The best way I can summarize Mafia II would be to call it an upgraded version of the Godfather video game, which managed to avoid the disasters of the Godfather II. Mafia II follows an Italian American named Vito Scaletta who is trying to make a name for himself on the streets of Empire Bay, and bring his family out of poverty. Vitto is very quickly intrigued by the concept of organized crime, enabling him to gain a large amount of wealth within a minimal amount of time. Teamed up with his childhood friend Joe, Vitto goes through the rises and falls of the gangster lifestyle.

This third-person shooter game was one of the best mafia-style games I have played. Though it was slightly shorter than I had hoped it would be, and did contain some serious issues later on in the game, overall it was an enjoyable experience. Mafia II offers a small glimpse at the life of Vito, spanning the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The game provides everything you would expect from a mafia sandbox game, including gun battles, random missions, car chases, and the ability to destroy a lot of the scenery.

One of my most enjoyable moments in Mafia II, oddly enough involved a car chase; where I got to view a high speed chase in the snow while only going around 30mph. Now I know to some of you a mere car chase isn’t fun, but when you’re swerving around corners drastically trying to lose the cops, and realize your going no faster than someone on a moped, it’s rather humorous to watch. Aside from that, this game did offer a lot of other enjoyable aspects, such as well crafted dialogue, a compelling storyline, and an immense amount of mobster style violence (which is really what it’s all about).

Before I end this review I do want to assure you Mafia II is not all candy and sunshine, it does have it’s issues. Throughout the game some side missions can begin to feel tedious, and almost drive you to kill random citizens just to spice things up. There are a couple times in the game where your character makes a less than intelligent choice, and leaves you thinking “What the F***”! Halfway through the game (mild spoiler alert!!!) you loose most of the stuff you have gathered up to that moment, including money, so don’t hesitate to blow the cash while it’s in your pocket. Finally, the game starts becoming very unforgiving later on, having your character die with only a few shots, while pinning you up against five to eight enemies simultaneously, all with near-perfect aim.

Bottom line, if you’re a fan of mafia games it’s worth a buy, if not it’s still worth a long weekend rent.

By Valfore