Mafia II

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Mafia II
Mafia II Boxart.jpg
Artwork and logo from the original 2010 release
Developer(s)2K Czech[a]
Publisher(s)2K Games
Director(s)Jack Scalfani
Producer(s)Lukáš Kuře
Denby Grace
  • Pavel Brzák
  • Josef Vašek
  • Jiří Matouš
  • Jiří Řezáč
  • Daniel Vávra
  • Laurent Gorga
  • Michal Janáček
  • Dan Doležel
Artist(s)Roman Hladík
Writer(s)Daniel Vávra
  • Matúš Široký
  • Adam Kuruc
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA: 24 August 2010
  • AU: 26 August 2010
  • EU: 27 August 2010
Mac OS X
  • WW: 1 December 2011
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • WW: 19 May 2020

Mafia II is a 2010 action-adventure game developed by 2K Czech and published by 2K Games. It was released in August 2010 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.[1][2] The game is a sequel to 2002's Mafia[3] and the second installment in the Mafia series. Set within the fictional city of Empire Bay (based on New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit) during the mid-1940s and 1951, the story follows Vito Scaletta, a Sicillian-American mobster and war veteran, who becomes caught in a power struggle among the city's Mafia crime families while attempting to pay back his father's debts and secure a better lifestyle.

The game is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on-foot or by vehicle. 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, gameplay and characters but the restrictive world design and lack of features from other sandbox games was criticized.

A version consisting of previous downloadable content, entitled Mafia II: Director's Cut, was released by Feral Interactive in December 2011.[4] Mafia II was followed by the sequel Mafia III in October 2016. To coincide with the remake of the 2002 first entry in the series, a remastered version of the game, entitled Mafia II: Definitive Edition, developed by d3t Ltd, was released by 2K Games on 19 May 2020. It received mixed reviews, particularly for its bugs and glitches, which weren't present in the previous games.[5] This Definitive Edition was also included in the Mafia: Trilogy pack, released on 25 September 2020.


The player character engaging in a gunfight with the authorities. Police awareness in the game works in a similar manner as with the previous game, although the player can now bribe after committing an offense. However running from the authorities will still result in them shooting the player.

The game is set in the 1940s–early 1950s era of Empire Bay, a fictional city based on New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit.[6][7][8][9][10] There are 50 vehicles in the game as well as licensed music from the era.[11] Depending on the weather during the course of the game, vehicles handle 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.[12][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 cutscene starts, the player will be driving the same car with the same condition (damaged or intact) and will be wearing the same clothes.[13] There are exceptions, however, such as the opening sequence and the cutscene that depicts the Empire Arms Hotel explosion in Chapter 10, which 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 player character driving through the streets of Empire Bay. Mafia II largely takes place in 1951, from spring to autumn, with the first few chapters set in early 1945, during winter. The two time periods feature different vehicles, songs on the radio stations, and other elements.


Set nearly a decade after the first game, Mafia II takes place between two distinct time periods – the mid-1940s, and the early 1950s – within the fictional U.S. city of Empire Bay; the game's first chapter takes place in an unnamed town within Sicily, while the sixth is set within a prison somewhere outside Empire Bay. The city is situated on the United States' eastern coastline and divided by a river, and consists of several districts, including wealthy suburbs, slums and tenement blocks for the city's different immigrant races, including Irish, African-American, Chinese, and Italian, and large-scale industrial complexes, with the city supported by a large port, a railroad station, a major prison outside its city limits, several parks, and a collection of shopping malls and supermarkets.

The game's main story sees the city divided between a number of criminal outfits, including three mafia families—the Falcone family, Vinci family, and Clemente family—a Chinese Triad outfit, the Irish Mob, and several street gangs. The city's design, including the architectural styles, cultures, public transportation and landmarks, are influenced by real-life American cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Detroit, from within the two respective time periods used in the game.

Two of the game's DLC packs, The Betrayal of Jimmy and Jimmy's Vendetta, also take place in the early 1950s, but in a different canon, as the setting features mostly new gangs and characters. The third DLC, Joe's Adventures, is set during the events of the main storyline and bridges the gap between the two time periods.


In 1943, Sicilian immigrant Vito Scaletta is arrested during a robbery and opts to join the United States Army to avoid jail, enlisting as a jeep driver in the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Vito first experiences the power of the Mafia when an operation in Sicily goes awry, and Don Calò arrives and orders the Italian soldiers to stand down.

In early 1945, Vito returns home on leave to Empire Bay and reunites with his childhood friend Joe Barbaro, who has joined the Clemente crime family in his absence, and supplies Vito with counterfeit discharge papers. Learning that his late father left the family in debt to a loan shark, Vito seeks work with his father's former employer, Derek Pappalardo, who has ties with the Mafia. Later, he carries out several jobs alongside Joe and Henry Tomasino, a Clemente made man, securing enough money to pay off his father's debt. However, Vito is arrested again, this time for the theft and sale of ration stamps, and sentenced to ten years in prison. During his time in jail, Vito befriends Leo Galante, the consigliere of Don Frank Vinci, but learns that his mother passed away and all the money he had obtained is spent on her funeral.

In 1951, Vito is released early thanks to his connections to Leo. Reuniting with Joe, the pair work their way up the ranks of the Falcone family, led by Don Carlo Falcone and his underboss Eddie Scarpa. Vito and Joe eventually become made men within Falcone's organization, allowing them to secure a better lifestyle. Learning that the Clementes are conducting drug operations, against the traditions of the Commission, Carlo orders the pair to assassinate Don Alberto Clemente. Following the hit, Henry approaches Eddie through Vito in search of new employment and is ordered to kill Leo. Although Vito warns Leo and helps him escape the city, the Falcones nonetheless welcome Henry into the family.

Vito finds his life falling into turmoil after his sister Francesca distances herself from him because of his mobster lifestyle, and his house is destroyed in a firebombing by the Irish Mob. To rebuild his fortunes, Vito joins Joe and Henry to profit from the sale of heroin bought from the city's Triads. However, Carlo, who is also conducting drug operations behind the Commission's back, learns about this and demands a cut of their profits. When Vito and Joe go meet with Henry to discuss the matter, they witness the Triads publicly executing him and escaping with their money. The pair pursue them, but fail to retrieve the money, and learn that Henry was supposedly a federal informant. In debt to loan shark Bruno Levine, whose money they borrowed for the heroin deal, Vito and Joe take on jobs to pay off the debt, including the assassination of retired mobster Tommy Angelo. During this time, Vito also discovers that Derek ordered his father's death and kills him in revenge. When the Vinci family kidnaps and tortures Joe, Vito saves him, but the pair learn that their actions have sparked a war between the Mafia and the Triads.

After paying off his debt to Bruno, revealed to be the same loan shark his father was indebted to, Vito is called by Carlo to the planetarium for a meeting. On the way there, Leo picks him up and chastises him for the problems he caused, before revealing that Carlo wants to kill Vito for vouching for Henry. However, grateful to Vito for saving his life, Leo has arranged for him to be spared by the Commission and the Triads as long as he kills their common enemy: Carlo. At the planetarium, Vito discovers that Carlo offered to make Joe a caporegime if he killed him, but the latter sides with Vito and helps him kill Carlo. Afterward, Vito leaves with Leo to celebrate, while Joe is driven off in a separate car. When Vito asks where he is being taken, Leo reveals that Joe was not part of their deal, leaving Vito to watch helplessly as his best friend is taken away to whatever fate awaits him.


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.[14] Mafia II was expected to release in late 2009, but was delayed until its release in August 2010.

2K Czech wrote a new engine for the game which was named the “Illusion engine”. The new engine was the successor to the IS' LS3D engine which was used to make Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. [15]

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.[16] An extended version of the trailer was released on 15 January with an extra 30 seconds of cut scene footage.[17] The first gameplay footage debuted on GameSpot on 17 April 2009 as part of an interview with Mafia II's producer, Denby Grace.[18] 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.[19] On 27 March 2010, a new trailer was released showcasing the PhysX-based cloth and physics system used in the game.[20]

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.[21] A demo for the game was released on 10 August 2010 on Steam, Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network.[22]


Mafia II was released on 24 August 2010 in North America, 26 August in Australia, and 27 August internationally.[23]

Pre-order bonuses[edit]

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.[24] 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.[25]

PlayStation 3 version[edit]

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.[26] 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.[27][28]

Downloadable content[edit]

Three downloadable content (DLC) packs were released for the game:

The Betrayal of Jimmy is the first DLC pack, announced by Sony on 15 June 2010 at E3 2010.[29] It was initially released exclusively to the PlayStation 3 as a free add-on to the base game, before being later ported to the other platforms. Set in a different canon from the base game, the story follows a gun-for-hire named Jimmy, who works for several criminal syndicates to undermine their rivals, until he is eventually set up by his employers and arrested. Missions are structured in a non-linear manner (similarly to the Grand Theft Auto series), and include a score attack feature in which players earn points for doing certain actions; both features would return in the second and third DLC. The DLC contains the exclusive Waybar Hot Rod vehicle.

Jimmy's Vendetta is the second DLC pack for the game. It was released on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Steam on 7 September 2010.[30] The story picks up from the events of "The Betrayal of Jimmy", as Jimmy escapes from prison and exacts revenge on those who framed him. The DLC contains the exclusive Police Bus vehicle.

Joe's Adventures is the third and final DLC, released on 23 November 2010. The story bridges the gap between the two time periods in the base game's story, and features Joe Barbaro as the playable protagonist. The DLC's plot revolves around Joe's return to Empire Bay after a five-year absence, having been forced to go into hiding because of a hit put on him by the Clemente family. He slowly works his way up the ranks of the Falcone family in hopes they could help him, but soon uncovers a plot to overthrow Don Carlo Falcone, which he must thwart. The DLC combines standard missions with score-based, open world missions. It is estimated to provide eight hours of gameplay.[31] The DLC contains the exclusive Delizia Grandeamerica vehicle.

Alternative editions[edit]

Mafia II: Collector's Edition is a steelbook which includes 9 items: Made Man Pack (two classic luxury automobiles and two "made man" suits, including a vintage tuxedo), Art Book (photo album-style about the design process of the game), CD of the Orchestral Soundtrack (recorded by the Prague FILMHarmonic Orchestra), and a Map of Empire Bay. Mafia II: Digital Deluxe Edition is effectively the same as the physical edition, inclusive of the Made Man Pack, as well as digitalized versions of the soundtrack, art book and map.[32]

Mafia II: Special 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[4] and their respective budget labels on consoles.[33] In July 2015, this full edition of the game became unavailable on Steam in Western countries.[34] However, The Made Man Pack, previously only available in the Collector's Edition, is now available as DLC on Xbox Live.

Mobile version[edit]

A version of Mafia II was developed for mobile phones by Twistbox Games, published by Oasys Mobile and Connect2Media (iOS).[35][36] The game is a prequel to Mafia II and takes place in 1938, bridging the gap between Mafia and Mafia II. The story centers around Marco Russotto, a soldato in the Salieri crime family and the nephew of the family's gunsmith Vincenzo, who travels to Empire Bay in search for Tommy Angelo, who turned state's evidence against the family, resulting in its downfall.

Definitive Edition[edit]

A remastered version of Mafia II with updated graphics titled Mafia II: Definitive Edition was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows on 19 May 2020.[37] The owners of the original Steam version had their copy of the game updated to Definitive Edition at no additional cost.[38] The Definitive Edition, which includes all of the story expansion and style packs, was developed by D3T Ltd.[37] The Definitive Edition was later included in the Mafia: Trilogy pack, which was released on 25 September 2020 and also includes a remake of the first game, titled Mafia: Definitive Edition, and a version of Mafia III including all story expansion packs.[37]


Critical response[edit]

Mafia II received "generally favorable reviews" for the Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 versions, and "mixed or average reviews" for the Xbox 360 version and Definitive Edition remaster from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[39][40][41] [43][44] 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."[53] 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."[50] 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."[48]

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."[47] 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".[57]


Removed content[edit]

There was a significant amount of content removed from the final release of Mafia II. This removed content includes cut storylines, locations, characters, game modes, melee weapons and stores; various players have found leftover remnants for all of these features in the game's files.[58] There was particular controversy caused when a car-destruction mission from the main game, as previewed at Gamescom 2009, was removed from the final release, and ended up re-appearing in the Joe's Adventures DLC, leading fans to question whether content had been removed from the main game to create additional content.[59]

Reactions from mob victims and civic groups[edit]

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.[60] 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.[61] 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.[62] 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.[63]


On 28 July 2015, 2K Games announced the sequel Mafia III.[64] The game, which was released on 7 October 2016, takes place in the city of "New Bordeaux", based on New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1968, seventeen years after the events in Mafia II. The protagonist, Lincoln Clay, is a black veteran of the Vietnam War, who returns home to find that his former gang is facing problems. The developers stated that they wanted to stray away from traditional Italian mob characters from the first two Mafia games in this installment, although the game still features an Italian Mafia family that serve as the game's main antagonists. The game features several callbacks to Mafia II, including the return of Vito Scaletta, who plays a supporting role in the game.[65]


  1. ^ Definitive Edition remaster was developed by D3T.
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External links[edit]