Mafia II PS3, X360, PC/$49.99-$59.99/Aug. 24
Eight years ago, the seldom-heard-from developer Illusion Softworks, now known as 2K Czech, created "Mafia," a third-person action/adventure title that garnered praise from critics. With its highly detailed city and many modes of era-specific transportation, the game brought players deep inside the world of organized crime and eventually left them begging for more. Well, the begging has finally paid off, and 2K Czech is ready to deliver another installment of crime-based carnage with the eagerly anticipated "Mafia II" for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and personal computer.
Vito Scaletta is a young, tough-as-nails Italian-American who has only known poverty. Being forced to witness his father struggle to make ends meet has only driven him closer to the unscrupulous but highly profitable ways of the Mafia. Vitos life of robbery and car theft has led him deeper and deeper into the world of organized crime, where he and his friend, Joe Barbaro, long to climb the ladder of the underworld and eventually become "made men." Sadly, the life of a mobster is paved with danger, betrayal and death, and avoiding all three will become your ultimate test.
"Mafia II," much like its 2002 counterpart, is a third-person action game that places you in the role of a young tough guy attempting to rise through the ranks of organized crime. From the onset of the game, youll notice the deep story line filled with all of the interesting characters, plot twists and narrow escapes made famous by the genre. If a compelling story isnt enough to sell you, then the games hand-to-hand, firearm and vehicular combat will. Using the companys Illusion Engine, combat, travel and narratives will flow seamlessly together, creating not only a solid gaming experience but an interactive story fit for the silver screen.
While gameplay and story help make a game into a blockbuster, 2K Czech has always managed to bring a third element to the table: details. From its licensed music to its vintage cars, as you progress through Vitos story, youll feel as though youre living in the 1940s and 50s. The entire environment, both interior and exterior, has been sculpted to resemble a combination of both New York and San Francisco during the end of World War II. With this keen attention to the details of the era coupled with its well-told story, fans are sure to experience a level of immersion rarely experienced in the genre.
"Mafia II" not only moves the bar up a notch but changes the way we look at the genre altogether.
Media Link: "GoodFellas" airs Sunday, Aug. 22, on Spike TV.