Mafia II Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Mafia II box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: 2K Czech 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: 2K Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 24, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In addition to the game's extremely detailed environments, the game's immersion is also helped along quite substantially by the presence of a killer soundtrack. Although the driving itself can get quite boring, the game features several in-game radio stations you can listen to, which will play back plenty of "old" hits from the 1940s and 50s sandwiched in between bits of dialog that describe everything from the latest police reports to the current strategy for winning the war.

Mafia II screenshot

Mafia II also features a beautiful orchestral soundtrack that plays during pivotal cutscenes. No matter whether you prefer the game's terrific score or its collection of "golden oldies,” listening to Mafia II's music is a dream. The voice actors for the main characters also deserve a mention here, as they do an excellent job of bringing these larger-than-life mobsters to life in a way that was both subtle and believable.

As far as play time is concerned, Mafia II has about a ten hour story mode, which can be extended by maybe an hour or two if you decide to do the Playboy cover collection quest. The game is fairly short when you compare it to other open-world style games, but when you take into context the game's strong focus on storytelling, it seems about right. Multiple playthroughs don't seem likely with Mafia II, and after the game is complete, there is no post-game content to explore in Mafia's expansive, but somewhat empty, world.

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Though Mafia II was initially viewed as a game to rival open world games like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto, in reality, it is a game that is all about a linear, plot-driven, single-player experience - with a lot of open world driving. If you are not a fan of this type of gameplay experience, Mafia II will not be an enjoyable title for you. However, if you like games that take the time to present you with a detailed story that is told in a very rigid sequence, this title will certainly be worth your time. Though I would have liked to have seen more of Empire City and would have relished more exploration options, the story presented in Mafia II made the overall experience worthwhile. Mafia II is not a game for everyone, but it certainly fulfills expectations for its target audience.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

The character models look great, and the detailed environment of Empire City feels like a living, breathing city.
The controls are easy to use, shooting feels natural, and handling behind the wheel is nicely varied.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voiceover in Mafia II is pitch-perfect, and the soundtrack is a nice mix of orchestral background music and period tunes.
Play Value
The game isn't particularly long, and the lack of substantial side-missions hurts this game's replay ability overall. Still, the story mode experience is good enough that the time you do spend with Mafia II is well-spent.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Action-Packed Gameplay: Take part in heart-stopping car-to-car chases, visceral hand-to-hand combat, and intense gunplay, all of which come together to form a deep and engrossing gameplay experience.
  • Epic Gangster Story: Inspired by iconic mafia drama, the compelling characters and cinematic presentation will pull players into the allure and impossible escape of life in the Mafia.
  • Immersive World and Period: Enter the world of Empire City, World War II is raging in Europe and the architecture, cars, music, and clothing all echo the period. As time passes, hot rod cars, 50s fashion, and some of the era’s best music reflect the birth of a cool new era.
  • Illusion EngineTM: 2K Czech’s proprietary Illusion Engine, allows gamers to explore Empire Bay’s 10 square miles of beautifully rendered outdoor environments and intricately designed interiors.

  • Screenshots / Images
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