Mafia II is an open world action-adventure video game developed by 2K Czech and published by 2K Games. It was released in August 2010 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows; titled Mafia II: Director's Cut was released by Feral Interactive in December 2011. The game is the sequel to 2002's Mafia and the second game in the Mafia series. Set within the fictional Empire Bay (based on New York City), the story follows a gangster and his efforts to climb through the ranks of the Mafia crime families.
|Release||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
The game is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on-foot or by vehicle. Players control Vito Scaletta, a war veteran who becomes caught up with the Mafia when trying to pay back his father's debts. The player character's criminal activities may incite a response from law enforcement agencies, measured by a "wanted" system that governs the aggression of their response. Development began in 2003, soon after the release of the first Mafia game. At release, Mafia II received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise particularly directed at the story, though the linear open world design was criticized.
The game is set in the 1940s–early 1950s era of Empire Bay, a fictional city based on New York City. There are 30–40 vehicles in the game as well as licensed music from the era. Depending on the weather during the course of the game, vehicles are handled differently. For example during the early chapters in winter, vehicles are more likely to slip on the road due to the ice.
Many firearms from the previous game return, such as the Thompson submachine gun and Colt 1911, as well as a pump-action shotgun. New World War II–era weapons, the MG 42 and the Beretta Model 38, also appear in the game.
Interacting with objects in the environment involves two action buttons: a standard action and a "violent" action (for example, when stealing a car, the player may choose to either pick its lock or break the window glass), used in context-sensitive situations. A map is included as in the original Mafia game, but the checkpoint system has been completely overhauled.[further explanation needed] New controls include a cover system that allows the player to take cover behind objects (such as generators, walls and large crates) and shoot enemies, rather than just entering an arbitrary crouch pose behind them. This feature provides tactical support against enemies and has become a crucial technique of the genre.
The game's cutscenes are created by the game engine in real-time. For example, if the player is riding in a car and a cut scene starts, the player will be driving the same car with the same condition (damaged or intact) and will be wearing the same clothes. There are exceptions, however: Scenes, such as the opening sequence and the Empire Arms Hotel explosion, are pre-rendered video clips.
The game features three different in-game radio stations (Empire Central Radio, Empire Classic Radio and Delta Radio) with licensed music, news, and commercials. The radio stations include music from different genres including rock and roll, big band, rhythm and blues and doo-wop, with licensed songs by Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Dean Martin, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Bing Crosby, Bill Haley & His Comets, The Chordettes, Ritchie Valens, Bo Diddley, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran, The Champs, The Drifters, The Fleetwoods, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Nat King Cole, The Chords, and The Andrews Sisters.
Vito Scaletta (Rick Pasqualone) looks through a photo album as he begins to recount his life story. Born in Sicily in 1925 to an extremely poor family, he and his family emigrate to the fictional city of Empire Bay in America a few years later, but they are no better off there than they were in Sicily. While in school, Vito gets involved with a local delinquent named Joe Barbaro (Robert Costanzo), who eventually becomes his best friend. In 1943, Vito is arrested during a botched robbery and given a choice: go to jail or join the Army. He chooses the latter and is sent to Sicily during World War II, where he serves as a paratrooper in Operation Husky for a further year and a half before being wounded and sent home on leave.
Almost immediately after he returns to Empire Bay, Vito manages to get a hold of counterfeit discharge papers, courtesy of Joe's mob connections. He also learns that his late father left his mother and sister in massive debt. Hoping to make money, Vito turns to Joe, who introduces him to Henry Tomasino (Sonny Marinelli), a made man of the Mafia, working for mob boss Alberto Clemente (Nolan North). Working under Henry, Vito is introduced to a real life of crime and eventually succeeds in paying his father's debt. However, Vito is later arrested for illegally distributing ration stamps and sentenced to ten years in prison, where he falls in with a crowd led by Leo Galante (Frank Ashmore), consigliere for another mob boss, Frank Vinci (Larry Kenney). Meanwhile, Vito's mother dies sometime during his sister's visit and all of his leftover money that he meant to give to his sister for her wedding is used for their mother's funeral instead. Vito is released in April 1951, having gotten nearly four years off his sentence, courtesy of Galante's connections.
Meeting up with Joe, who now works for the last of Empire Bay′s three mob bosses, Carlo Falcone (André Sogliuzzo), Vito starts doing odd jobs for Falcone, eventually becoming a made man in the Falcone crime family and buying a suburban house. Vito and Joe′s biggest job comes when they are sent to assassinate Clemente, who ordered the kidnapping of Falcone′s accountant and influenced Vinci to turn on him as he is going against the commission's tradition of opposing drugs. The assassination doesn't quite go as planned: Joe's childhood friend and wannabe gangster Marty Santorelli (Jason Spisak), the getaway driver for the job, is killed by Clemente. After a lengthy car chase, Clemente himself is shot multiple times by a grieving Joe.
Soon after, Vito is approached by Henry, who now wants to work for Falcone due to Clemente's downfall. At Falcone's behest, Henry is sent to murder Galante, but Vito saves his old friend by convincing Henry to let him simply "disappear". After taking Galante to the train station so he can lay low by leaving Empire Bay, Vito returns home, only to find his sister on his front porch crying about the abuse her husband gives her. Vito brutally beats him up, threatening to hurt him badly if he doesn't care for her. Horrified by Vito's actions, his sister severs all ties with him. The following night, an Irish mob, who had feuded with Galante in prison, burns Vito's house to the ground in belated retaliation for one of their high-ranking members Vito killed in prison. Penniless, Vito settles on living in Marty's old apartment for the time being. To help Vito get out of debt, Henry gets him and Joe involved in the drug trade, revealing that Falcone is also involved, but will want a large cut of the profits if he discovers their racket. Although the trio are successful, the Triads discover that Henry is a federal informant and savagely kill him in the middle of a park in broad daylight. Unaware of Henry's federal ties, Vito and Joe seek vengeance by shooting up a Chinatown restaurant, killing the man who sold them the heroin in the first place.
Vito and Joe realize they are in serious trouble: with Henry dead and being ousted as an informant, they are soon scrutinized by Falcone for vouching for a "rat"; the gunfight in Chinatown agitated the Triads, who are now preparing for war; with Falcone having taken his cut and the Triads stealing whatever money left from Henry, Vito and Joe must also find a way to repay the $55,000 loan they took from the Jewish loan shark Bruno Levine. They manage to re-earn enough money: first, they murder former mobster Thomas Angelo (Michael Sorvino), who turned pentito on his boss Ennio Salieri; Vito learns his father was drowned at the docks on orders of his union boss Derek Pappalardo, Vinci′s caporegime, whom Vito′s mother urged her son to work with earlier in the story. Vito kills Derek and his men, then takes Derek's retirement money. Vito daringly surrenders himself to Vinci in hopes that he will be able to find Joe. He does, and together they escape, shooting up the construction site they were being held at. While paying Bruno his money back, Vito discovers Bruno is the same loan shark who had loaned his deceased father so much money.
The incident in Chinatown has caused great tension between Falcone and Vinci, as each believes the other is responsible, with the incidents at the docks and the construction site furthering problems between the two families. Galante returns to Empire Bay, negotiating a deal with Vinci and the Triads that they spare Vito's life if he kills Falcone. Conversely, Falcone offers Joe the position of caporegime if he kills Vito, but Joe betrays Falcone, not wanting to kill his lifelong friend. They succeed in killing Falcone and are picked up by Vinci's men to celebrate. But when Joe′s escort makes an unexpected turn, Vito is informed by Galante that the deal did not cover Joe. Helpless, Vito watches as Joe is driven away to an unknown fate.
Preliminary work on Mafia II began in 2004; the work on the script began in 2003. Originally intended for a PlayStation 2 and Xbox release, the game was moved to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2005, following difficulties with the developer of the game engine. It was officially revealed in August 2007 at the Leipzig Games Convention. A playable version of the game was achieved in 2007 or 2008. Mafia II was expected to release in late 2009, but was delayed until its release in August 2010.
A promotional trailer was released for the game in August 2007. A second trailer was released on the Spike VGA show on 14 December 2008. An extended version of the trailer was released on 15 January with an extra 30 seconds of cut scene footage. The first gameplay footage debuted on GameSpot on 17 April 2009 as part of an interview with Mafia II's producer, Denby Grace. The video shows driving and gunplay aspects to gameplay as well as portraying the physics engine. A third trailer was uploaded to the website on 28 May 2009. From 1 June 2009, four short videos are to be added to the Mafia II website. The first of these is called "The Art of Persuasion" and features the song "Mercy, Mr Percy" by the female singer Varetta Dillard. Another video was released featuring footage from the mission "The Buzzsaw". The video reveals the fate of "The Fat Man" who appeared in the earlier trailers. On 27 March 2010, a new trailer was released showcasing the PhysX-based cloth and physics system used in the game.
On 3 August 2010, Sheridyn Fisher, the face of Playboy Swim 2010, became the official ambassador for Mafia II. Sheridyn's involvement with Mafia II highlights the agreement between 2K Games and Playboy magazine to use 50 of their vintage covers and Centerfolds in Mafia II as part of the in-game collectibles integration. A demo for the game was released on 10 August 2010 on Steam, Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network.
Mafia II was released on 24 August 2010 in North America, 26 August in Australia, and 27 August internationally.
On 26 May 2010 four content packs were offered as pre-order bonuses in America and European countries, each one available through different retailers. The Vegas Pack containing two additional cars and suits for Vito and the War Hero Pack containing two military-style vehicles and suits was available from GameStop and EBGames. The Renegade Pack containing two sports cars and two jackets was available from Amazon and the Greaser Pack featuring two hot-rods and two suits were available to Best Buy customers. These pre-order packs are available for purchase as game add-ons on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Steam. On 26 May 2010 a collector's edition was announced for Mafia II.
PlayStation 3 versionEdit
The PlayStation 3 version became subject to controversy on 2K's Mafia II forums when 2K's interactive marketing manager Elizabeth Tobey stated that the PlayStation 3 version would be missing certain graphical details that were present in the Windows and Xbox 360 versions including three dimensional grass, pools of blood forming under dead bodies and realistic cloth physics. These details were said to be present in earlier builds of the game, but had to be removed to increase the game's frame rate.
Upon release, the PlayStation 3 version received the same or higher review scores than the Xbox 360 version from Destructoid and Nowgamer (sites that review the game on multiple platforms rather than the normal practice of reviewing a single platform) due to additional content.
Downloadable content and editionsEdit
There are three downloadable content (DLC) packs for the game:
The Betrayal of Jimmy is the first DLC pack and has initially been exclusive to PlayStation 3 where it was a free download upon release to users who purchased the base game. This was announced by Sony on 15 June 2010 at E3 2010. The DLC revolves around a gun-for-hire named Jimmy, in an alternate storyline separate from the main game's canon. Missions are structured in a non-linear manner like Grand Theft Auto, and includes a score attack feature in which players earn points for doing certain actions.
Jimmy's Vendetta is the second installment of downloadable content. It was released on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Steam on 7 September 2010. The mission pack picks up on the events of the first DLC, as Jimmy exacts revenge on those who framed him.
Joe's Adventures is the third and final DLC and was released on 23 November 2010. Joe's Adventures focuses on the events that occur in Empire Bay during the years that Vito is imprisoned in the main Mafia II storyline. The DLC combines standard missions with score-based, open world missions. It is estimated to provide eight hours of gameplay.
Mafia II: Digital Deluxe Edition includes four items: Made Man Pack (two classic luxury automobiles and two “made man” suits, including a vintage tuxedo), Digital Art Book (photo album-style about the design process of the game), Orchestral Soundtrack (recorded by the Prague FILMHarmonic Orchestra), and the Digital Map of Empire Bay.
Mafia II: Extended Edition is a compilation package published by 1C Company for the Russian market. It includes the base game, the three DLC packs (The Betrayal of Jimmy, Jimmy's Vendetta and Joe's Adventures), and four style packs (Vegas Pack, Renegade Pack, Greaser Pack, and War Hero Pack). It was released on 3 December 2010 for Windows. The same package was released on 1 December 2011 for Western markets as Mafia II: Director's Cut on Windows, OS X and their respective budget labels on consoles. As of July 2015, this full edition of the game is unavailable on Steam in Western countries.
Made Man Pack previously only available in the Digital Deluxe Edition, this is now available as DLC on Xbox Live.
A version of Mafia II was also released for mobile phones and smartphones by Connect2Media. The game is set in Empire Bay in 1938, and features Marco Rusetto, nephew of Vincenzo, Salieri's gunsmith, who is seeking revenge against Tommy after the fall of the Salieri family, and him finding work in the Falcone family with the help of Don Falcone and Henry Tomasino.
Mafia II received generally positive reviews from critics. Greg Miller of IGN gave the game 7/10, calling it "a solid little game that'll give you a fun ride – just don't expect the world." Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot gave it 8.5 and stated: "Mafia II's exciting action and uncompromising mob story make for an impressive and violent adventure." Matt Bertz of Game Informer gave it a 9.0/10, writing that "in an era when video games are moving away from relying on cinematics for storytelling, Mafia II draws on the rich mobster film history to weave a gripping drama about family, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and pragmatism."
The most negative review came from John Teti of Eurogamer who gave the game a 4/10 and wrote that "Mafia II gets the last word by destroying the myth that the mafia is interesting at all. It contends that the mob world is a hell of boredom populated by aggressively stupid automatons. These drones wake up each morning, carry out a series of repetitious tasks, and return home." Zero Punctuation's Ben Croshaw called the game "generic", and noted the main characters' similarities with the main characters of Grand Theft Auto IV, but criticised the lack of features prevalent in other sandbox games. He also criticised the mundane parts of the game, such as driving, making the game feel "unnecessarily padded".
Sonia Alfano, a member of the European Parliament and president of Italy's association for the families of Mafia victims, called for the game to be banned. Alfano's father Beppe was murdered by the Mafia in 1993. Take-Two Interactive quickly responded to the issue, stating that the game's depiction of the American Mafia was no different from organized crime films such as The Godfather. They also responded to allegations of racism from Unico National, who claimed that the game portrayed Italian-Americans unfairly and "indoctrinating" youth into violent stereotypes. Mafia II has the most profanity in a video game, particularly the word fuck, which is spoken 397 times, beating previous record holder, The House of the Dead: Overkill. On 22 August 2015, digital sales of the PC version of Mafia II were suspended on Steam and other digital retailers for unexplained reasons. The game was restored to Steam on 1 June 2016.
On 28 July 2015, 2K Games announced the sequel Mafia III. The game, which was released on 7 October 2016, takes place in the city of "New Bordeaux", based on New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1968 during the Vietnam War, seventeen years after the events in Mafia II. The protagonist, Lincoln Clay, is a black Vietnam Veteran, with the game developers straying away from the traditional Italian mob characters from the first two Mafia games. Vito Scaletta, now older than in Mafia II, has a role in the game, and other references are made back to Mafia II.
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