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Mafia II (2010)
It's not bad, it's just too limited
People anticipated this game for a long time. Release about 8 years later got quite a lot of hopes up for many improvements and new kind of mafia experience.
The truth turned out quite different. I'm saying now - this game is by no means bad, seven is a decent score as well.
The introduction of characters were very good, the main one soon became very likable. A proper game play tutorial was also very good and you could get used to things very easily.
The story is also very good, with its twists and emotional moments, as much as hardcore action and reflection of gangster life. A possibility to rob stores and bribe the police added a nice feeling to the whole package. Bunch of people complained about the driving being too difficult and chaotic, but in fact it's actually a nice change from the arcady thing that's been going on for like, forever... The gun play felt really powerful, the cover system was good - not perfect, but in fact quite decent. The voice acting was great, though the game has strong language (if anyone is worried about that).
But there were also many issues with the game. Overall game play was too short, a pair of extra missions wouldn't have harmed anyone. All the money you earned couldn't be spent, cause you could easily rob stores and get free stuff (if you pleased). There were promotional videos about the game and cuttings to show what it would look like, but much of the stuff was cut from the final version, leaving many people (me involved) dissatisfied. Most of this stuff was side-missions - even in the first game there was something you could do aside from the main objectives, and this game just screamed for extra activities.
Also, the chapter idea lost the feeling of free roam, cause player is attached to the main story line. After your objective is completed, there just isn't anything else to do.
Overall it is a decent game 7/10, but it just lacks side-missions/activities which prevents me from giving it a higher score...
Sleeping Dogs (2012)
Issues drag the good idea down
The game was presented very well, I knew about it soon enough to put it in my list of must have games. The first 3 hours of gameplay were good, cause I was sticking mainly to the storyline, but as I started to drive around and do other stuff, the limitations of the game got me very annoyed.
You character is supposed to be a fighting and parkour master, but there are some movement limitations, for example I could sometime walk or jump over obstacles that were higher than the ankles of my character, so I would have to walk around to get back on the road.
Taxis take you only to a limited amount of places so you most definitely will have to walk a bit yourself (except for the story missions).
Escaping the police wasn't fun, in fact you want to escape it, cause you can't really use your cool moves on them, they are just gonna pop out from nowhere so strikingly that the whole fun is sucked out...
The gun play feels too chaotic and the weapons doesn't feel quite powerful rather than plain and boring.
The car handling is too arcady, and the crashing is sooo 2000, forget about it! The story was fine and the main mission were OK, and the hacking option was enjoyable, but there are just so many rushed and not polished stuff - it gets you annoyed!