Oh my Godfather
Vito Scalleta's rise up through the Mafia ranks is instantly recognisable to fans of the genre. Starting out as hired muscle, Vito and his wisecracking friend, Joey Barbaro, carry out occasional tasks for all three of Empire Bay's Mafia families. But it's not long before greed and bad luck sees them embroiled in typical Mafia machinations, playing one family off against the next and racking up an increasingly large body count.
'Oi, One-eyed Willy, I don't need a harpoon!'
The story is the highlight of Mafia II. Preceding each mission, cut-scenes drive the narrative through good camera, scripting and voice acting. In spite of innumerable clichés in dialogue, most of the characters are well developed and convincing. And, unlike the exaggerated Grand Theft Auto series, Mafia II's more serious undertones allow for characters that can amuse and menace in equal measure.
But while Mafia II might offer a grittier depiction of the criminal underworld than GTA IV, it fails in all other comparisons to Rockstar's seminal work. The vast city, the range of cars, the shops, the clothing, the weapons – everything promises the full sandbox experience, but Mafia II is almost completely linear.
'When I said, 'find me a fence', this isn't what I meant'
Step outside the main mission structure and there's little to see or do in Empire Bay. Gun shops, clothes shops, car body shops and dinners serve only to facilitate your progress through the succession of main missions, essentially acting as upgrade and health stations, where you can purchase ammo or health, or disguise you or your car from police attention.
Next page: Missions to Empire City
This obsession with....
...sandbox games is getting jarring.
Give me a game that either tells a good story or allows you to construct a good story in your head around the bare bones of the game.
Having to shoot 150 birds to get an achievement isn't always the best way to lengthen a game.
it's one of the reasons I loved Max Payne II so much - short, sweet and to the point, but it's like reading a graphic novel. I'll come back and play it every 6 months or so and enjoy it every time.
I'm enjoying Mafia II so far - don't let the obsession with having 1001 pointless tasks take away from the fact that the game tells an engrossing story.
It's not perfect, but it's much better than these "It's not GTA!" reviews make it out to be.
indiana jones on ps3
hear hear, those 2 games are the way to go. Excellent writing and characterisation, stunning visuals and a fair dash of comedy chucked into the mix. Speilberg couldn't have done it better
for ultimate sandbox.....
play fallout 3. you can play it for days not even doing main missions. you really can do what you want on it. and once completed play it again as a baddie :)
Either of the uncharted games for a good story and decent controls system.
The 2nd one got nice visuals too.
Those empty, pointless, but pretty parts of the city are probably for DLC missions. I'm guessing they made a full sandbox game, then pulled out all the side-quests in order to sell them separately. Otherwise, why would they have bothered to model such large navigable-but-unused parts of the city? (Instead of, say, putting a lake there). It might become a proper sandbox game after its price again in add-ons. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
That said, they really did do a great job with the ambiance -- it really felt like the times/places in question, for a variety of reasons: The music, especially (and the news reports that play from time to time on the radio, describing things like the progress of the war), as well as the clothing, the buildings, the voice acting, the slowness of the cars, etc.