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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action / Adventure

 

Publisher

2K Games

 

Developer

2K Czech

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

November 23, 2010

 

 

- Faster access to missions
- Arcade-style, score-based incentives

 

 

- Monotonous driving
- Small amount of cutscenes

 

 

Review: Mafia II (360)

Review: Mafia II (PS3)

Review: Dead Rising 2: CASE WEST (360)

 

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Mafia II: Joe's Adventures

Score: 6.0 / 10

 

mafia ii joe's adventures          mafia ii joe's adventures

 

Joeís Adventures follows the tradition of many DLC packs released this gen, allowing players to re-experience a game while controlling an entirely different character engaged in entirely different scenarios. In Mafia IIís case, this latest DLC lets players experience the crime-based storyline through Joe Barbaroís point of view, after his good friend Vito (the gameís main protagonist) is incarcerated for selling stolen gas tickets.

The game sets its first mission in the 1940ís, where Joe is first tasked with taking out the key witness before he testifies against Vito. Several scripted chase sequences later, the game fast forwards to the 50ís, where Joe has gone into hiding under a less-than-conspicuous disguise while still keeping tabs on his old

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contacts in order to make his living through the death of others.

At first, it looks like Joeís Adventures will run into the same major complaint that was apparent in the original game: the monotonous back-and-forth traveling between the characterís apartment, the mission contact, and the mission itself, to returning back to the apartment. With the exception of the first mission, Adventures

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thankfully does away of the mechanic once the big time skip occurs. Instead, missions are represented as icons scattered around the city that can be accessed at any time, and in succession.

The other new and welcome feature to the DLC is the arcade-style scoring system; when a mission is undertaken, there are several optional factors that players can indulge in, such as extra points for combo kills, maintaining a high velocity while driving, creatively killing pedestrians, and finishing the mission within a certain time limit (a clock icon has been added that slowly ticks away; the faster players finish a mission, the higher their overall score). It adds a faster pace to the game and encourages more active play-styles in order to compete with friends in the online leaderboard.

These quick missions come at a price, however: the majority of mission descriptions are limited to a single screenshot filled with text, rather than a voice-acted exchange between Joe and his client. For fans of Mafia IIís cutscenes, this may come off as disappointing. This also does little to differentiate Joe and Vito, despite the former being a much livelier, almost comedic character (one moment early on has him singing along with an old-timey song while driving).

 

mafia ii joe's adventures         mafia ii joe's adventures


And despite dealing away with the back-and-forth mission structure of the original game, they still havenít eliminated Mafia IIís biggest failing: the driving. Once again, the game requires an obnoxious amount of driving from Point A to Point B, even if itís just to get to the next mission icon. Considering the dull nature of the city, and the fact that the simplest veering off can either lead to an unavoidable accident and/or pursuit from the police, driving is simply a bore (it also doesnít help that players are at a disadvantage at being unable to fire weapons while driving, even though the opposition suffers no such handicap).

In short, if you enjoyed the original game enough that you would like to experience more of it, than Joeís Adventures is a worthwhile investment. Itís commendable in making the missions easier and quicker to engage, and it features a fair share of decent shoot-outs, stealth missions, and overall mafia-related shenanigans in a (mostly) accurate time period. As long as you arenít driving, youíre bound to enjoy yourself.

 

- Jorge Fernandez

(January 5, 2011)

 

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