Gamers looking to relive America’s past have been able to take advantage of the ‘wild west’ one stage coach at a time in Red Dead Redemption but if playing a young gangsta is more your speed then Mafia II (from 2K Games) is just what the godfather ordered!

Mafia II features Vito Scaletta in the lead with childhood friend Joe along for the ride and is set in the 1950s.  Fans of The Godfather films or Goodfellas will feel right at home as the look of the city, the sounds of the people and the music of the environment has all been meticulously included.  At first glance you’ll mistake the game for a ‘sandbox’ but it is mostly story-driven with a minor cosmetic alternative option sprinkled here and there.

The game’s  engine allows you to fight hand-to-hand, take cover behind cars and walls and drive through the city.  Driving is a large part of the game – in fact you’ll spend the majority of time inside your car or watching cut scenes.  The cut scenes help progress the story and develop the characters but six chapters into the game meant a TON of driving thus far.  A good old fashion shoot out or brawl were the best parts of the game but they were vastly spread out between driving from one location to the next.

Mafia II will appeal to those looking to immerse themselves in the 1950s as an upcoming Mafia hit man.  Car aficionados and fans of the music from that era will enjoy the time devoted to making this game.   If you are looking to leap into a sandbox-like game with guns a’blazing then Mafia II will not wet your appetite.

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