Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 79 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 79
  2. Negative: 5 out of 79
  1. Even though it couldn't quite hold up to our expectations, Mafia 2 is a great game which is driven by the narrative. This is a big plus in a gaming world where deep, believable characters are the exception, not the rule. If you want a truly cinematic experience, go out and buy the game - you won't be disappointed.
  2. It's never nice being mean about a game with as much ambition as this, but if we're talking sheer value for money then halfway through the 14 hours it takes to complete Maria II you'll have experienced one really good shooting mission and absolutely no decent car chases, of which there are only a couple in the entire game. [Sept 2010, p.81]
  3. This might not be the best game of the year, but it is certainly the best and most immersive interactive cinematic experience this reviewer has had in 25 years of gaming.
  4. Mafia II's exciting action and uncompromising mob story make for an impressive and violent adventure.
  5. 70
    Mafia II is an interesting mobster tale with some great voice acting and cool cutscenes; if you have a "made man" itch, feel free to scratch it here, but be prepared for a pretty standard third-person shooter in the gameplay department. The "take cover, kill everyone, do it again" mechanic didn't wow me, but it didn't let me down either.
  6. It falls a bit short in terms of features and replay when compared to other similar-style games, but it makes up for some of that with atmosphere and story.
  7. Jan 12, 2011
    60
    A great story that manages to make old ground seem fresh, coupled with out-of-this world sound design, is sadly attached to a middle-of-the-road, limited third-person gaming experience.
  8. This medium is still in narrative infancy, but Mafia II goes a long to proving that it's not merely literature and film that can tell a tale, but videogames too. Along with it, you get a damn fine game to boot.
  9. There are no side missions, no conveniently placed ramps, and only a small handful of collectibles that work in harmony with the fiction. 2K Czech has invested serious time and effort into conjouring a peerless sense of time and place – we won't begrudge it for not encouraging players to shatter the illusion.
  10. While its story and action are fantastic, Mafia II is an open-world game with an "open world" that never becomes anything more than an elaborate backdrop for the story. It's a lot of fun while it lasts, but don't expect to be playing this months from now.
  11. Luckily [the checkpointing is] never quite that bad, and the compelling narrative, stunning action setpieces and beautifully realised game world more than make up for the few shortcomings.
  12. For now, despite the niggles and frustrations, the sum total of Mafia II's parts is greater than it should be and still equals an enjoyable romp through what you might expect old-school Mafia life to be like. How much you enjoy the game really does come down to your patience levels and how much leeway you're prepared to give.
  13. Mafia 2 feels like a game that could have been great. Clunky controls are hardly game-breaking, and some might argue part and parcel with the open-world genre, but without the features associated with open-world games Mafia 2 is more easily compared to Uncharted and Gears of War - and in that circle it's simply not action-packed enough.
  14. Mafia II's strong points are the story and believable gameworld, as well as an authentic atmosphere. Unfortunately the game doesn't take enough risk and as a result makes less impact than the original. Players don't get enough freedom to come up with their own creative solutions during missions. It also doesn't help that there is a lot of filler during the missions.
  15. The only aspect that really shines in Mafia II is its story, the rest is only reasonable.
  16. The sequel is far worse than the original game. We don't know if it was lack of development time, budget or ideas, but Mafia II is not what 2K promised to fans.
  17. It's in Mafia II's second act that it takes a real dive, and familiarity plunges into cliché. When the writers run out of literary coal, there's little to keep you on the rails, and nowhere to take a time-out. It descends into a festival of stereotypes and expletives, laying waste to the hints of narrative depth proffered earlier and offending beyond justification as it ticks the down-and-dirty genre boxes.
  18. Mafia II isn't really what it should have been after the brilliant Mafia. It's just another wannabe action sand box games, but with a good story.
  19. Mafia II is enjoyable and polished, but we could expect way more from 2K Czech.
  20. 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.
  21. Another big budget game more obsessed with impersonating its favourite films than creating any genuinely new script or gameplay ideas.
  22. Even if you don't become fully immersed in the gunplay, you'll easily be pulled into the suspenseful build of Vito's entry into the mafia. Storytelling is king here and Vito's entry into the mob families is more than compelling enough to warrant a trip to Metropolis.
  23. 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. If you're fond of quoting Don Corleone and Tony Soprano, don't miss this game.
  24. 90
    The setting is what really defines Mafia II, providing a genuinely immersive sense of time and place with an impeccable attention to detail in its architecture, sartorial style and superlative soundtrack.
  25. Mafia II is exactly the sequel Mafia fans have been waiting all these years for.
  26. If you're looking to blow up city blocks with a rocket launcher, Mafia II may not be your cup of cappuccino. However, if, like me, you're hoping HBO's upcoming Boardwalk Empire fills the gaping Soprano-less void in your life, Mafia II's ready to fit you for a nice pair of cement shoes.
  27. This is one of the best launches of the year. It is ambitious in its presentation, the script immerses us in the life of a gangster from the very beginning, and the missions are hardly repetitive: there is always an unexpected twist or a new situation which tests our abilities.
  28. Mafia II is a great game, crafted with incredible care by its developers. If you're looking for a game with a strong story and a great shooter component, don't think twice about buying it. Just don't expect a myriad of side missions typical of other free roaming activities: this is a very story-driven and linear experience.
  29. The developers have managed to maintain the flair that made part one so special. However, some missions seem to be stiff and monotone, but if you're just after a good story, this one works for you.
  30. Mafia 2 looks like your everyday Open-World game. But don´t be fooled. At it´s core it is as linear as a laser-beam. And it´s telling a gripping, epic gangster-story you just have to play for yourself. If you enjoy such a thrilling ride, you will love the game. But if you hope for a 50`s GTA, you will be disappointed. And that would be a shame!
  31. The wait was worth it. Mafia II delivers nice campaign of singleplayer missions with a mesmerizing story and a great bunch of characters.
  32. Mafia 2 is a great experience, thanks to a believable cast of characters and a wonderful setting. Sadly, the lack of longevity and some technical flaws somehow spoil the global experience, especially if compared with other recent free roaming experiences.
  33. Despite its technical shortcomings, Mafia II manages to become more than the sum of its parts. With a script that could have just as easily driven a major motion picture instead of a video game, Mafia II grabs hold early on and never lets up, not even at the very end.
  34. 82
    The gameplay is fun and mixes it up at the right moments, giving it great pacing, and as a whole all of the parts come together for a solid experience. It may not be perfect, and there may be some technical aspects that aren't up to par, but Mafia II is a game worthy of your time and attention.
  35. Due to some weaknesses in terms of story (extremely disappointing ending) and gameplay (savepoints), Mafia II turned out to be a good game, but not the masterpiece we've hoped for. Most of these problems can be quite easily forgiven though, thanks to its overwhelming atmosphere and charm.
  36. At the end of the day, even with some minor quirks, it strips away the glossy veneer of the mob underworld and reveals a gritty and seedy interior like no game before it. I strongly recommend you visit Vito Scalleta's world to experience it yourself.
  37. Mafia II refuses to follow the crowd of open-world games by putting authenticity at the head of its agenda instead of sheer scale and off-the-hook action. The fact that it tells you what to do rather than asking what you'd like to do is somewhat counter-intuitively what makes the game feel so original and immersive.
  38. We understand the tightrope any game walks between narrative cohesion and player freedom, and Mafia II makes its choice clear. As a result, its best aspects are exceptional, but we can't help but think that it could've offered so much more.
  39. The game does deserve some respect because, admittedly, despite its shortcomings players are likely to be compelled enough to finish it. The fun that the game does deliver when it decides to is nail-bitingly entertaining and, as stated above, the storyline is fantastic.
  40. The game isn't particularly long, and the lack of substantial side-missions hurts this game's replay ability overall. Still, the story mode experience is good enough that the time you do spend with Mafia II is well-spent.
  41. Side missions are decidedly absent, the sandbox has no toys to play with, the combat mechanic is a little rough, and you'll spend as much time driving around as you do watching cutscenes. Thankfully the story is decent and different than other crime-based titles, even if it is a completely linear affair.
  42. If you're looking for a solid action game with an Italian flavour then Mafia II is worth the investment it's just a shame 2K Games opted to ignore all the things gamers love about open world activities hence their absence here.
  43. Mafia 2 has issues, in fact it has a lot of issues, but it is also a game that does so much right that you can often over look these shortcomings and just enjoy the experience.
  44. The $60 question will determine whether or not you should buy this. It really depends on how desperate you are for this type of game. I can't really stress this enough…GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption are much, much better. If you've already played those and are looking for another crime-themed game, then this is worth checking out.
  45. 80
    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.
  46. Mafia 2 is a well-crafted title that its developers should be proud of, and it is a lot of fun to play despite the many disappointing game decisions and niggles that has tarnished my overall impression of the game.
  47. 80
    Mafia II lets you experience the story of mafia member Vito. Although Mafia II is not perfect, the game was worth waiting for and offers a cinematic touch. Now we wait for extra content, because a real criminal simply can't stop working!
  48. While the game world is a beautiful testament to a bygone era, the full experience just needs...more. You're all but guaranteed to enjoy many parts of this game, but the full experience just isn't there.
  49. People are going to fault it for not being as diverse or truly 'open world' as GTA, but I really enjoyed the stream lined approach to telling the narrative and the characters and voice acting has so much strength that it can hold the rest of the game's faults up on its shoulders.
  50. The streamlined gameplay of Mafia II makes for a story that's simple to follow and easy to get sucked into for 12 hours. I just wish I could say the same about the environment. The open world is full of life and detail, but there's no encouragement to stray from the game's 15 chapters.
  51. Taken for its strengths, Mafia II delivers a rich slice of 50's mob culture with phenomenal atmosphere and solid gameplay that's easily worth experiencing. But if you're expecting the generous breadth of the best open-world games, the absence of extracurricular activities will be a bit of a disappointment.
  52. If you enjoy a good mafia story with some fun characters that will last you 10-14 hours then pick up the game. However, with no multiplayer, and few incentives to replay, the story is all that drives this game from beginning to end.
  53. What baffles me is that there's nothing really wrong with Mafia 2. It's a well-balanced, technically sound action game. However, the content is relatively poor and the game itself is deprived of any distinguishing features that could've reeled in a larger audience.
  54. The game's a bit muddled in terms of strengths and weaknesses, but if you're in the mood for a playable story where your characters aren't overblown stereotypes and you can invest in your protagonist, it's easy to sink a few hours into the follow-up to one of 2002's greatest hits.
  55. Mafia II isn't a bad game, but it's an extremely uneven effort that fails as often as it succeeds.
  56. Spending time with Mafia II is like visiting a studio back lot – it's a great looking recreation of a bygone era but there's not much behind the façade
  57. It's abundantly clear that 2K Czech put an emphasis on story and ambience over gameplay in Mafia II and it really shows. With a repetitive mission structure, long arduous drives across a limited open-world and a bog standard shooter mechanic, Mafia II as a game rarely delivers. As a Mafia experience though, it delivers in spades. There are few open-worlds in video games that show this much depth, this much character and this much charm.
  58. All things considered, Mafia 2 is a good game. The problem is, it only takes a little over ten hours to complete the story, and once you're done that... that's it.
  59. I cannot recommend more than renting Mafia II unless you have a particularly strong affection for the subject material. Mafia II is not broken nor does do any one thing particularly badly; the overall experience is just a real disappointment and I would rather swim with the fishes than play it again.
  60. Folks who love a decent mafia tale -- one of family ties, betrayal, and revenge -- will want to experience the world of Mafia II. Its competent game mechanics and absorbing narrative are enough to warrant a playthrough. But in the end, the repetitive nature of the game's sometimes mind-blowingly boring missions and lack of content will leave most gamers wanting more.
  61. After 2010 has given us open worlds as complex as Red Dead Redemption, Mafia 2's empty city and two-dimensional campaign is hard to tolerate. No matter how much the game may pride itself on supplying a mature tale of crime, it can't overshadow a relentlessly bland gameplay experience.
  62. In the end, Mafia II has the makings of a quicker and darker paced GTA clone that is unfortunately short of greatness due to its forced driving and overall sterile setting.
  63. After enjoying the original game I had high hopes for Mafia 2, but despite putting the bad things about the original right they seem to have taken everything that was good about it and trashed it.
  64. Mafia II is every bit as soulless and dull as its bland sociopathic protagonist
  65. It's barely the open-ended Mafia game that many were expecting, or indeed hoping for, but then it needn't be: Mafia II is of a quality that matches that of GTA and its rivals without the need for illogical side-missions.
  66. This is The Catcher in the Rye, of videogames. Buy it. Even if you don't ever play it, having it on your shelf will someday get you laid.
  67. 70
    Mafia 2 is, to put it mildly, a tightly controlled experience, to an extent that may be a little shocking to those of us who've become acclimated to the freedom of most open world games.
  68. I'm a sucker for a good mob story, but Mafia II's is merely decent.
  69. Here's how to sum up Mafia II : 12 hours of repetitive, linear missions, with but a few gameplay mechanics. Shoot, drive, punch, a tiny little bit of stealth, that's it. There's nothing more to be done than to follow the unfolding of the plot, which is clearly sub-par, especially when considering how easy it is to watch a rerun of The Godfather or a season of the Sopranos instead. Replay value is nil, there's no multiplayer. You can't even roam freely in the city after the ending (what for anyway, one may ask). Combat is way to easy, cars don't provide much thrill. In the end, Mafia II is a very pretty box, but an empty one. 80% of what has been developed doesn't serve any real purpose. The rest isn't enough to make a great game. If you're a die hard fan of the 50's atmosphere (nicely rendered), and the Mafia genre, you might still enjoy it. Otherwise...
  70. Flaws and linear nature taken into account, Mafia II is a beautiful, gripping, engaging game-and where it doesn't allow you to go is more than made up for by where it does.
  71. 75
    When the strength of the game lies solely on the shoulders of an inconsistent narrative in a limited yet gorgeous environment, I can't help but feel robbed of an experience that should be greater than the sum of its parts.
  72. The gameplay is fun, even if the game isn't especially ambitious. Still, it's better than the other mob-influenced Xbox 360 games on the market!
  73. Unfortunately, aging gameplay mechanics and weak plot turns make the game's magic peel away faster than a bank-job getaway car.
  74. 70
    But even though it offers some worthwhile moments, it unfortunately squanders most of its vast potential on a heavily scripted experience that doesn't take full advantage of the compelling world around it.
  75. From a pure gamer's perspective, then, Empire Bay feels half-finished. [Issue#63, p.80]
  76. Authentic, brutal and uncompromising, but a few niggling flaws hold it back from greatness. [Oct 2010, p.67]
  77. Linearity and middling mechanics let the side down, but this is still a cracking sequel. [Nov 2010, p.83]
  78. Mafia II is certainly an enigma among mob drama games, eliciting both an intense satisfaction with story and place while accruing simultaneous disappointment at the limitation of its focus.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 352 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 114
  2. Negative: 11 out of 114
  1. Sep 11, 2010
    10
    This is why I don't get most of the reviewers out there. Mafia 2 is an absolute blast to play IF you enjoy an amazing story with great characters. The gameplay works very well in every aspect of this game. The driving was the part I enjoyed the most. Different cars have different feels and the town is gorgeous. It took me around 14 hours to complete the game. Sure, I took my time, but it was worth it. I cannot wait for Mafia III. Full Review »
  2. Aug 24, 2010
    6
    Although Mafia 2 has been anticipated and will obviously do well I have to ask myself why. Having played through the first and made the obvious comparison with the Godfather competition I cant really see any redeeming qualities that make the game stand out. Yes it is linear and of course this hold true to it being a story driven FPS rather than a Sandbox that kind of rings through in its portrayal and hype surrounding its release. Although I wasnt expecting it to be so much sandbox and GTA style unless they were really going to remove themselves from how the first game played out, I would have expected some more depth and scope to actually play as a character that had a wide range of choices and could move freely around his environment with something to do rather than live out a one dimensional story line.

    But hey, linear is not always bad....unless you were really expecting something different. So here I am to tell you done and you wont be disappointed.

    However the game really has nothing more to offer than the same graphics, gun play and some witty dialogue if you can be bothered not skipping the ever so endless, and I mean every time you fart or want to take a **** up pops some more dialogue. God seems like you cant take a dump without the game wanting to tell you some back story about wiping you ass. If you into that then hey enjoy.

    Overall the game does nothing to move the genre ahead, offers nothing more than some reasonable game play and dialogue, but with so much more that could be done with consoles, and PC's alike, none of the new game titles are pushing anything ahead. Yet they just seem to be treading water and offering a graphics upgrade.

    If your bored and have the extra cash by all means go ahead and buy the game, but dont expect anything new, exciting or markedly different. It all been done before. Nothing new to offer.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 26, 2010
    10
    This game is not GTA(which is a good IMHO). GTA/RDR/etc are completely different games. I liked both of those games, but I had a lot more fun playing Mafia 2. I'm going to compare it to GTA because that seems to be the popular counter example on the internet, and we all know the internets never lie. And someone needs to stand up for a good game where the moronicons come out of the wood work screaming "NO BLIND FIRE, NO EUPHORIA!!! NO 100 HOURS GAME SUCKS MY B's I GIVE IT A SCORE OF TOO!!"


    What Mafia 2 tries to do, is to put the player in an immersive, realistic environment + story/narative + fun gameplay = Great Game!

    The city, and the people in it, are a set piece more than anything else. It is highly detailed and visually/audibly rich. The voice acting is great, the story is great, and the movement feels real. As a result you care about your character and the people around him and the actions he takes. It's linear, but it's good(by the by GTA IV and RDR are linear, with passable story lines). The characters are rich and serious, which is refreshing after all the rockstar games were every character is a trite pulp fiction type who makes 1000 pop references a second.

    There's really no free roam or anything like that, although you can do whatever you want in on the way to missions/home. I just mean there's not a lot of side content, and consequently the game is shorter. However, that being said, since the story missions were so tight, I had a lot more fun playing this game then most. Less messenger boy, chores to do.

    I think why I like this game the most, is that it is a little more realistic. Gun fights are quick and deadly, car crashes are the same. And maybe it's just me, but in GTA IV, I wasn't even worried about cops until 4 stars, but in mafia 2, I find myself super tensed up when the cops get involved. It actually takes a level of skill to lose them.


    This is a really good game. I like the cinematic look and feel, I like the game play. GTA IV(and by extension all open world games) is a totally different animal. That being said. You get more for your money with GTA, but If I think back, I actually had more fun playing Mafia 2, and consequently, think it's a better game. Graphics, open world, linear/non linear, blind fire, etc doesn't matter. If you have fun playing a game, then it's a good game. I had more fun in Mafia 2 then GTA IV.
    Full Review »