First releasing back in August 2010, Mafia 2 has made a comeback on the latest generation of consoles thanks to 2K Games. Set within the fictional Empire Bay in 1945, the game’s storyline follows Sicilian mobster Vito Scaletta. Struggling to climb through the ranks of the Mafia crime families within the city takes players through a tough journey.
It seems that 2K Games managed to fly under the radar until the last minute with this game. For once, internet hasn’t been flooded with rumours like it always seems to be. They didn’t stop with just Mafia 2 however. 2K announced the entire Mafia trilogy is getting an overhaul with each game released as a Definitive Edition. What does that mean I hear you ask?
Mafia 3 was the most recent release and hasn’t really been given any major visual updates. Instead you can now buy the game as a Definitive Edition. If you already own the game or got it free with PlayStation Plus a while ago, all the DLC is now free for you.
The original Mafia game was released in 2002 on PC. Later being ported to consoles in 2004 receiving mixed reviews. This game has not been re-released just yet. Sticking to their original release dates, it will be hitting the stores in August this year. It seems that 2K Games are building this one from the ground up which is why it is taking longer.
So far, Mafia 2 is the only title to receive full polishing using the all-new Illusion Engine which was built specifically for the title. Released a few days ago you can finally relive the great days of the gangsters portrayed by so many great films like Goodfellas.
You drive like my f**kin Grandma
I’m not going to beat around the bush, the game has a lot of issues with it. The thing is, 2K are fully aware and working on a fix. They have publicly acknowledged the issue on Social Media
I’d heard a lot of horror stories before being kindly sent a review copy of the game by 2K. Some people saying that the game was unplayable. Some that it ran worse on the PS4 Pro. What should be remembered with game bugs, every player is affected differently. Yes, I had issues on my PS4 Pro, but not as many as people had made out.
My main issue does seem to be a common thing. The framerate drop is awful in the game, especially when driving. Happening worst when just about to make a turn that was indicated on the map. This forced my car to slam into buildings killing my character rather than making the turn.
Beyond the framerate drops the only major issue encountered was with one mission being broken. After driving from one side of the map to the other whilst timed, I needed to open a gate to get into a house. The game wouldn’t let me do it. Even when I tried to walk up to the gate there was a seemingly invisible barrier stopping me from getting close enough to open it. I had to quit out of the game, close it down and reboot. Then the mission worked fine.
There also seemed to be an issue with my sound. I use a soundbar on my telly and the usual sound levels in game are fine. When some cutscenes started to play the sound was so loud that my windows would rattle. Then, after the cutscene, music or even some sound effects that played would then spill over into the game on a loop and couldn’t be stopped until I jumped in a car and switched the radio on. The sound also does play through one speaker and not both. Heightened when using a headset, voice will play through one ear and music through the other. OK, I know in the 40s and 50s sound was mono rather than stereo, but we don’t need that kind of realism.
Other than that, the game seems fine. OK, you do get the odd NPC acting odd. Spotting one stood on a park bench trying to walk, but obviously unable was quite funny. On the whole however they run fine.
The doc will give you a few stitches and then we’ll all go out and celebrate.
While the city felt lacking in life and colour back in 2010, today it feels much closer to a bustling city. There are more pedestrians walking the streets and a new lighting system makes vehicles feel tangible. The cities architecture looks great as well. Shop windows have more detail to them and look great now in 4K.
Cutscenes now look a lot better. Facial textures look great, but there isn’t a massive change over the original footage. This is a remaster though, not a full remake, so I wouldn’t have expected much change. You can tell the games age however when you look closely. Mainly shown when two characters are interacting with each other. It’s not as fluid as a lot of recent games.
You do have to get used to the old mechanics of the game again, especially when it comes to shooting. It’s not a bad thing. The game does still use its original mechanics.. Press X to dive to cover, but a lot of the time I was trying to pull away from that cover with my left stick as you would in more modern games. You need to press X again to do that. I found I was being killed on more occasions than I care to admit, but that was my fault, not the games.
Shooting still feels solid in the game and each weapon has its own feel as well. No, you don’t really get the feedback from weapons as we have come to expect. Still, when you are hiding behind a piece of scenery shooting, the damage that area takes from incoming shots looks nice.
I became a criminal because I did not want to become a victim.
Every episode of the game feels like some kind of Gangster TV Series and paced well. None feel overly long or short. The game still does hold up well today as it did 10 years ago. Who doesn’t love car chases through a busy city with bad guys shooting at you? Or even the cops trying to shoot you dead! Car mechanics are a little annoying at first but easy to get used to them. Powerful rear wheeled cars spin out a lot and I found it easy to stop this happening by applying the in game speed limiter.
The main story will take players about 10 hours to complete, but it doesn’t stop there. The game is the Definitive Edition. This means that all of the original DLC is present. Once finished with the story there is still hours more content to enjoy.
The Betrayal Of Jimmy and Jimmy’s Vendetta switch things to a more arcade feel. If I am honest, they don’t fit the game feel. Focussing more on building scores from fighting and a combo gauge; they’re fun, but don’t add anything.
Joe’s Adventures however does add to the game. It helps to fill in the back story to Vito’s best friend. I do recommend playing this after the game rather than before. It pads out the story very well.
Like that time Leo dropped the soap?
Despite it’s issues, Mafia 2 is still enjoyable to play today as it was before. As far as remasters go, when 2K Games finally sort out the bugs it will be great. I have to question why 2K seem to have rushed the release out however. They are building the original Mafia from the ground up it seems, so why not hold off until that was ready to release the trilogy at the same time? It would have given them more time to test the game and iron out issues. I for one would have been happy to wait on a polished release rather than a rushed one.
**PLEASE NOTE: AIR Entertainment were supplied with a review copy of the game by 2K Games. This has in no way influenced my review as per our Review Policy**
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