OFF TOPIC => Review Board => Topic started by: MiniVanMan on January 18, 2015, 06:35:50 PM

Title: [Video Game] Mafia 2 (PC)
Post by: MiniVanMan on January 18, 2015, 06:35:50 PM
Another game I purchased due to its ridiculously low price tag during a Steam sale, and not for any previous interest.

I had heard things about the Mafia games in the past, mostly revolving around how they were more "crime simulator" than "crime sandbox", and I suppose to an extent, that's true... but it's also misleading. There's nothing "simulation" about Mafia 2.

You take on the role of Vito Scaletti, a World War 2 veteran who is home on leave after suffering an injury and manages to swindle his way out of the service through the aid of a friend and his connections.

Now that he's back home, though, he has to find work - and fast. His mother owes a loan shark a good amount of money.

Vito learns quickly that honest work doesn't pay, and after loading a half a truck bed full of crates of a promise of $10, he decides to meet the boss and name-drop to see if he can get some REAL work - and thus begins his life of crime, crawling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. But every time Vito seems to be on top of the world, something happens to knock him down a peg or two and he has to start all over again.

Graphics -
For the year the game was made, great. Not incredible, but great. The winter months in Empire Bay are particularly beautiful. The effects used to convey the cold, snowy setting were very well done and I honestly would have preferred if the game had remained in that setting throughout its entirety.

There are a lot of neat little details that I liked. Car tires seem to have their own physics - side walls flex and shift under the weight of the vehicle. Hub caps fall off when hitting curbs or folding the tire over too far on a hard turn. Vehicle lights dim and flicker at times, as they tend to do on cars of that era. Car damage is well done, at times feeling very scripted, and other times seeming completely dynamic. It's on par with GTA V, although the actual visual quality of the dents and bends in the metal looks better here than GTA V.

The environment around you is often heavily impacted during gun fights. Concrete breaks down when its shot, almost every light source can be shot out, most objects visible in the world can be affected by bullets.

The voice acting ranges from good to awful. The car engines range from bad to OK. Weapons sound excellent, the original score is good, but the radio song selection is minimal and very repetitive.

Game play-
There just isn't much here. Missions will either have you drive somewhere, chase someone, get chased BY someone, or have a shootout or fist fight. The open world is merely a hub for going from mission to mission with very little to do in between. You can take cars to the crusher for quick cash, rob stores, and that's really all there is to do when you're not actively working on a mission objective.

Clothing stores exist almost specifically because of the Wanted level system in this game. When you commit a crime on foot, the police have your description - and even if you shake them, they will resume pursuit if they spot you again - so, change your clothes. There are very few clothing types and colors, so it really is little more than a way to get the police off your back.

Same goes for car modding - yeah, you can change your paint, rims, license plate and even put a bit more power under the hood - but since driving fast in this game is a death sentence, the only point in modding your car is to throw the police off your trail.

About driving fast - you lose health when crashing. One good solid crash, and you're dead. The cars handle poorly (not realistically like some people claim, just heavy with bouncy suspension and a tendency to oversteer as if the rear wheels have rocket boosters on them that engage the moment you turn the wheel past 20 degrees), so it's almost a certainty that you will find yourself sliding out of control into oncoming traffic and dying in the impact - sending you back to the last check point, which may very well have been over a half an hour's worth of gameplay prior to your accident.

When people ask why Rockstar made the driving in GTA V so arcadey, THIS is why - to prevent THIS type of frustration, the same frustration that was present in GTA IV as well.

Speaking of check points... if you like restarting an entire section of game because of one tiny mistake, or a completely unexpected an unfair ambush from enemies, then you will love the shit out of this game.

Some enemies rush you head-on, and thanks to the very slow over-the-shoulder aiming in this game (think Resident Evil 4), if you happen to miss with your first shot, you're as good as dead.

Then there are times when the enemies will unexpectedly throw molotovs or grenades at you.

I don't mean randomly, I mean, throughout most of the game you've simply been trading bullets, and then you get to the end of a VERY long gun battle and suddenly one of the henchmen is throwing grenades down a stair well, something you didn't even know they COULD FUCKING DO, and boom, you're dead, there's 20 minutes of your life you're never getting back.

A particular boss fight where he throws molotovs at you which can hurt you even while hiding behind cover nearly made me uninstall the damned game, until I finally just ran into the room behind the platform he was on and waiting for the AI to come to ME.

The game is a cover based shooter. I don't mean that you can use cover when needed, I mean, you HAVE to use cover, and you have to use it PERFECTLY, or you're done.

If any part of your body is exposed, the AI will hit you there and kill you in one or two shots.

If you stay in cover for too long, enemies will flank you - but when you're pinned down by 3 guys taking turns firing tommy guns at you, and you can't get a word in edge-wise, two more guys sneaking up behind you is just not fucking fair for a video game.

You will get helplessly pinned down more times in this game than should be allowed - ESPECIALLY during the final boss fight, which takes place in a circular room in which enemies will enter from all directions, so even though the game requires you to take cover during the gun fights, YOU CAN'T FUCKING TAKE COVER BECAUSE THERE IS NO COVER THAT PROTECTS YOU FROM ALL DIRECTIONS.

Even worse are the times when bad guys shoot at you with tommy guns while hanging out car windows, and you're expected to escape them, but you cannot shoot from your own car.

There is one mission in particular, you've just assaulted a Chinese drug factory and during the escape 3 cars full of goons wielding tommy guns chase after you. Your two passengers shoot back with their pistols, but it doesn't matter - the 3 cars chasing you car faster. You have to get LUCKY to get away, it's as simple as that.

Several times when I restarted, I was killed INSTANTLY by the AI getting a direct shot through the back window. No exaggeration - the game gave control over to me after the cut scene, I had enough time to slightly accelerate, and was shot dead. 3 fucking times in a row.

I finally beat it by hitting the brakes and letting the cars drive past, then driving in reverse into an alley, and the AI was too stupid to make the turn so they just crashed at the entrance and got stuck.

It's infuriating.

Worst still is the melee combat. The first part of the game seems to think fist fighting is why you bought the damned thing. Fist fights take place regularly, and then once your character ends up in prison for a chapter, that's literally all you do the entire time you're there.

And they are so incredibly easy, it just feels like a waste of time. Hold the dodge button and your opponent can't hit you. Wait until they swing, and then hit your attack button, and you'll hit them. Rinse and repeat. Over and over again. BORING.

The police wanted level system is interesting, but it can also be incredibly frustrating.

You will receive police attention for speeding and crashing among your other crimes. So when the game tells you that you have 30 seconds to drive to a place that's 40 seconds away, having the police come after you because you drove by them entirely too fast is just stupid. Especially stupid considering they don't care when you run red lights or driving into oncoming traffic.

Minor traffic offenses can be dealt with by pulling over and paying a small fine or bribing the police to let you go. Again, a waste of time.

Major offenses require repainting/replating your car (or just getting a different one), and/or changing your clothing.

You can steal cars by smashing in the windows or picking the locks. The lock picking is so easy, it makes no sense not to just do that every time to avoid unwanted attention - especially considering you can literally pick a lot RIGHT IN FRONT of a police officer, and they will not react.

It's alright. For a game ABOUT Mafia, you'd think the story would take more risks and be a little edgier, but it feels more tame and more PG rated than a GTA game, even though there are common racial and sexual slurs being uttered, and the occasional "collectible" Playboy magazine cover complete with real bare-chested babes.

Worth the $10 I paid for it, but given that there is literally nothing to do outside of the missions, and there is no free roam option after completing the game, this is a one-and-done-and-uninstall sort of game.

Title: Re: [Video Game] Mafia 2 (PC)
Post by: Onyx Dragon on January 21, 2015, 11:07:14 AM
I enjoyed the game for the chaotic nature of it all :lol: