay

This game plays about as standard as you’d expect from a Mafia game. You control Vito and do Mafia business things in order to make that money.

You’ll steal cars, sell the same cars you sold for bucks, travel an expansive city and spend all your money on expensive items or at least they weren’t that expensive compared to prices today. You’ll dodge the cops (more on this later), do some sneaking and other things I don’t want to spoil.

Of course, being in the Mafia means you’ll fight and shoot some suckers up. Fighting follows a standard third person shooter setup. You can take cover behind objects and.. shoot people. The game takes place in the 1940’s-50’s so expect to see a lot of WW2 era guns like the M1 Garand, Magnum, and the notorious Thompson with the drum magazine. You’ll occasionally get into fist fights, and every you box is a professional so bring your A game. Also, you can get killed pretty easily with realism being the name of the game here. Don’t go into a fight expecting to tank bullets and punches.

The story is divided into 15 chapters. Each chapter minus the first couple start off with you waking up in your apartment and being told what the plan is for the day. The scenarios are pretty interesting too. The only downside is that this game isn’t fully open world so you won’t progress the story until you finish each chapter.

Outside of the story, you’ll be free to travel the world. Got a need for speed? Steal some cars and sell them to earn quick cash. Feeling dangerous? Go to the gun store to stock up and go rob some stores. Be careful though because the feds are always watching. Interesting decision making was made here. The cops work differently than your typical open world game. Driving 125 mph in a city? The cops will try to arrest you. Crashed into a vehicle and keep on driving? The cops will chase you down claiming “hit and run”. Stole a car or robbed a store? The vehicle and/or yourself will be marked as wanted. Only changing the license plates or changing your clothes will clear your wanted status. Or you can bribe them for a hefty price.

Beyond that, they’re are plenty of collectibles to discover. You can find vintage real Playboy magazines from that time period and “real” Wanted posters (I’m assuming they’re real).

I think that’s everything important.

Review

I remember when this game was coming out, there was a demo for one of the missions. I played the crap out of it because I enjoyed it. Here we are 9 years later, and I’m finally playing the full game.

Meet your new best bud Joe Barbaro.

I enjoyed my time with this game. I think what made this an enjoyable experience is this game was a breath of fresh air despite how limited it felt. The game is open world, but since it’s divided into chapters, it doesn’t feel like Grand Theft Auto or Assassin’s Creed aka large worlds with plenty of stuff to do, some boring and some not. It was actually nice in a weird way. The amount of detail developer 2K Czech put into the police system is actually amazing because I don’t think any other game has had a system of the same nature. I was pretty childish with the naming of my license plates, but it was great. I will say the cover system annoyed me because you can turn corners in cover but you can’t move from cover to cover… Weird.

The story bothered me a bit just because it felt like there were missed moments that never got fully fleshed out. Vito has a sister that shows up once every 5 chapters and the way their relationship plays out is kind of lame. Just my opinion though. Other than that, there were some good twists at the end minus the boner kill ending that never gets addressed. Also as cool as the chapter system is, the game is kind of short if you just do the missions only. I blew through it on stream, and that was it.

“Definitive Editions” are always hard to cover. The biggest draw is supposed to be the main game getting a fresh coat of paint and all the DLC getting thrown in there, and this is where my problem lies with this game. Even though it got that fresh coat of paint, the frame rate is god awful. I thought I was lagging playing a single player game. It gets bad, and although there are points where the game looks good, the “fresh paint” motto doesn’t apply here. I think I saw people say that it looks worse. Also in the beginning of the game, Vito seems interested in a female. Cool. However, it’s not cool when I saw the same female character’s face model every two minutes in the streets or doing something raunchy. I even saw two of her sitting next to each other. Mind fuck. Not to mention she looks like Jennifer Lawrence.

All in all, I did enjoy this game. If you don’t mind bad frame rates and nine year old gameplay mechanics, you’ll get a kick out of this game. I felt like a real Mafia dude when I was rocking my Thompson with the drum magazine and wearing my fancy suit shooting up rival gangsters. If you’re going to pick up this game, I’d say pick up the edition with the with all 3 of them because you’ll get your monies worth versus buying them individually like I did. Don’t be like me, be better.

I’m interested to see what the complete remake of Mafia I brings us, but for now, pick up 2 and 3 to keep you busy. Or don’t. I’m not your Italian boss.

Let me know what you think about Mafia II in the comments below or else Vito will jack your car.


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