Feeds
60%
Mafia II

Mafia II

Fuggedaboutit?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Missions to Empire City

Attractive and varied when viewed in car, Empire City is eerily barren and lifeless when you step out. GTA IV's Liberty City made you feel its inhabitants would continue to go about their business even with the console switched off, but Empire City feels more like Westworld, where NPCs are simple automatons awaiting the stimulus of player interaction.

Mafia II

Shots in store

Fortunately, there's a lot more life - and death - in the game's missions. Here, the engine comes into its own to deliver high enemy counts and varied architecture, from skyscraper building sites and dockside warehouses to tenement blocks and prison courtyards.

Enemy AI is decent enough, as are the cover and aiming systems. But while none excels to elevate Mafia II's gunplay above average, destructible scenery adds a welcome additional dimension to shootouts.

Not so welcome are the long drives between missions. A feature of the original Mafia game – not to mention countless GTA titles – the long distances feel like unnecessary padding. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the end of chapters, where you're forced to drive all the way across town just to get home and 'sleep' to end the chapter and save your progress.

Mafia II

Swallow my load

It's a last-gen mechanic that Rockstar improved in GTA IV and all but abandoned with the 'skip to destination' in Red Dead Redemption, so it's a shame to see it rear its ugly head here in Mafia II.

Verdict

Mafia II is not a bad game, it's an above-average one undermined by mediocre elements. Despite the clichés, the scripting and acting engage throughout. And the gunplay always entertains, and occasionally thrills. But as much as these positive elements combine to compel completion, the sparsity of Empire Bay and the overuse of protracted driving sections remain a constant deterrent. ®

More Games Reviews

Kane & Lynch 2:
Dog Days
Lara Croft and the
Guardian of Light
Monday Night
Combat
Castlevania:
Harmony of Despair

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

60%
Mafia II

Mafia II

A reasonable game as entertaining as it is frustrating. Available on Xbox 360 (tested), PS3 and PC
Price: £40 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Disturbance in the force lets phones detect gestures with Wi-Fi
These are the movement detection devices you're looking for
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?