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II: Joe's Adventures
Score: 6.0 / 10
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
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
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).
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
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.