Posted: April 18
Highly recommended, but only for 50s fans.
Mafia II is a very barebones attempt at a GTA game. Don't get me wrong, the gameplay is fun and the story is great, but outside of the main campaign, there literally is not a single other mission in the game. The city is small, and contains only robable shops and illegitimate car salesmen in the way of economy or distractions. The freeride mode from Mafia 1 is even absent, though it's relatively easy to mod back in.
In no small words: After you beat the campaign, you're going to have to make your own fun in order to get your money's worth. This is where people are going to be split on the game.
Mafia II takes place in the 1940s and 50s (different sections of campaign, but the freeride mod lets you play both at your leisure). Currently, it is one of only two 1950s GTA shooters on the market, and one of only a small handful of 1940s GTA shooters. It's absolutely riddled with anachronisms in either setting, but the atmosphere is undeniable.
The root of this game is the unique experience of driving a T-Bird through a detailed, beautiful 1950s cityscape with oldies blasting out of your radio. It's an experience that I loved, and it's why I can say Mafia II gave me my money's worth. However, I can see how it's a bit too limited for some.
If you're not a fan of this kind of atmosphere, you should still buy it when it's on sale just to experience the great campaign. But if you're a huge 50s fan like me just looking for a game to suit your needs, this is the best you'll get.