Overall Opinion: For those that prefer story over everything else, Mafia 2 is pretty much the perfect game for you and is worth every cent. And if you're not invested in that story, Mafia 2 is still a good game, but probably only worth $20 or so. Number Rating: 8.5/10
Mafia 2 is arguably the most underrated game of the last generation. And honestly, I can't blame people for saying that. I had never heard of the game until the 2K Humble Bundle...yeah.
Before you even think about getting or playing Mafia 2, you need to know, THIS IS NOT A GTA CLONE. This game is ALL about the story, is extremely grounded, and the world is mostly just there for looks while you go from objective to objective. If you go into Mafia 2 expecting GTA in the 40's and 50's, you'll be disappointed.PC Port:
Meh. FoV is too close indoors, but you're not indoors for that long so it's not a big deal. Also the game's AA solution is really strange, and only applies to some objects it seems. I have no idea what it uses because all it says is "On" and "Off". And for some reason the game uses what appears to be DoF when you start driving really fast, but the DoF messes up so much that it can really chug on the frame rate at times. The BIG
issue with the port, is that it appears to have a memory leak issue, and after long sessions with the game, it can get really annoying. Physx will just stop working after a few hours of playing, but comes back when you restart the game, and it starts to drop in FPS REALLY badly in cut scenes after a few hours of playing. It's too bad this was never patched, because the game looks great, easily one of the best looking games from 2010. It also runs good for the most part, and stays around 60fps most of the time on my 660 and i5 rig. Come on 2K, I know it's been 4 years, but patch that crap! For now, I recommend just restarting the game after each chapter if you REALLY need those Physx effects (and they do look pretty good, I have to say). Visuals:
Like I said, looks really good for a 4 year old game. I actually found myself just stopping the car for a moment and looking at "Empire Bay" in the middle of the night during winter. It really does look that good. Now, yes the textures haven't aged well, some of the fatter characters with round faces look really odd due to the sharp edges, and the DoF will sometimes mess up and ruin a scene (although it only happened once for me). At the end of the day though, it's a really good looking game. Story:
The selling point of this game.
All you need to know about the story is that:
- It's well acted
- Has a fantastic soundtrack with it
- Has a polarizing ending, I loved it though
Sadly, this is the part that gets thrown under the rug for the story. Don't get me wrong, the gameplay works fine and is fun, but the depth just isn't there. The shootouts are great fun, and the environments they happen in are pretty destructible, which forces you to change strategies in a moments notice. Plus the AI is challenging (I got my butt handed to me a few times on the medium difficulty). The boxing matches are really cinematic and fun, the stealth works fine, and driving is shockingly realistic. However, all of this lacks depth. You have a pistol, shotgun, grenade,Tommy, SMG, and that's about it. Yes, these guns have different "versions" of them, but they're barely notable, the revolver feels identical to the M1911, each takes 3 shots to the body to kill, or one to the head. Fighting is limited to a light punch, heavy punch, and dodge. And, once your enemy becomes "stunned" you have a little QTE finisher, that's it. No knives, bats, or anything to give it variety. The stealth is bare bones: crouch, stick to cover, don't get noticed, and hit "q" behind someone to watch Vito knock out someone. The driving is pretty much the only area that this game shines at in terms of gameplay. You actually have to follow the speed limit, Vito will die on impact if you get into a car crash too hard (no going through wind shields and getting up just fine in this game), watch for red lights, etc... It's actually quite impressive how detailed the driving mechanics are. Sadly the cop AI is pretty inconsistent, I've crashed into cops before at 60MPH, and the cops did nothing, and I've also barely tapped a cop car and gotten arrested for it... Setting:
"Empire Bay is a fictional city on the East Coast of the United States of America, based on a combination of New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Detroit with elements from other US cities during the '40s and '50s..." - Mafia 2 wiki
That pretty much sums it up. I did feel LA Noire nailed the "Post WW2" era USA better, but this game does a pretty solid job, with 3 radio stations filled with 50's and 40's classics. Music:
Normally, I don't give music its own category in my reviews, so that should say something about how amazing this game's soundtrack is. The first thing I thought when I booted up this game was "Holy crap, if the game is as good as this theme...this is going to a fantastic game." Seriously, even if you have no intention of playing this game, just do yourself a favor and listen to the soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0NuvnfTXQIPros:
- "Wanted" System
- Empty Open World
- Chapter breaking bugs (events not triggering, forcing player to restart chapter)
- PC Port Issues
- Inconsistent Cop AI
- Fighting Mechanics. It's fun, but can get repetitive.
- How Big The Open World Is. It gives a lot of variety to where the missions are, but since the world is rather empty, it gets boring to drive through towards the end.
Let's hope we don't have to wait another 8 years for Mafia 3!