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Mafia II

Mafia II

Mafia II

Mafia II is an action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It was developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and published by 2K Games. Originally announced in August 2007 at the Leipzig Games Convention, it was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in August 2010. The Mac OS X edition of the game was published by Feral Interactive in December 2011. A version of the game for mobile platforms was developed by Twistbox Entertainment and released in 2010 by Connect2Media.

Mafia II Plot

Vito Antonio Scaletta was born in Sicily in 1925 to a poor family, which along with him, consists of his father, his mother and his older sister Francesca. Life is hard, and a few years after his birth, his father arranges for his family to immigrate to the Empire Bay area in America, specifically the Little Italy District of the city, upon their arrival in the early spring of 1931. Although the Scalettas move into a squalid apartment with little economic improvement from their old home in Sicily, they consider themselves fortunate to have emigrated to the United States, as back home Mussolini and the fascists were making life hard for the Sicilians. Mr. Scaletta gets a job at the dockyards, but drinks down the lion's share of his pay packages due to the dream not being what it is. As he gets older, Vito gets involved with a juvenille delinquent named Joe Barbaro, who becomes his best friend from a young age. They form a partnership together; Vito the brains, Joe the brawn. In 1943, Vito's father dies after drowning, leaving his family struggling for money. With no options left, Vito turns to petty crime along with Joe.

After a failed robbery of a jewelry store, Vito is arrested and given the choice of joining the army or going to prison. Vito chose the former and ends up in the 504th Parachute Infantry as a paratrooper, his ability to speak Italian being a benefit. He is dispatched to Sicily on July 1943 in Operation Husky and helps in the effort to liberate citizens in a small village rebelling against the fascists with local forces, but the rest of his squad is killed in the process. Vito nearly suffers the same fate, when Don Calò, head of the Sicilian Mafia, arrives on the tank with the U.S. Army, offering the rest of the Italian soldiers freedom if they surrender. After this, Vito continues fighting on for two more years until, in Vichy France, he gets shot by Nazi soldiers. He spends the next few months in a hospital before getting leave for a month to go back home.

Vito returns to Empire Bay in February 1945, with Joe waiting for his arrival. The two talk to each other about the war while having a drink at Freddy's Bar. When Joe hears about Vito's current situation, he makes a call and tells him to stop by the next day after he arranges for him to be formally discharged from the army. The next day, outside his family home, Vito, after protecting his sister from a thug, learns from Francesca that the day he left, she had learned that their father had borrowed $2,000 from a loan shark. Needing money to cover the debt, Vito promises to take care of it. He meets with Joe, who offers his place for his friend to stay at, before taking him meet with Giuseppe, a safe-cracker and owner of a 'thieves' shop, and Mike Bruski, the owner of a junkyard. Joe, hearing of Vito's need for money, helps him to collect it. During the process of getting the money, Vito promises his mother to get honest work, where he meets with Derek Pappalardo, a corrupt union boss who was the padrone who had arranged for the Scalleta family to originally emigrate from Italy and hired Vito's father, and his right hand man, Steve Coyne, who, through small talk about the job of a dockworker which Vito finds won't pay well, realizes Vito is a friend to Joe Barbaro, who works with Derek. His boss gets him to work on getting money for the 'barber' from the dockworkers under his thumb, and pays Vito his share plus a bonus for dealing with a troublemaker. Joe later introduces Vito to Henry Tomasino, a soldato for Don Alberto Clemente, who instructs Vito to steal ration stamps from the Office of Price Administration while avoiding any violence. The heist goes as planned but the stamps turn out to expire the very next day, at midnight, forcing Vito to rush and distribute them to as many gas stations as possible before the deadline.

Impressed with the gas stamp job, Henry then assigns Joe and Vito to work together on a second job: robbing a jewelry store, whose owner is in debt to the Clemente crime family. Through a misfortune, the same jewelry store is subject to a ramraiding commanded by Brian O'Neill, the leader of an Irish gang, an unorganized but brutal group in Empire Bay. The ramraiding alerts police, causing a three-way gun battle between Vito, the police and the Irish gang. Despite the complication, Vito and Joe escape while Brian is arrested. Following this,Luca Gurino, Clemente's capo, instructs Vito, Joe and Henry to assassinate Sidney Pen, an individual operating a distillery in Clemente's territory without permission nor paying tribute to the Clemente crime family. using an MG-42 machine gun for an ambush, things don't go so well. A firefight inside the building starts a fire, and Henry is shot by Penn in the leg, prompted Vito and Joe, after killing Penn, to take him to El Greco, a local mob doctor. Henry gives Vito $2000 for the successful job, and he takes it to Francesca, who in turn retires their father's debt.

A few days later, Vito is arrested for his involvement in the OPA heist, after an gas station attendant rats him out. Although Vito is initially glad that the police only have knowledge of the mildest crime he committed, the judge holds a grudge for Vito's disrespect of war rationing and keelhauls Vito to a term of ten years, despite the best lawyer Clementine arranged for him. While imprisoned, Joe communicates with Vito, telling him to seek out Leo Galante, a consigliere for the Vinci family. However, Brian O'Neill has also been remanded to the same prison, and fights with Vito, blaming him instead of himself for the jewelry store burglary he had attempted to do. The fight gets interrupted by the prison guards, who send both men to "the hole". Due to his good standing against O'Neill, Leo reveals to Vito that he manages a group of boxers (having been imprisoned for running a numbers racket), and wants Vito to fight some other inmates for him, as well as work as the sparring partner to Pepe Costa, another Vinci crime family member who is slated to fight O'Neill. After one fight, Vito is visited by Francesca, who reveals she is to be married, but their mother has taken ill, so Vito tells Frankie to go to Joe to empty his cash reserves in order to get Mama the best doctor she can find, and have the rest as a wedding gift. A few days later, when Vito is doing his assignment of cleaning the bathroom, an inmate attempts to rape Vito after convincing a guard to leave them alone. Vito kills his assailant in self-defense, but alerts the guards who send Vito back to solitary. While there he is given a letter by the warden captain, revealing his mother died on Francesca's visit, with all his money going to her funeral. A week later, O'Neill's gang harms Pepe Costa, so Vito agrees to confront Brian in the gym. The fistfight that occurs turns deadly, as O'Neill pulls out a hidden knife, but Vito survives and kills Brian, with the wardens never knowing what happened. As reward for eliminating Brian O'Neill, Leo arranges for Vito to stay in his comfortable cell during the rest of his time in prison. Vito eventually learns that Don Clemente had tried to rip off him and Joe by requesting payment to get into his family, which is not allowed, while also learning about the inner workings of the American Mafia, in which Clementine didn't care if Vito got off from the crime, as long as he didn't talk. Leo informs Vito, that once he gets out of prison, he'll arrange for him to have his sentence reduced; this comes true as Vito finds it reduced by four years thanks to the Vinci Family.

In 1951, Vito is released from prison and is impressed with a vibrant Empire Bay of the 1950s, his last time in the free world being bleak as the Second World War was still in progress. Vito reunites with Joe, who now works for Eddie Scarpa, underboss for Don Carlo Falcone. Joe and Eddie then treated Vito to the local brothel. Scarpa later remembers that he needs to drop the body of Frankie Potts, an undercover agent who attempted to investigate on the Falcones. Eddie later ordered Vito and Joe to sell tax-free cigarettes. The stint was successful, only to have the merchandise burned by a band of greasers. This angered Eddie, who ordered Joe and Vito to get him his money back, which they did by killing the greasers in their own hangout and selling the gang's hot rods to Derek, who had earlier dispatched Steve Coyne to aid in killing the greasers.

A month later, Vito was dispatched to investigate on the whereabouts of Harvey "Beans" Epstein and his bodyguards, who were later found to be kidnapped by Luca Gurino and his men. Vito infiltrates the slaughterhouse, and fights his way after rescuing Epstein and his surviving bodyguard Antonio "Tony Balls" Balsamo. Vito and Tony later confronted Luca, who was tortured (and later killed) by Tony, as Vito leaves. Vito and Joe eventually become made and are brought into the Falcone family at the Maltese Falcon restaurant, in front of Carlo Falcone, Frank Vinci and a few other key Mafia figures. Don Vinci gives his warning to the newly made Joe and Vito; those who deal drugs will die.

Now a mobster, Vito enjoyed a life of luxury along with Joe. He also managed to get his own house in an upscale suburban neighborhood, happy with his new-found wealth. Some time after getting made, Eddie and Don Falcone order Vito and Joe to assassinate Don Clemente to end the internecine war. Joe plotted to use a bomb on the Empire Arms Hotel where Clemente is holding a family meeting, along with the help of young Marty as the getaway driver. Disguised as hotel janitors, Joe and Vito gain access to a conference room, where Joe plants the bomb, then detonates it. Although many members of the Clemente crime family are killed in the explosion, Don Clemente was not; going to the bathroom and thus being out of the blast zone at the time of bombing. Don Clemente flees the hotel, gunning down Marty then escaping in his car. After cutting off Don Clemente in a car chase, he is gunned down by Vito for selling him out to jail, as well as Joe in revenge for murdering Marty.

Soon after, Vito is approached by Henry, who is concerned that the remnant of the Clemente family will be assassinated and wishes to prove that he can be loyal to the Falcone crime family. Vito recommends Henry to Eddie, who told that Vinci was planning to make a move on them. Eddie orders Henry to kill Leo, despite Vito's protests. The latter then raced to Leo's mansion - depending on the player's actions, Leo can either escape with Vito, or be found by Henry, only to be spared in exchange for Leo "disappearing" from Empire Bay. Vito arrives to his home to see Francesca crying about her experience with Eric, her abusive husband. Vito then confronted Eric at a pot party, threatening that he will be a faithful, hardworking, sober husband to his sister, or else Vito will hunt him down. Francesca was horrified upon learning about the brawl and disowned her brother, severing all ties to him. Vito later woke up to find out that his house was being torched by the Irish gang now under the leadership of Mickey Desmond, a cousin of Brian O'Neill who has taken his revenge on Vito. Vito then turns to Joe who helps him retaliate against Desmond's gang by shooting up the Hill of Tara, an Irish pub which is the gang's hangout. Joe also helps Vito with losing his home by giving him the key a tenement formerly owned by Marty, promising that he will help Vito get back on his feet. Marty's tenement is squalid, causing Vito to grouse that he joined the Mafia to live large and now he is back to square one just like his father.

Henry hears about Vito's situation, and the trio meet at Lincoln Park, planning on a potential heroin-trafficking business. Vito is hesitant, but having learned earlier from Leo that Don Falcone deals drugs, he finally agrees after Henry promises big bucks. Using money borrowed from a loan shark named Bruno Levine, they acquire heroin from the Triads, later to be ambushed by unknown white criminals right outside the Triads' factory. They made over a hundred thousand dollars from their drug deal, but Don Falcone found about the deal and asked for his share of the profits. Henry calls Vito to further talk about this at Lincoln Park but upon Vito and Joe's arrival, the two find Henry brutally murdered by Triad members. The two then storm a Chinese restaurant, which is a Triad front business, and find Zhe Yun Wong, an enforcer for the Triads who sold them the heroin in the process. Wong warns that a crime war is brewing, but Joe kills Wong after refusing to say where he hid the stolen money.

The two friends realized that they caused a conflict between the Triads and the Mafia families, with both sides accusing each other, and about the possibility that Henry was working undercover for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. They later took various jobs, one of which was killing Thomas Angelo, who turned pentito against the Salieri family in the first game. When working as a strikebreaker for Derek Pappalardo, Vito is told truth about his father; he was murdered by Steve on Derek's orders. Avenging his father, Vito eliminates Steve and Derek, then finds that Derek had a large bankroll of cash in his office with which he planned to retire on. Taking Derek's money in tandem with other money, Vito is relieved to both have enough to repay Bruno and serve justice for his father. Vito learns Joe is missing, only to get kidnapped and taken to a construction site, where he is reunited with a badly beaten Joe. Don Frank Vinci interrogates the duo about the attack behind the Triads as well as the death of his caporegime Derek. After Vinci leaves, Vito and Joe managed to free themselves and escape from the building while fighting their way through many of Vinci's men. Vito then takes Joe to El Greco along with half of the money earned, to be paid to Bruno. Bruno then reveals that he was the creditor to Vito's father from earlier. Vito keeps his temper in check, but expresses muffled anger, now having bigger problems to worry about with the percolating gang war.

Eddie calls Vito the next day, telling him to meet up with Falcone at the observatory. Vito leaves, but was interrupted by Leo in his limousine who brusquely orders him to get in. Leo then launches into a tirade against Vito, saying he has incited a war and that the FBI is after the Falcone family. Leo is also with Mr. Chu, the leader of the Triads, who is trying to smooth over the war. Leo says that Mr. Chu, Don Vinci and Don Falcone all want Vito dead, but Leo gives Vito one chance for redemption by killing Falcone, thus ruining the FBI's plan. Vito then went to the observatory as planned and ended up in a gunfight throughout the building before he reaches Falcone, who taunts him for his actions as well as Joe pointing a gun at Vito. Carlo orders Joe to shoot but he hesitates, whispering to Vito that he is still on his side, joining Vito as they battle the remaining thugs until they gun down Carlo. A mortally wounded Carlo crawls down the floor as Vito guns him down four more times, lamenting about what he did over the years.

Vito and Joe emerged from the observatory, with Leo awaiting their arrival. Vito boarded Leo's limo, as the latter wanted to have a talk with him. Joe rides with two of Leo's bodyguards in another car which suddenly turned away at an intersection. A worried and angry Vito asks Leo as to where they are taking him. Leo softly tells his protege that Joe wasn't a part of the offer, implying that his friend is being driven to his execution. Vito is dismayed upon hearing this as he angrily looks at himself, realizing that he just paid the most expensive cost for being in the Mafia: Joe. The final shot of the game is a view of Empire Bay and the somber rainy weather before the credits roll.

Mafia II Gameplay

The game is set in the late 1940s - early 1950s era of Empire Bay, a fictional city based on New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit. There are 30-40 vehicles in the game (45 with downloadable content) as well as licensed music from the era.

Many firearms from the previous game return, such as the Thompson submachine gun and Colt 1911, as well as a pump-action shotgun. New World War II-era weapons like the MP 40, the M3 submachine gun, the MG 42 and the Beretta Model 38 also appear in the game.

Interacting with objects in the environment involves two action buttons- a standard action and a "violent" action (for example, when stealing a car, the player may choose to either pick its lock or break the window glass), used in context-sensitive situations. A map is included as in the original Mafia game. The checkpoint system has been completely overhauled. New controls include a cover system that allows the player to hide behind objects (such as generators, walls and large crates) to shoot enemies, rather than just using a crouch while behind an object.

It has been stated by 2K Czech that the game's cutscenes are created by the game engine, in real-time, rather than pre-rendered cutscenes. For example, if the player is riding in a car and a cut scene starts, the player will be driving the same car and if the car is damaged, that too will appear in the cut scene. Also, the player will be wearing the same clothes in the cut scene as he was wearing right before the cut scene started. Certain scenes, such as the opening sequence and the Empire Arms Hotel explosion, were presented as pre-rendered Bink videos.

The game has three different in game radio stations, Empire Central Radio, Empire Classic Radio and Delta Radio, with licensed music, news, and commercials. The radio stations includes music from different genres including rock and roll, big band, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, among others with licensed songs by Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Dean Martin, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Bing Crosby, Bill Haley & His Comets, The Chordettes, Bo Diddley, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran, The Champs, The Drifters, The Fleetwoods, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters, among others.

Reception
Mafia II received mostly positive reviews from critics. IGN gave the game 7/10, saying "Mafia II is a solid little game that'll give you a fun ride – just don't expect the world." IGN Australia gave it a 8.0/10 and said that Mafia II is "A deeply flawed game, where the story is the highlight - and far more engaging than most. I certainly enjoyed my 11-12 hours with Mafia II, and those looking for an authentic-feeling mob tale should definitely check it out. This one is more than the sum of its parts". GameSpot gave it 8.5 and stated "Mafia II's exciting action and uncompromising mob story make for an impressive and violent adventure". Matt Bertz of Game Informer gave it a 9.0/10 and said "In an era when video games are moving away from relying on cinematics for storytelling, Mafia II draws on the rich mobster film history to weave a gripping drama about family, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and pragmatism".

The most negative review came from Eurogamer who gave the game a 4/10 and said that "Mafia II gets the last word by destroying the myth that the mafia is interesting at all. It contends that the mob world is a hell of boredom populated by aggressively stupid automatons. These drones wake up each morning, carry out a series of repetitious tasks, and return home". The A.V. Club gave the game a D+, praising the game's attention to detail but criticising that "aging gameplay mechanics and weak plot turns make the game's magic peel away faster than a bank-job getaway car". Zero Punctuation's Ben Croshaw called the game "generic", and noted the main characters' similarities with the main characters of Grand Theft Auto IV, but criticised the lack of features prevalent in other sandbox games. He also criticised the mundane parts of the game, such as driving, making the game feel "unnecessarily padded".

The game was also criticised by fans of the series for omitting a significant amount of content in the final build of the game, with some being released (albeit altered to a certain extent) as downloadable content. Melee weapons, which were present in the previous game, such as a baseball bat and brass knuckles, were found to be stored in the game's archives, and was also announced by producer Denby Grace in a developer podcast, but were left unused. Jack Scalici, 2K Director of creative production, later denied their existence from the game, stating that they were only "a test bed for a work-in-progress melee weapon combat system", and has never been added in the game. Mafia II also lacked the "Freeride" sandbox mode, which was also a point of criticism among fans. Similar functionality, however, can be added through third-party modifications. The Betrayal of Jimmy was also claimed to be a sandbox add-on included with new copies of the game for PlayStation 3. The map's size was also put into question, contrary to claims made by 2K Games that Empire Bay took up 10 square miles.


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