Mafia II

Spotlight

VideoMafia II: Joe's Adventures - 15 mins

Quest for Joe Barbaro's treasure.

Digital FoundryMafia II's 2D foliage

Shades of 80s SEGA arcade games in Mafia II...

Key events

Lay-offs at 2K's Mafia 2 studio

40+ staff handed their P45s.

More than 40 staff members at 2K Czech, the studio behind crime epic Mafia 2, are looking for new jobs following redundancies this week.

Mafia creator founds new studio

Warhorse working on RPG.

High profile members of Mafia developer 2K Czech and original Operation Flashpoint studio Bohemia Interactive have split to form a new outfit.

2K confirms Mafia II special editions

2K confirms Mafia II special editions

DLC bundled in at discount price.

As rumoured last week, 2K has repackaged its Mafia II mob epic to include all the game's DLC.

The pack, tagged Mafia II: Director's Cut on PC, Mafia II: Greatest Hits on PlayStation 3 and Mafia II: Platinum Hits on Xbox 360, bolts on the following content to the bare-bones game:

The Betrayal of Jimmy expansion

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Thriving Core

Take-Two's sales figures suggest there's never been a better time to be a core gamer.

Published as part of our sister-site GamesIndustry.biz's widely-read weekly newsletter, the GamesIndustry.biz Editorial, is a weekly dissection of an issue weighing on the minds of the people at the top of the games business. It appears on Eurogamer after it goes out to GI.biz newsletter subscribers.

Story-based Mafia II DLC announced

Story-based Mafia II DLC announced

Joe Barbaro gets his moment in the spotlight.

A story-based downloadable add-on for gangster game Mafia II will be released later this year, 2K Games has announced.

Joe's Adventures, the third Mafia II add-on, will be available to download from the PlayStation Store for PS3, Xbox Live Marketplace for Xbox 360 and... The internet for PC.

The player character is Joe Barbaro, Vito Scaletta's best friend. You assume control during the time Vito spends in prison. We're promised a "dramatic storyline" with "intense arcade-style" gameplay.

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August NPDs: Xbox 360 on top again

Wii has worst month since launch.

The Xbox 360 has notched up a second consecutive month as America's best selling console - even beating the DS. Conversely, the Wii has recorded its worst month of sales since launch.

UNICO: We ruined the Mafia II launch

UNICO: We ruined the Mafia II launch

Italian Americans against "ethnic bashing".

UNICO, the Italian-American collective that recently accused Take-Two of racism, claims to have ruined the New York launch of Mafia II.

"I have no doubt our efforts resulted in the Mafia II Launch Party, at the 92nd Street Y's Tribeca Center, being a dismal failure," spouted UNICO leader Andre DiMino.

The launch, according to UNICO, was attended by "a sparse group of mostly young people", and no Take-Two executives were anywhere in sight - "least of all [Take-Two boss] Strauss Zelnick".

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Mafia II

Mafia II

Crime doesn't play.

The remarkable thing about Mafia II is not that it's bad, but that it masks its awfulness so well. The game opens with striking visuals: the backdrop of Empire Bay (Mafia's stand-in for New York City) is packed with World War II-era details, and the characters are authentic-looking, with a veneer of humanity. The nicely curated oldies soundtrack promises to immerse us in the culture and spirit of the period. Mafia II has the production values that players interpret as signs of quality. What comes next is cognitive dissonance.

Playing this Potemkin village of a game is an eerie experience. Mafia II puts up such a convincing facade that it's hard to believe Empire Bay is, in fact, practically empty. Even after four hours of play, I told myself, "Once I get past these boring tutorial stages, the actual game is going to be great." As I slogged through a mission to canvass Empire Bay's local gas stations and sell off extra fuel stamps, the truth dawned on me: This was the actual game. Mafia II was having me play stamp salesman, and it wasn't even kidding.

2K Czech's developers have dressed up their latest title to masquerade as a vast, Rockstar-style open world, and a pretty masquerade it is, too. But the reality is that Mafia II strings the player through a couple of dozen mandatory missions, all of them straight out of the Grand Theft Auto reject pile, and the potential for exploration is nil.

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Scott Pilgrim heads PS Store update

Scott Pilgrim heads PS Store update

Mafia II demo now available to all.

Sony's revealed all the new gubbins released on the EU PlayStation Store this week.

Side-scrolling beat-em-up Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is your headline game. Eurogamer awarded it a thoroughly enjoyable 7/10.

The Read Dead Redemption Legends and Killers add on went live yesterday, which we've already told you about. It'll set you back £7.99.

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Mafia II demo dated

Try before you buy.

A demo for upcoming gangster fest Mafia II will be available from 10th August, an advert in videogame trade magazine MCV has revealed.

Mafia II

Back for hood.

Back in the old days, we'd fumble innocently for ways to describe titles like Mafia. Terms such as 'mission-based driving game' and 'sandbox action-adventure' were tossed around with all the grace of a goon in concrete shoes, but none of them really stuck. Playing Mafia's long-awaited sequel for the first time, it suddenly seems obvious: this is gaming's own take on period drama.

PS3 secures exclusive Mafia II DLC

PS3 secures exclusive Mafia II DLC

An offer you can't refuse?

The first batch of downloadable Mafia II content will be exclusive to PlayStation 3, 2K Games has announced.

First-hand buyers will be supplied with a voucher to download The Betrayal of Jimmy for free. But buy second-hand and you'll need to spend £6.29.

Is this 2K Games' answer to EA's Project Ten Dollar?

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Sony ties up DLC/pack-in exclusives

Sony ties up DLC/pack-in exclusives

For MOH, Dead Space, Mafia, Brotherhood.

Sony has announced a bunch of exclusive tie-ups with third-party publishers to provide downloadable content, betas and limited editions only available to PlayStation 3 owners.

EA will launch special versions of the new Medal of Honor (12th October) and Dead Space 2 (28th January) that include exclusives bonuses. Medal of Honor will ship with an HD remastering of Medal of Honor: Frontline (remember that?), while Dead Space 2 will include a copy of Dead Space: Extraction featuring PS Move support.

2K, meanwhile, will offer exclusive day-one downloadable content for Mafia II on PS3. "Loads of new missions and hours of additional arcade gameplay," apparently. Mafia II's out on 27th August.

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Mafia II

Cosa nostalgia.

You can't get two more different approaches to open-world gaming than last week's Just Cause 2 and Mafia II. Both, it's true, descend in a straight line from the same revolutionary inspiration - Grand Theft Auto III - and in both, the world that's opened to you is the game's lead actor.

Mafia II dated

Due out in late August.

2K Games has announced that Mafia II is due out for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on 24th August in the US and 27th August in Europe.

Red Dead slips, GTAIV sells 15m units

Red Dead slips, GTAIV sells 15m units

LA Noire, Mafia II, Max Payne 3 updates.

Take Two has announced that Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption is now due for release on 18th May in the US and 21st May elsewhere - three weeks later than originally planned.

The publisher issued its Q1 financial results this evening and also noted that Grand Theft Auto IV has now sold over 15 million units worldwide, while BioShock 2 has shipped three million units.

Elsewhere there was confirmation that LA Noire, Mafia II, Max Payne 3 and Sid Meier's Civilization V are all due out in the company's fourth fiscal quarter - which ends 31st October 2010 - but the publisher noted that its guidance "reflects the potential movement of one of these titles into fiscal 2011".

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Take-Two confirms early 2010 line-up

Take-Two confirms early 2010 line-up

BioShock, Payne, Red Dead, Mafia by July.

Take-Two has confirmed that it plans to release four major titles in the first half of 2010. BioShock 2, Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption and Mafia II will all see release between the start of February and end of June 2010, chief executive Ben Feder told investors.

"We are continuing to evaluate the optimal release window for these titles and still plan to release all four titles in the first half of calendar 2010," Feder said, according to GameSpot. "At this point, we don't expect any of these titles to launch within our first fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2010."

Most of these games were originally planned to see the light of day in 2009 - notably, BioShock 2 was originally slated for a late October or early November release. Announcing the delays earlier this year, Take-Two said the games needed longer in development and that it was seeking an "improved retail environment" - suggesting that it was one of many publishers running scared from the release of Modern Warfare 2 this Christmas.

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Mafia II

Family reunion.

New York, meet New York. While Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City could not and would not claim to be a facsimile, it wears its influences proudly on the sheer glass sleeves of prominent landmarks, and in the architectural sweeps of its bridges, towers and districts. One imagines Mafia II's Empire Bay pursues the Big Apple with no more of a mind toward replication - even of the equivalent city from the 1950s, when the game is set - but developer 2K Czech does have a mind toward authenticity of another kind: it's out to recreate the life of a post-war gangster, from pin-striped trilby to designer shoes and every phone booth, Billy club and shakedown in-between. They may only be a couple of publishing labels and a few European borders away from one another, but 2K Czech's world of organised crime is another world away from Rockstar North's excellent Grand Theft Auto IV.

Mafia II and Red Dead both delayed

Between November and end of April.

Take-Two has said that both Mafia II and Red Dead Redemption will be released in the first half of its next fiscal year, a period covering 1st November 2009 until 30th April 2010.

Mafia II

When I'm Cleaning Windows.

Remember Mafia? It was an open-world game set in the 1930s that let you buzz around in ancient cars, shoot serious men in hats, and its developers thought it was the best movie Martin Scorsese never made. Well, it's coming back: released later this year, Mafia II will let you buzz around in moderately less ancient cars, shoot yet more serious men in hats, and its developer presumably thinks it's the second best movie Martin Scorsese never made. That Martin Scorsese, eh? He should stop not making his best movies and make games instead. That would give the Mafia team something to stick in their pipes.

Mafia 2 revealed

Details, first shots.

2K Games has announced today that it is bringing Mafia 2 to "next generation consoles" (i.e. 360 and PS3) and PC. A release date has yet to be revealed.