(Previously…
Tropico 3)

Alex
gave Mafia II a nice review
a while back, but as
part of my membership in the Olive Oil For Blood League I was
required to give Mafia II
a spin, but only for two hours. To determine if a further investment
was necessary. Purely scientific of course!

Mafia
II
tells the story of Vito
Scaletta, a boy whose parents took him across the sea as a youth to
Empire Bay (New York) where poverty did nothing to dampen their love
of this new nation. As he grows up he begins to see how the
neighborhood works and upon returning home from combat he plants his
flag in the world of the mob.

2:26pm – The disc is inserted and
the story begins with my Italian ass going to World War II. I am an
ass kicking soldier and the game does a decent job of getting me
immersed in combat via opportunities to kill men with rifles,
grenades, and machine guns. I don’t like when games teach you the
controls through the story, though. I’d much prefer having a
tutorial on the disc separately and be able to immerse myself in the
game, but life isn’t at my mercy. The graphics are quite good
though. The intro is nice, albeit tonally different from the rest of
the game. Vito goes home a greasy-haired hero.

2:42pm
– I infuriated a cat who was perched on a windowsill. I didn’t
realize this was a game where cats get mistreated. He wasn’t there
the next day which tells me he either committed Hari
Kitti
or found another
tenement to be infuriated in.

2:46pm – You can totally flush
toilets in this game.

Upon
returning home, Vito is broke and though his mother wants him to
earn an honest wage 2K Games cannot currently get funding for Dock
Worker: The Interactive Experience

so he hooks up with his buddy to earn dough by stealing cars and
whatnot. As a result…

2:57pm
– I am gifted my very own lockpick set. I even get a fanciful
tutorial on how to use shards of metal to ruin people’s dreams.


A
thing that video games teach us about life is how so many of these
crime games teach us that the path to crime success is to drive
people around. For the first few missions in this game I am very
little more than a paste eating chauffeur. Driving people around
town is a vital step in one’s ascent in video games and in life.
Remember that.


The
shattering of Mule Jones (center) pleased Mini-Ralph (bottom right)
greatly.

3:09pm – I manage to get killed by a
garage door. Do you know hard that is to do? Even in real life you
have to be sort of lined up for natural selection to get homicided
by a portal. Mind you, I did not lay down under it and get squashed.
I was parking and I hit it and my life exploded. The good thing was,
it was a garage for a repair shop. I was going to heal my car and
instead sent us both into madness.

3:23pm – Racism! Apparently I hate the blacks. My
associate hooks me up with the owner of a junk yard and I am tasked
with stealing a car for parts. He sends me to a borough now soiled
by ‘moulinyans’. I know the word all too well, being “part eggplant”
myself but I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of hearing it yelled
so much in the context of a game. I arrive and before I am able to
steal the car I have to murder a handful of gentlemen (who are
realized sadly in the most stereotypical fashion possible, one even
calls me a ‘muthafucka’).

3:40pm – On the fifth try I successfully murder
them. I think Vito under my control is a lot more effective at cat
mutilation than Machiavellian crime lordship.

Games
like this tend to require a massive time commitment, which is the
exact opposite of what I’m capable of. In reality what is taking me
over an hour to do. One thing I’m noticing about this game is that
it’s a lot more on rails than a Grand Theft Auto game, and though it is a
beautiful and very well made game (the driving mechanics are very
good as is the on-foot stuff) in the first two hours you’re most
definitely a passenger and shuffled along your merry Guinea way.

3:54pm

– I ruined my car and the cops were on me like a Promise Keeper on a
Huffy so I stole something inconspicuous. A taxi cab. I evade the
cops by hauling ass in the 40’s.

3:55pm
– I change the station. I now have a triumphant polka guiding my
criminal destiny!

4:03pm – I take my mother’s advice and try
my hand at an honest wage. The dude makes me go move boxes so he can
finish his steak.

4:09pm – Though I fully intended to load the
whole truck full of boxes and earn a gentleman’s dollar the game
decides after a few that I don’t want to do it any more.

4:10pm
– I am on my way to complain but am distracted by a ‘pipes for sale’
sign.

4:09pm
– I found a Playboy! Somewhere, a yield of 250,000-500,000 pixels
die a yeoman’s death.

4:12pm – When they realize I want to be a
crime man, they decide to involve me in their shenanigans. All I
have to do is leave the warehouse to begin the next phase of my
career in earnest.

4:12-4:26pm
– I cannot find my way out of this goddamn two room warehouse. This
is how my two hours conclude.

GOOD

  • The
    cinematic presentation is a delight. The mood, music, and execution
    of the game visually is top notch.
  • Great period music. I mean, the
    music is great and old. Not bleeding into a pad.
  • This

    is one of America’s richest tapestries for storytelling, the
    immigrant to riches story. It is quite compelling and if I’d never
    played the Godfather
    game or Grand Theft Auto
    I’d be smitten.

  • The attention to detail is
    amazing.

“You’re
under arrest for being way too Italian for your own good.”

BAD

  • The

    cops are jerks. You bump into a car, even if it’s a little bump, you
    become a wanted man. As a result either you’re wasting time treating
    others drivers gingerly or hauling buttock away from Johnny Law all
    the time.

  • The characters have some
    seriously dead eyes. Our character is flirting with a hot broad and
    then you see her Paris Hilton ghost eyes and Mafia II becomes Silent
    Hill II
    .
  • What
    gap in the game climate does this fill? What is here to make it
    different or preferable to any of a variety of mob games.
  • Not
    a fan of the money system and how it’s handled.
  • No one should get lost in a
    warehouse, even if he’s a dense Greaser.

After two hours, I appreciate
this game but it’s done nothing to warrant any more of my internet
movie superstar time.




And
thus the crime career of Wooden Dinerelli was ended.