Review by Rogue_Agent
Despite going for more GTA like gameplay and less story oriented, it's still highly enjoyable.
While the main game might not be the most critically acclaimed video game around, Mafia II is an amazing game with a fantastic storyline and many interesting characters to meet along the way, as well as the large beautiful city of Empire Bay and many classic designed vehicles to drive. The story wasn't particularly long, so it still left something to be desired. Two DLCs were released, one being this game, Jimmy's Vendetta. Despite an obvious shift in game play and shorter story, it's definitely worth a play through.
The Plot of The Game
The game starts in a somewhat different setting. The game doesn't try and relate itself to the events of the main game, nor the main characters Vito Scaletta or Joe Barbaro. Instead, you find yourself as a man known only as Jimmy. The story is a sequel to The Betrayal of Jimmy. Jimmy is the kind of person mob bosses would hire to tie up loose ends and clean up their messes. However, he eventually became the loose end and was betrayed, and got thrown in prison. After his former bosses attempt to have him murdered in prison three times, he decides to get revenge. A riot begins in the prison, which Jimmy views as an advantage. He uses this as a distraction and escapes the prison, and begins his quest to get revenge on the people who wronged him.
The Game Play
The game is similar to that of the main game of Mafia II, however the game takes a more Grand Theft Auto like approach. The main game was more linear, so roaming freely around Empire Bay (looking for the wanted posters hidden around the city, for example) would require you to deliberately avoid continuing the story to do whatever you want. This game is much like GTA, in which you go to a mission icon on the map to start a mission.
Missions are basically like most GTA levels. You are given a small task, such as "Go to the docks and destroy all marked cars", as well as an explanation in the form of text of how this is related to one of the two mob bosses that betrayed Jimmy. The game has about thirty missions in total, and the goals are varied, such as stealing cars for money, destroying merchandise and vehicles, and killing enemies. After each mission is done, you get a high score which is uploaded to the leader boards, so you can try and better your score and climb up the leader boards for extra replay value. Most actions gain points which can make your score higher as you do more. The ability to rob stores, sell cars at the docks and scrap cars at Bruski's scrap yard are still available.
The game is in a third person view, and has many shooting elements. You can roam wherever you want, and basically do whatever you please in Empire Bay. Many of the vehicles and weapons are brought into the game, and the map layout is the same, so players already familiar with the city will get into the game quite easily. The Controls are exactly the same as the main game as well.
The game has the same difficulty level as the main game. The main character Jimmy has a health bar that regenerates slowly over time, and the total amount of health shortens as damage is taken, and is only one hundred percent filled back up is to consume food or non alcoholic beverages. The game has a total of three difficulties, so all players should be able to find a difficulty level to their liking. The levels feel very fair, and can be completed with enough effort.
The Music and The Sound
The music is exactly the same as that in the main game. All of the radio stations are the same, and sound great. My feelings towards the sound are somewhat positive, but mixed as well. Jimmy has his own sound bites recorded, and had a whole scene of dialogue in the opening cut scene. However, what s a shame is that when you start a mission, you are greeted with a screen with text explaining your goal. It feels odd when you think of the main game with many cut scenes and fully recorded dialogue, yet this game has only three cut scenes in total, and only one has dialogue. Some sound bites are a problem, as they are reused from the main game. Some only make sense when they're aimed at the main character of the main game Vito Scaletta. Jimmy is obviously an older individual, while Vito is a much younger individual. So, when a gangster fires at Jimmy and yells out "you're dead, kid", the reuse of old dialogue is quite easy to see.
While the game has a few small flaws, it's still a highly enjoyable add on to the main game. It won't take long to beat the game, and collect all ten trophies, it's absolutely worth a try. In conclusion, I give Mafia II: Jimmy's Vendetta 9 / 10.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Mafia II: Jimmy's Vendetta (US, 09/07/10)
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