Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3,
The sequel to the slightly average Mafia, Mafia II tells the story of Vito Scaletta's return home to a very New York-looking Empire Bay, and re-incorporating himself into his and his family's more questionable business dealings, which involve such things as stealing, kidnapping and killing. All in a day's work, Vito.
First impressions of driving around Empire Bay would hint that this is a title to rival Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row, an open sandbox world that's free for the player to explore at their leisure, with a choice of missions to accept at any one time. Sadly, Mafia II isn't. Despite the size of its world, this is a liner title, but to it's credit it seems to have focused all it's emphasis on story, which thankfully is so wonderfully produced it often feels a shame to break from the cinematic cut-scenes and can be difficult to immerse oneself in the game-play - the action just never really seems to do them justice, and at times feels like an average third person shooter. It's a shame the polish seen in the cut-scenes wasn't also administered into the game-play.
There is a lot of fun to be had here, with some highly original missions, but to be at the head of the family, as it were, the game has to tick all the right boxes. Sadly, Mafia II doesn't, but for those it does tick, it does so beautifully.
Rent or Buy: Rent
Replay Value: 3/5
Reviewed By: Simon Rubbathan