Just finished it and loved it, my review.
Yes I know, the game is old, but I only just got it and finished it last night.
This post is just about what I think about the game, not that my opinion matters but I wanted to share it anyway.
For starters, I'm not your average gamer.
I'm a 40 year old business woman but I've been gaming ever since the first computer games became available.
I loved Mafia 2 even though there are some things I didn't like as well, of course.
I love history, no I'm obsessed with it.
As part of my job I make sure movies, tv, museum exhibits and maybe one day games, are authentic, historically correct.
And I was very impressed with the setting of this game.
I didn't spot many annoying mistakes (except playboy in the 1940s, some of the hairstyles and clothing) and just LOVED the general historic atmosphere.
The city was so amazing, the cars, the music, fantastic.
This is a game I will play again and again, just to have a little drive trough the lovely locations.
I just tried "GTA 4" and was extremely disappointed with the look of the game, so ugly compared to what I just saw in Mafia 2.
Anyway, I think most of us can agree on that the game looked good.
But now the game.
I actually quite liked the story, I liked the main characters right away, enjoyed the dialogue and laughed out loud a few times.
Very well done, especially for a game.
I must confess there have been games where I did not bother letting the cut scenes play out, being to impatient, wanting to play on.
Not with Mafia 2.
And the best thing about it, is that it gave me a bit of a depressed feeling.
Driving around the city, alone, no mamma, sister not wanting to have anything to do with me, not trusting my friends, just having lost my home to fire... it felt a bit hopeless, the shallowness of a life of crime.
The ending as well, even though crime did pay in goods and riches, in the end our hero was poor in many other ways.
Sorry for the philosophical rant there
So in short, I loved just about everything about the game, the look, the gameplay, the shootouts, etc.
I was just in awe of being in a fierce firefight and seeing just about EVERYTHING being shot to pieces around me.
Stuff breaking and falling over everywhere.
But of course there are things I didn't like either.
I care a lot about realism and although I know that it is very demanding on a computer, I would liked to have seen bodies and damage not disappear in front of me.
Truly fantastic that when you shoot someone in a shop, police comes and it is turned into a crime scene, but during the fight itself it is annoying to me to see bullet holes and the bodies of police men magically disappear.
These are of course minor complaints that you could repeat for countless other games.
A stronger complaint, one I seem to share with many others, is regarding the storyline and the shortness of the game.
It was all over a bit too soon, too dramatically.
Once you figure out how to be a good shot, even the final big fight is not that hard to master.
And then poof, it is all over.
I don't mind sudden endings and even endings that make you feel bad (poor Joe!) but at least you should sort of be able to accept it, understand it and feel that it is a good ending.
I didn't quite feel this way about Mafia 2.
If a game has such strong characters and makes you actually like some of these piles of pixels on two legs, they should use that more.
Do I have any right of speaking?
Maybe, I have written scripts for tv and published two books, so I think I may know a little bit about story writing.
You are left with many questions at the end, almost like a "Watch next week for the conclusion of our story" sort of end.
We don't need to know everything, not everything has to be explained, but well the end was a bit sudden and odd.
I would have preferred an ending where you are told that because of all the mess you are in your career in the family has ended, you will spend the rest of your life doing a boring job or being a small time crook.
AND then after a nice little movie you return to your dirty small apartment and are told that the game is over and you can now free roam, do little missions and just cause trouble as much as you like.
That last bit SHOULD of course be in the game once you finish it.
Now I have to go load a scene every time I just want to go for a little cruise.
I wouldn't like a happy ending, but it would be perhaps more satisfying to most.
Because the one positive thing about the game is the strength of friendship, these two childhood friends remain loyal to each other trough a lot of trouble.
So, perhaps predictable and a bit soft, but a good old final chapter where our hero shoots the men in his car, jumps behind the wheel and saves his friend before the sail off into the sunset to begin a new life (with fake mustaches) would at least feel a bit more like a real ending.
What I missed most though is the lack of sidemissions and storylines regarding the other people in the game.
As I said before, you actually grow to like these characters.
But many we rarely see back.
We love our mamma, we love our sister, we even love our old neighbourhood where people in the street welcome us back from the war.
I think it would have been great if there had been a few missions regarding these people.
We only have to do something regarding our sister once, that could have happened a lot more.
How about we help the old street with some of their local issues, beat up a drunk causing trouble for everyone, make sure a dead beat landlord fixes some of the falling apart buildings, make the city council clean the area.
Mamma is great, she deserves more of our attention.
How about we help her find a new home, how about when she gets ill we race her to the hospital.
Our sister, we care so much about her, we beat up her husband, but we never go visit before that happens?
How about we do a few missions for her as well, maybe meet her husband when he is still cool and friendly (making the beating him up mission harder or at least more interesting), help them get a new apartment, beat up their neighbours who cause trouble or maybe kick some dopeheads out of their house so your sister can move in
Doing missions for the most important people in your life besides the mafia will make it even harder and more depressing at the end when your mother dies when you're in jail and your sister never wants to see you again.
Imagine having a mission where you get to visit your sister at her new home, see your nephew (soooo cute, looks just like you when you're a kid), see this idyllic 1950s home life that you will never have.
Spend christmas with this lovely family, feel the envy but also feel happy for them... just to see it all fall apart later when you beat the husband up.
Maybe one final mission where you hear about your nephew having trouble and you secretly follow him to take care of his bullies of to make sure he doesn't get into the life you are into.
Missions like these will be a fun alternative to all the gangster missions, they will make you like the characters even more and it will be even harder to later have no contact with them anymore.
I would also liked to have seen more progress.
You quickly make a lot of money that you can't really spend on much.
But as a gangster you don't move up in the world much.
You go from crappy apartment to 1 nice house and then back to crappy apartment.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE THE APARTMENTS, absolutely stunning locations, great overall look and feel.
I think that it is great that we eventually lose the nice house, it actually hurts a bit and the general game story of 'in the end crime does not really pay after all' is a depressing but good one.
But this could have been made more extreme by giving us more apartments to live in and destroying the best one later on in the game.
We have thousands of dollars, why not let us rent a fancy room in a luxerious hotel, move on to a even nicer house in a better part of town?
The more luxury you give us the more it hurts when it goes up in flames.
But in the end, and I think I agree with most people on this forum here, the main thing that is really bad about the game is that when you finish it all, there isn't a free roam option.
Game over, now click here to drive around a bit, do little jobs to make money so you can perhaps go back to living at the nice hotel, just have some fun.
Anyway, having said all that, I still LOVED the game.
Mostly for the stunning experience of driving around the fantastic historical locations.
missjo, that was an amazing review, thank you for sharing it with us. Like you, I played (and fell in love with the city) some time after it was released. I haven't had much experience with the modern action games, I too was awed by the diversity, characteristics and details of the city, esp. just getting out of the car and walking through some of the neighborhoods. It certainly reminded me of when I grew up in a Northeast city in the 1960s. Regarding the perceived brevity of the game, I believe it simply came down to resources (I work in software development, so I know how much/little can be done with limiited resources). 2K was going through some very difficult times financially and laid off/cut budget on a lot of projects during that period. Finally, Mafia 2 has a Free Ride Extreme-like DLC called Joe's Adventure (JA). It does have a couple of full missions (with cut scenes) but the rest are just extremely fun (and challenging) short-term missions you have to do. You talked about getting in the characters and there was no better way to experience Joe than to play JA. You can easily free ride in JA, as well as loading up a few of the Vito's chapters.
I understand how difficult it must have been for 2K, well no I don't, I can't even imagine the pain and effort put into making this game, so I gladly accept some minor issues with the game as the end result was so amazing.
Right now I'm waiting for my paypal account to get a few dollars so I can get the two addons, they may offer us what I want now!
If only robbing a shop was as easy and with less consequences in real life, then I had the addons already!
Great review, nice to see so much thought put into something, completely agree with you about the ending and many others do. There is a very good thread here which will shed some light On Mafia 2's troubled past, that said it's still very good game.
Originally Posted by missjo
I would urge you to check out the first game if you haven't already, it's very dated now but still the better of the two imo, and the ending is sublime
Oh I remember Mafia 1!
LOVED it, the 1920s-30s is an even more attractive era to me then the 1950s.
I'd kill for a Mafia 3 that is just of the quality of Mafia 2 but set in the 1930s.
I don't even need a storyline for that, just make the city, create the main character and let us go wild
Seriously though, that would be less work then making an entire new game and would make many people happy enough to pay a few bucks for it.
Just the city, we can have enough fun with that for a while
I myself created a virtual 1920s Berlin in the online world called "Second Life".
No where near as good looking as this game of course.
But when game makers are this good at recreating historical simulations, perhaps they should make a few more versions of this city we enjoy causing trouble in so much.
Can you imagine a city from say 1900 till 1960, one game for every decade, no storyline, no goals, just you, the great city and the option to be a criminal, buy places to live, shops to shop in or rob, gangs that may fight you, etc, etc.
I'd buy a few!
Last edited by missjo; 05-12-2012 at 01:26 PM.
Mafia 1 with updated graphics/physics would be my idea of a perfect game, anything other than a return to the 20's/30's would be a disappointment, the last game was fine but the later decades will lose something in terms of style for cars, clothing etc.
My biggest fear is that they will turn a 3rd game into a real sandbox, they tried and failed once so I'm hoping that will put them off the extra activities only detract for the story, it could be a separate mode as was Free Ride but that's almost two games....
The size of the city doesn't really concern me, Empire Bay with the DLC's areas unlocked is fine IMO.
Absolutely, I'd go nuts if they made a Mafia game with the quality of Mafia 2 but the era of Mafia 1.
Or they could create Mafia 3 that has the same city we love so much from mafia 2 but with scenes/missions/storyline that starts in the 1920s, continues in the 1930s, the 1940s, the 1950s and ends in the 1960s when everything started to look really ugly
As the city is now, it is perfect.
Sure, if they insist they could add even more awesome details, update graphics, etc.
But the basic layout, views, setup, its fine as it is.
Of course we can never have enough shops, bars, clubs or just houses to enter, interact with, etc.
Oh I can already think of a pretty dramatic story... young kid comes from Italy to America, experiences some real 1910's poverty, starts career in crime, gets married, has son, after ww2 the young kid has become an old disillusioned gangster with a dysfunctional family who sees his son follow in his footsteps and to save his sun and bring his family back together he makes the ultimate sacrifice...
Or something like that
A Mafia is all about family, Mafia 3 could be about a real family, a proper saga where we follow the lives of a father, mother and 2 kids who turn to crime.
Anyway, today I got Joe's adventure and am loving it.
It sort of brings a few of the things I missed in the original game.
I'm not really a fan of racing against the clock but still, it is fun and addictive.
In Mafia 3 money should play a bigger part, you should need it to buy a house, buy something for your family, to bribe someone, to get nice stuff you can't get by stealing.
Storyline Missions shouldn't pay a lot of money so if you want some of the nice stuff you can just play lots of random missions that are hidden in the game, just like with Joe's adventure.
So you don't HAVE to play those but you can if you enjoy them or just want the cash.
This review basically matches my thoughts on the game, but I'm just saying in case you didn't see it (I'm guessing you haven't because of this comment "maybe meet her husband when he is still cool") the chapter after you leave prison, you can return to your sisters apartment (the one Vito visits at the start of chapter 2) you will get a short cut scene where Vito meets his brother-in-law. All I can say for the game is, it was great, but the amount of content cut resulted in a lot of missed character build up through cut scenes, characters like Derek, Bruski and even Frank Vinci were barely seen throughout the story.
Yes! I totally missed that scene somehow!
Don't even remember seeing the sisters apartment, unless you mean the one where she lives with her mother?
I'll have to go check it out
Oh just thought of something else.
What I also would like in this game is the option to return to locations from missions.
Visit the damaged hotel you blew up, go to your mothers home after she died (be sad to see it all empty ), go into bars and clubs even if you finished the missions there.
It adds to the realism and atmosphere of the great city.
I LOVED going back to the house I lived in that was firebombed and see the damage, so real!
Even though I have not expressed my desire for Mafia 3 (I would be thankful if they put out a PC version), I think this would what I would want. Perhaps expand into the countryside, suburbs as well. Seeing Empire Bay with older/slower cars and before some of the tunnels and bridges would be very cool (e.g., seeing them at various stages of construction until completion).
Originally Posted by missjo
I am very happy that you are loving Joe's Adventure. I happen to love racing against the clock, makes it a much more challenging game compared to the original.
I'm at the level with the bomb in a car now, damn that level!
The cool thing about creating one big 1920s-30s-40s-50s-60s Mafia game is that you can drive around in the 1950s but still see a 1930s car drive around now and then, hear a older song on the radio, etc.
Every decade some of the previous decade stuff hangs around.
Even if it was no game at all, I personally would love to just experience the exact same city has it changes trough the decades.
Just go for a sandwich at the diner in every decade, see how the place has changed
Yes, damn that level. I think that one and another one (I forgot which) took me days to do (playing a couple hours each night).
Originally Posted by missjo