Mafia II - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Mafia II
PC, XBox 360, PS3

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
2K Czech
Publisher: 2K Games
Rated: "M" for Mature



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

A lot has changed in the video game industry in the last decade. We've got high speed online gaming, dazzling HD 3D visuals and the ability to deliver entire gaming experiences via digital download. Heck, according to Microsoft, we don't even need controllers anymore. Undoubtedly though, the biggest evolution in gaming is the ability to recreate entire believable living worlds that exist with...or without our character's input.

So it's only natural then that games would take advantage of these new technologies in gaming right? Eh, not always. It's been eight long years since 2K released Mafia on the original Xbox and PlayStation 2. Now that the highly anticipated sequel is out, it feels a bit unfinished. Sure, it's a passable mob story with expected visuals and action, but that's all. Mafia II is the video gaming equivalent of a student who does the bare minimum to pass; it's not a bad game, it's just really not all that great either, it just is.

If you've seen any number of mob movies, you're sure to be able to find your way around the world of Mafia II fairly easy. Everything you've come to expect from the world of organized crime is here, rags to riches stories, informants, mob bosses living like kings...oh and shooting - yeah, there's a lot of shooting. Specifically, Mafia II takes place in the fictional city of Empire Bay, a weird cross between New York and San Francisco. The player controls Vito as he returns from World War II. Sounds like a noble gent right? Then we learn that Vito joined the war in an effort to escape jail time for a botched robbery attempt. When he does return, he finds that his newly deceased father has left his family with a pretty heavy debt. By now, I'm sure you can see where this is going. Vito and his crime buddies turn to a few not so savory practices to eliminate the debt. Then, things get worse.

"...a pretty lackluster experience."

 
   

The story of Mafia II isn't a bad one, it fits right in with those of The Godfather, Goodfellas and Scarface, but that's partly because it borrows heavily from them. Now I know it's hard to create a mob movie without nods to these classic films, intended or not, but it doesn't even seem like the team at 2K even tried here. Several times during the game I was able to choreograph what would happen next based soley on what I've seen before. In fact, save for a few climactic situations, much of Mafia II happens as you'd predict, making for a pretty lackluster experience.

Perhaps the plot of Mafia II would hold up a bit better if the actual game itself was better as well. It's hard to categorize just what type of game Mafia II is; yes, it's open world as you can drive pretty much anywhere in the world at any time, but it's also distinctively linear. Driving around the city doesn't really have many perks when there's really not a lot of side missions to take on in the process. Take a game like Grand Theft Auto for instance, the reason Liberty City was engrossing was that the city was remarkably believable, and there seemed like there was something believable to do around each corner. Mafia II is pretty much the opposite, sure there are a bunch of really cool locales, but there's just not a lot of life behind them.

"...the aiming can be pretty terrible..."

 
   

What there is a lot of though, is shooting. In general, each mission plays out like this: go into a room, take cover, shoot, take cover again, repeat. The mechanics are just as good as you'd expect, but the aiming can be pretty terrible in fact. You're going to be doing a lot of shooting against rooms full of bad guys, and it's often hard to pick the right target to shoot at it. Instead, the computer often picks the worst possible target to shoot at, resulting in a fair amount of failed missions and broken controllers.

If you're a fan of mobster movies, then you're probably going to love Mafia II, mostly because it does its best job trying to replicate the most memorable scenes from them. It's when you dive deeper into Mafia II that you notice just how thin the package truly is. Mafia II isn't a bad game, it just doesn't try very hard to be a good one. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Unlimited Health, Ammo, Crooked Cops

Let's face it, the Mob doesn't play fair, and if given the chance, they too would use the cheathappens.com trainer for Mafia II. There's your normal cheats like unlimited health, and unlimited ammo, but there's also a fair number of surprising cheats that would aid the experience very well. My favorite cheat was the crooked cops cheat, which in essence is like paying off the entire police force.

The trainer is kind of like being a made man...except you know, with bullets and stuff.

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