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Stop! You’ve got to grab this GTA-like classic before it leaves PS Plus next week

The promo art for Mafia 2 Definitive Edition.
2K Games

While PS Plus subscribers are awaiting word on which titles will be available in December, the clock is counting down for any subscribers who haven’t already claimed the three titles that are available this month. Mafia II: Definitive Edition, Dragonball: The Breakers, and Aliens Fireteam Elite are all available via PS Plus until December 4. While you should claim all three while you still can, you should especially make sure you grab Mafia II: Definitive Edition before it’s too late.

The original version of Mafia II hit consoles in 2010, while the remastered Mafia II: Definitive Edition arrived 10 years later. Neither version is without flaws, and if you’re expecting something as good or as polished as a Grand Theft Auto game, then you’re going to be disappointed. But if you’re looking for a compact crime story that you can finish between longer games, then there’s more than enough here in Mafia II to recommend playing it.

Band of bros

Mafia II’s best asset in 2010 was its story, and the same is true for the definitive edition. The game plays out as a mixture of The Godfather and Goodfellas. That may not be groundbreaking territory, but it’s got enough plot and character to get players through the game’s storyline. Some fans may not appreciate how linear it is, but it never lets up on the story and it actually lets gamers worry about its heroes when their good fortune inevitably goes bad.

The tale is primarily set just after World War II as players step into the role of Vito Scaletta and help guide him toward a lucrative life in the Clemente crime family. This is Vito’s journey, but it’s also the story of his best friend, Joe Barbaro, who helped Vito get into the family. Joe even gets his own side story in Joe’s Adventures, which was originally released as DLC.

Joe and Vito in Mafia II Definitive Edition.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Vito and Joe have some really hard luck, but they’re both ride or die. Neither Vito nor Joe are going to stab each other in the back, and that’s refreshing in this world. They can count on one another even when the chips are down — they just can’t necessarily extend that same level of trust to anyone else.

In addition to its memorable story, Mafia II features some familiar open-world gameplay that Grand Theft Auto fans will adore. Temper your expectations, though; Empire Bay City is a far cry from GTA’s Liberty City or San Andreas. This world may not be as big, but it’s still charming to see 1945 and 1951 represented in an explorable game world. As a bonus, the relatively smaller sandbox is easier to take in, making it far less exhausting than a lot of its modern peers. That’s not to mention that it’s more stylish to traverse in period appropriate, vintage cars.

Considering that there aren’t many games that commit to taking place in mid-20th century America, Mafia II: Definitive Edition still holds up as a special little experience. Whether you want a good story to sink into or just need to kill some time before Grand Theft Auto 6‘s debut trailer, make sure to claim your copy before it leaves PS Plus next week.

Mafia II Definitive Edition is available on PS Plus until December 4.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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