Born the son of a poor immigrant, Vito is a beaten down Italian American who is trying to escape the life of poverty that consumed his childhood. It was on the streets that Vito learns that joining the Mafia is the only route to wealth and respect for people of his standing. Wanting to escape the life of hardship that his father led, he dreams about becoming a “Made Man.”
A petty criminal his whole life, Vito, along with his childhood friend, Joe, will descend into the world of organized crime. Together, they will work to prove themselves to the Mafia as they try to make their names on the streets. Starting with low-level jobs like robbery and stealing cars, Vito and Joe escalate quickly up the Mafia family ladder… but the life as a wise guy isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems.
In 2002, Illusion Softworks released Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, a Grand Theft Auto clone with a more mature and serious attitude. It met with critical success and garnered a cult following, as independently-developed games deemed fit for international distribution often do. It takes place in the 1930s in the fictional American city of Lost Heaven, which drew influences from New York, Chicago, and New Jersey. In an open world environment, the player takes part in the telling of a tale inspired by classic gangster films like The Godfather, Once Upon a Time in America, and Goodfellas.
Several years later, Illusion Softworks (now 2K Czech) began work on a sequel. Mafia II tells the tale of up-and-coming made man Vito Scaletta, a decorated soldier returning from World War II who is introduced to the mob life by his childhood friend, Joe Barbaro. Vito has the ambition and the talent to rise to power among Empire Bay’s crime syndicates, but has he bitten off more than he can chew?
Mafia II features an epic storyline that progresses through two decades of the mid-20th century, an authentic, highly-detailed environment to explore, plenty of gun-toting and car-chasing action, enough licensed period music to span a half-dozen CDs, and a new proprietary game engine to tie it all together. Exclusive to the PC version is support for NVIDIA PhysX and 3D Vision technologies, both of which have the potential to greatly increase the visual quality of the title when played on modern GeForce GPUs. All of that sounds great, but is the game as impressive in practice as it seems in theory? Read on to find out!