hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Preview: Mafia II

5:00 PM on 07.11.2009 // Conrad Zimmerman

Next to World War II, titles where you play a member of a criminal organization working their way to the top seem to be one of the most common settings in gaming. But few in the genre of underworld games earned more critical praise than Mafia.

Mafia II looks to be aiming for similar heights. With a high production value and attention to detail, 2K Czech may just pull it off too. Read on for a preview.

Mafia II (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
Developer: 2K Czech
Publisher: 2K Games
To be released: Spring 2010

Mafia II is a third-person sandbox game set in the height of the gangster-era as popularized by fiction. Spanning a period of a decade from the '40s to the '50s, players will control Vito Scaletta as he makes his rise to power within the world of organized crime.

The city of Empire Bay, the game's world, is an amalgam of twenty different US cities during the period. It's a very detailed environment, and the streets are lined with vintage posters warning about the threat the German army poses to the world and billboards advertising various products in an appropriate art style for the time, which is a nice touch. Presumably, these decorations will change as time passes.

Mafia II

In the segment of the game we were shown, it was February of 1945, and snow was falling to the ground. Weather conditions play a role in the game, as demonstrated when the car being driven skidded lightly on ice during turns. But the weather is significant in a narrative sense as well. The game will be presented as being specific points in Vito's life, and the current mood of the story will be reflected in the seasons. Winter will be dire, while Spring and Summer have much more positivity.

At this period of the game, three to four hours in, Vito is not yet a made man but is working for a mafia family. His objective in the demo is to eliminate a small-time hood known as "The Fatman" who has refused to pay protection money. Hiding out in a distillery owned by Fatman, Vito and two NPCs, Henry and Joe, wait for their target to arrive and pass the time talking a little bit about their pasts.

The scene is short-lived, as Fatman moves towards the distillery. Some workers across the street deliver a warning to him about Vito and the other two goons lying in wait. This results in a firefight as Fatman attempts to hide and sends his own mugs to try and stop his assassins. 

Mafia II

One noticeable aspect of the combat sequence which follows is the effectiveness of the NPCs helping Vito. They seem to be just as capable as the protagonist, taking down enemies with ease. Cover, as in most third-person shooters today, play a vital role, and it breaks down in a delightfully realistic manner as it is riddled with bullets.

As Vito and crew reach their target, a cutscene ensures where Henry is shot by The Fatman. Out of anger, Fatman is then shot point blank in the face, resulting in one of the most gory deaths I've yet seen in a game. It's downright visceral and reminiscent of Sonny Corleone's tragic death in The Godfather film. The sheer brutality is actually a little bit unsettling.

Mafia II

With Henry shot and The Fatman dead, the mission's objective switches to getting Henry out and to a Mafia doctor before his wounds become fatal. Henry has to be escorted and, once he has been carried out of the distillery, we can hear police sirens wailing in the distance.

And this is where the demonstration concluded. On the whole, the game looks very attractive from a visual perspective, and 2K has clearly spent a considerable amount of effort in trying to recreate the pop culture version of the gangster lifestyle. Whether the game plays as well as it looks remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to watch further developments of Mafia II come to light as we get closer to its planned release in early 2010.

Photo Gallery: (10 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
 Follow Blog + disclosure ConradZimmerman Tips
An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
Yanick Bourbeau avatarYanick Bourbeau
Zombie eating player from my game: [img][/img]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
ashamasha avatarashamasha
i have almost all the pieces i need to build my own Arcade machine... and the last one arrive this Saturday! Soon, one my childhood dream will became true!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Interviewer: Konami, why are you selling cosmetic DLC for MGSV? Konami exec: I breathe through my skin.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What is the Dtoid chat room?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Batthink avatarBatthink
This GrumpOut video was pretty funny to me (props to TheBadSpoon on the Dtoid chat room);
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -