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Games Reviews

Mafia II

[Two stars]
Take2/X360/PS3/PC
Rs 3499 (Collectors’ Edition, PS3/X360 only), Rs 2499 (PS3/X360), Rs 499 (PC)
Genre: Open World Action

Rolling Stone IN Oct 10, 2010

Like Mafia II, this year’s critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption was published by Take2 but where Red Dead Redemption was a truly remarkable title in every respect, Mafia II barely does justice to the genre, let alone Take2’s high standards.

Taking place in the fictitious Empire City in post-World War 2 America, Mafia II attempts to weave an elaborate drama around Vito Scaletta, a Sicilian immigrant who, through a series of events, finds himself working for the mafia. But the plot is nothing more than a mash-up of  Goodfellas, Godfather, Donnie Brasco, Scarface and every possible Mafia flick you can think of, showcasing a total lack of imagination.

If this wasn’t enough, Mafia II is rarely “open world.” Most of the game has you following the linear plot charting Vito’s rise to mob-dom with barely any time given to allow you to be distracted by Empire City. But this again is a good thing because Empire City is more or less a pretty husk, hollow and empty, lacking a sense of vibrancy and life we’ve come to expect from most open world games. Add to that the fact that the combat, be it hand to hand or shooting, feels stilted and almost last-generation and it makes a compelling case for avoiding this title.

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In spite of its shortcomings, Mafia II does have a few things going for it, like a killer soundtrack that faithfully recreates the spirit of the 1950s with tracks from Bing Crosby and Chuck Berry among others. Given that most of the game is spent travelling from point A to point B, the vehicle handling is superb with a variety of cars to quench your need for speed.

Looks alone don’t make a game and nor does a stunning soundtrack. So unless you’re utterly desperate for your quick fix of the 1950s mob-life, save your rupees for something more substantial.

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