Cinematic 1940s Mob Story Game That Appeals to the Eye
The sequel to the critically-acclaimed third-person shooter, Mafia II is an action video game released in 2010, boasting an impressive design of the open-world exploration, new realistic game mechanics, and an even grittier drama. Similar to the first game’s premise, the story follows new protagonist Vito Scaletta, a war veteran who finds himself entangled in the complicated world of the Mafia as he struggles to pay back his father’s debts. His journey from low-ranking goon to “made man” in a crime family is fraught with blood, betrayal, and the ever-looming question of morality as he fights to survive the glimmering city of Empire Bay.
The Gangster Life
As the highlight of Mafia II, the single-player game’s storyline spanned over several years, detailing Vito Scaletta’s adventures in the criminal underworld. Heavily-inspired by the iconic mafia drama films, the game created an in-depth look at the reality of the Mafia life and how its glamor will always come at a high price. Unfortunately, this premise had instantly pitted it against Grand Theft Auto IV for very close similarities with the characters, but Mafia II at least makes up for the atmospheric feel of the 1940s mobster world complimenting its mature storyline.
Mafia was known for its vast selection of real firearms and drivable vehicles existing in the time period it was set on. Mafia II is no different, returning many of the previous game’s weapons and adding new ones from the World War II era. Even the cars were authentic for the 1940s to early 1950s America, and players were given much freedom in customizing them as part of showing the main character’s status in life during the game. The only gripe you could possibly make about this is that melee weapons aren’t available, but the new feature of taking cover behind objects in a shootout instead of crouching greatly improves the guns.
City Sights and Sounds
Mafia II had decided to design Empire Bay and its inhabitants to blend with the gritty drama taking place. It was created to be as accurate to its time period as possible. Unlike Grand Theft Auto’s immersive world, it served more as a backdrop and ambiance for the story. The colorful non-interactable NPCs walking down the streets were often reused models and don’t react to their surroundings. However, all of this cohesively came together to support the experience of living through Vito’s story. The nostalgic licensed songs themselves really complete the vibe of the city you’re roaming.
Mafia II is a must for those who love cinematic storytelling in games. Gameplay in the city will feel limited but its atmosphere will urge you to continue with the story. Despite the heavy emphasis on the plot, it’s still an interesting world to experience a mafia drama on.