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Thoughts on Jimmy's Vendetta

Posted on 17th Sep 2010 at 11:06 by Richard Swinburne with 14 comments

Richard Swinburne
I've recently completed Mafia 2 and despite spending far too many hours looking at the benchmarks I decided to grab the Jimmy's Vendetta DLC because I still wanted something more.

I don't know what I really expected, but I think my thick, rose-tinted glasses for the original Mafia created a blind faith that Mafia 2's DLC might offer...something. I'd read it was designed to be more 'Open World', with mission selection instead of the exclusively linear, point-to-point play that Mafia 2's singleplayer forced on you.

I didn't come away thinking Mafia 2 should have been a more open world 'GTA in the 50s' though, because what it needed more than that was a better story. Although Empire Bay was clearly designed with open world in mind, 2K must have dropped it from single player at some point. Jimmy's Vendetta restores the open world, but it'll still leave you feeling disappointed and wanting more because it suffers from many of the same flaws as the original.

You see, Jimmy is even less likeable and relateable than Vito or Joe. He looks like Terry Tibbs, but with the appeal of Teri Hatcher (that link's SFW but not SF-stomach) and the attitude of Mad Max.

Thoughts on Jimmy's Vendetta Thoughts on Mafia 2 DLC

Despite being set in Empire Bay, the story is not related to the main single player campaign. After a prison riot and a few fights (because you didn't have enough of that already in the jail part of the singleplayer campaign, right?) Jimmy, his aviator glasses and his perfectly chromed noggin bust out and start looking for revenge against his ex-employers. That's as thick as the story gets. There's additional info at the start of each mission, but it feels like some sort of thinly-veiled excuse for the mayhem he's about to create.

The open world means you can take missions on as you wish, even replaying them to try and get a better score.

What? Score? Yes. The whole game is laden achievements and a Capcom-esque A-Crap ranking system, with points for completion time and additional kudos for making Jimmy drive faster and drift around corners. There's no points for getting air though, sadly. <Correction 18th September 2010: Apparently there is points for getting air, although I never saw them, despite launching my car over several others.>

The kudos part I actually like - it's an encouragement to go nuts, but at the expense of rousing the cops. In the main single player I spent half the time driving around like a grandma as there's no incentive to get places faster. In fact, co-passengers would complain to "take your foot of the gas" if you went too fast. Now Jimmy drops the "lets see what this baby can do" line when you put your foot finger down.

The positive stops there though, because actual missions get mind-numbingly tedious very quickly.

Thoughts on Jimmy's Vendetta Thoughts on Mafia 2 DLC

Go here, shoot this.
Go here, steal that.
Drive from here to there.

Every mission is astonishingly shallow and short, usually having a single objective that can be done in about five minutes.

At first I thought it was a simplified tutorial, but then I realised that's all there is. There's about as much thought gone into missions as has gone in to character development, and it nullifies the point of it being open world because nothing ever changes in the missions, apart from how much you piss off the cops.

If you do piss off the cops though, they don't forget once the mission ends. This adds another level of fun and frustration, as you're forced to evade them and make it to a clothing shop to change and finally lose them. This one upside should have been in the main game, although with some better missions would have actually made the DLC worth playing.

I'd got about half way through and my save game corrupted (hurrah for the console-style, single slot save system) but I've no intention of bothering to do it all again and finish it, let alone replay missions to get a better score.

14 Comments

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Xir 17th September 2010, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
hurrah for the console-style, single slot save system
Oh good...whoever thought THAT was a good Idea to make it through the Beta?
Yemerich 17th September 2010, 12:42 Quote
Interesting.
Not the game itself but the fact that I've enjoyed Mafia II much more than Amnesia for example. I am yet to play Jimmy's Vendetta but I will try because I really liked M2.

This semester is being quite boring besides the antecipation for Civ V. And yes, I do remember Starcraft II wich I find just a little above OK game because I am not much into multiplayer games (I always lose).
LeMaltor 17th September 2010, 12:47 Quote
I'm proud of myself for not buying this :D
capnPedro 17th September 2010, 12:51 Quote
Heh, the first thing I thought when I saw the picture was something along the lines of, "there's a Terry Tibbs game!? Fantastic!" I was dissapointed. :(

Oh, and that picture of Teri Hatcher has got to be altered... it almost looks like a mashup of her and Michael Jackson!
wuyanxu 17th September 2010, 13:04 Quote
looks like this is what should have been in Mafia 2 (non DLC original) from the start.
lacuna 17th September 2010, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
hurrah for the console-style, single slot save system

What? I seem to recall that was often the case on the PS2 but I haven't seen anything that only allows one save slot since. Even Sonic 3 on the megadrive had 4 slots!
themcman1 17th September 2010, 20:26 Quote
Quote:
There's no points for getting air though, sadly

Unless I'm very much mistaken, there is.
Deadpunkdave 17th September 2010, 21:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
What? I seem to recall that was often the case on the PS2 but I haven't seen anything that only allows one save slot since. Even Sonic 3 on the megadrive had 4 slots!

Sometimes 3 isn't enough. During a drunken night I went from being Supreme Allied Commander to Cadet after drunkenly telling my mate he could 'just take one of the saves' in Rogue Squadron. It shall never be forgotten.
robots 18th September 2010, 04:11 Quote
I thought Mafia 2 itself was ok, not great but ok. This however was complete crap. I actually stopped playing it half way though because it just wasn't fun.
Bindibadgi 18th September 2010, 07:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by themcman1
Unless I'm very much mistaken, there is.

At >100MPH I fired my car over several vehicles with no points accumulation. Not even an increase before turning red and losing them. :(
PegasusM 18th September 2010, 12:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
At >100MPH I fired my car over several vehicles with no points accumulation. Not even an increase before turning red and losing them. :(

There is points for air, and I think Jimmy even said something too. Not sure what happened in your case, maybe the game thought you were falling instead:P.
JAMF 18th September 2010, 19:45 Quote
I actually put my foot down.

Here's a "Howto" that allows one to use a wheel/pedal combo:
http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80322

In short:
Run the x360ce.exe tool to emulate the xBox controller and select your wheel or the closest 'relative'.
If you get the MSVCR100.dll error, DL and install the "MS Visual C++" package.

Select the "Advanced tab":
-change the device type to "Gamepad".
-AntiDeadZone; set this to "Enabled (X-input, 90%)".
-Set the Left Thumb DeadZone to your preference (1-nn%).

That's a much nicer way to drive.
leibritz 21st September 2010, 10:55 Quote
I was so disappointed by the JV DLC. I played Mafia 2 on PC and suddenly I was playing an XBOX game? The mission markers scared the hell of me. I am also not interested in getting points, would you like to get points in Crysis?

Jimmy's Vendetta is a leap back, all bad things in Mafia 2 are even worse here...
Anakha 26th September 2010, 09:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
Oh, and that picture of Teri Hatcher has got to be altered... it almost looks like a mashup of her and Michael Jackson!

Yeah, it looks as though it's been run through a "Sharpen" filter until it screamed for mercy (And then a few more runs, just to make sure).
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