|Genre(s)||Third-person shooter, action-adventure|
Mafia II is an action-adventure video game developed by 2K Czech and published by 2K Games. It was released in 2010 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows; an OS X port was released by Feral Interactive in December 2011. The game is the sequel to 2002's Mafia, the second game in the Mafia series. Set within the fictional Empire Bay (based on New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit), the story follows a gangster and his efforts to climb through the ranks of the Mafia crime families.
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.
The game is set in the 1940s — early 1950s era of Empire Bay, a fictional city based on New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit. There are 30-40 vehicles in the game as well as licensed music from the era.
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 like the MP 40, the M3 submachine gun, 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.
The game begins with Vito Scaletta (Rick Pasqualone) looking through a photo album, as he begins to tell his story on voiceover. Vito was born in Sicily in 1925 to an extremely poor family. A few years later, he and his family immigrate to the fictional city of Empire Bay (based primarily on New York City but also Chicago) in America, but they are no better off there than they were in Sicily. While in school, Vito gets involved with a local criminal named Joe Barbaro (Robert Costanzo), and they soon become best friends. 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, to assist as a paratrooper in Operation Husky, before being shot and sent home on leave.
Once home, Vito is discharged, courtesy of Joe's mob connections, and learns that his late father Antonio left his mother Maria (Joan Copeland) and sister Francesca (Jeannie Elias) in massive debt. Hoping to make money, Vito turns to Joe, who introduces him to Henry Tomasino (Sonny Marinelli), an inducted member of the Mafia (otherwise known as a made man), working for a mob boss, Alberto Clemente (Nolan North). Working under Henry, Vito is introduced to a real life of crime. Though he is able to pay his father's debt, Vito is soon arrested for illegally distributing ration stamps and sentenced to ten years in prison. While there, 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 while Francesca visits him and all of Vito's leftover money that he originally meant to give to his sister for her wedding had gone to their mother's funeral instead, making life more tough for Francesca. Vito is soon released in 1951, having gotten nearly four years off his sentence by Galante. Once out, Vito meets 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 traditions of no drugs. The assassination doesn't quite go as planned; Joe's childhood friend and wannabe gangster Marty Santorelli (Jason Spisak) is killed by Clemente, who is later brutally shot dead multiple times by Joe after he attempts to escape.
Soon after, Vito is approached by Henry, who now wants to work for Falcone due to Clemente's fall. In order to do so, he is ordered to kill Galante at the behest of Falcone, though Vito saves his old friend by convincing Henry to let Galante simply ″disappear″. Vito later goes home to find Francesca crying about the abuse she receives constantly from her husband Eric Reilly, whom Vito then brutally beats up and threatens to kill him should he not be kind to Francesca. She is horrified about Vito's demeanor and disowned his brother, severing all ties to 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 a jailhouse murder by him. Penniless, Vito turns to Joe, who helps him retaliate and Vito later 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, a worried Henry calls Joe and Vito one day and asks them to meet up at a local park to talk as Falcone has found out about their side business and has collected a large amount of their profits. Vito and Joe go to the park to meet Henry and to their horror, they witness the Tongs, a Chinese-American crime syndicate, savagely killing Henry in the middle of a park with meat cleavers in broad daylight. Incensed, Vito and Joe seek vengeance by killing Henry's killers and then shooting up a Chinatown restaurant, in the process killing almost all present Chinese gangsters except for high-ranking Tong mob boss Zhe Yun Wong who sold them the drugs and who ordered Henry's murder. When interrogating him on where is the money and why he ordered Henry's death, Wong tries to convince the two that Henry was an informant, although Vito and Joe refuse to believe it, and refuses to reveal where the money went as he would be dead anyway; Joe then executes Wong and the two then leave the restaurant.
With Falcone having taken taken his cut and the Triads stealing whatever money that was left, Vito and Joe are both now indebted to the Jewish loan shark Bruno Levine, who loaned them the drug money. Very poor and deep in debt, the duo are tasked to earn most of the money by their own means, which involves petty theft throughout Empire Bay. They manage to get the money back; in the process, they murder Tommy Angelo, the protagonist of the first Mafia game, who has started a new life under the Witness protection program of the FBI. Eventually, Vito learns the truth behind his father′s death: Antonio was drowned at the docks by Stephen "Steve" Coyne on orders of his union boss Derek Pappalardo, Vinci′s caporegime, whom Vito′s mother urged her son to work with previously in the game. Soon enough, Vito avenges his father by killing Steve, Derek and their men, and, after rescuing Joe at a construction site from a kidnapping interrogation staged by Vinci, discovers that Bruno is the very same loan shark who had loaned Vito′s father so much money before his death. The incident in Chinatown has caused too much tension between Falcone and Vinci, as each believes the other is responsible. In addition to the other incidents at the docks and the construction site, Vito is forced by Vinci′s men and the superior of the Triads, led by Galante (who has returned to clear things up, knowing that Vito and Joe were the ones actually responsible), to assassinate Falcone in exchange for his own life. Vito finally succeeds in killing his boss after a lengthy firefight and some help from Joe, whom Falcone offered to make him his caporegime if he had killed Vito, only for Joe to betray Falcone and not wanting to get over his lifelong friendship with Vito. Vito and Joe then leave with Galante to celebrate. But when Joe′s escort makes an unexpected turn, Galante softly informs that Joe wasn't part of the deal, much to the despair of Vito, who pieces Galante's words together and comes to a bulk amount of epiphany; the game ends with a panoramic view of Empire Bay.
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.
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.
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 version
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. Metacritic gave both versions the same score of 74/100, while GameRankings has the Xbox 360 version 4 points ahead of the PlayStation 3 version based on more reviews.
Downloadable content and editions
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.
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 August 22, 2015, the PC version of Mafia II suspended digital sales on Steam and other digital retailers for unexplained reasons, resulting in a backlash among other users who are unable to make purchases on PC. The game was restored to Steam on June 1, 2016.
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