Worth the wait.
In this game, you start as a soldier in WW2 where you see some intense "Brothers in Arms" action.
Next, the game brings you back to the States in February, 1945 - and I won't spoil the storyline any further.
The game doesn't throw you into driving right away. you actually get to enjoy the view of the city.
The cut scenes are interesting to watch to say the least. I like GTA games, but I don't remember being able to sit through a single cut scene, it just never stuck with me. However, in Mafia 2 as well as Red Dead Redemption, you DO want to watch the cut scenes. Read Dead for instance, was filled with some good, albeit heavy well-thought out secular life philosophy. That isn't exactly the case in this game, this IS a gangster game after all. However, it IS impressive how they managed to keep the story strong without resorting to the well-known cliches that are associated with Italian gangsters, plus there is some good vulgarity, nudity, adult magazines and great original one-liners.
The attention to detail is simply outstanding. I wouldn't be surprised if the developers hadn't taken their time to create every shelf, every book and every street corner for that matter, with the utmost care to detail. The NPC models are numerous and if you dont scrutinize the NPCs too much, you just wont often find same NPCs, just let the game flow over you. The interior designs are amazing too look at and the icy roads are a b1tch to drive on.
Having played the demo, and getting my first glimpse at the map, I was disappointed. It is small in comparison to Just Cause 2 and Red Dead, which is still a bit of a turn off for me. HOWEVER, the major point is how they managed to utilize the city to its fullest potential. Meaning, the miscellaneous stores and buildings often have an interior with and without people that you can see, which only adds to the sheer depth of the city. You actually get a feel that you are standing next to an apartment building filled with people. In GTA series, buildings were but lifeless texture blocks. Also, there are plenty of missions that take place inside buildings. One of them, involving a safe, will put a long smile on your face as you listen to the conversation between the two security guards. The shootouts are okay, the usual shoot -take cover type of action. The funny thing is that whilst completing the shooting missions, I found myself wasting time by observing the details of furniture and other objects which are greatly polished.
Its also fun to see the well-familiar WW2 American propaganda posters. Remember, the walls have ears... There are plenty of artifacts in the game indicating your 1940's era. Babe Ruth's posters, movie posters and what not.
Some random conversations in the game are outright genius. "Extra! extra! I am freezing my ball$ out here..." or "Spending nights with Rosy Palm and her five sisters" are just a few of them.
The radio broadcast gives an incredible insight into how people talked and thought. The then-live broadcast of WW2 events and battles is interesting enough for you to stand and listen, getting more and more immersed in the game.
I also wouldn't mean hearing some original Italian Language with English subtitles. That is how I played Assassin's Creed II actually.
The lock pick system is reminiscent of the Watchmen game, but it is MUCH easier to handle
Another cool thing is that you can pimp your ride, AND you can customize your plates. Go vulgarity!
Also, for those of you still yearning for the good old days of the first game, tune in Empire Radio whilst driving and feel yourself get a decade younger for a moment.
The Brooklyn Bridge replica is impeccable. I ride the Brooklyn Bridge on my bike quite a few times every summer, and let me tell you, the game nailed it the bridge where GTA 4 failed. Enough said. Also, there is a nice replica of the Brooklyn-Bridge Expressway as you take the right exit off of the Brooklyn Bridge - on the Brooklyn Side.
The docs are also in the right place.
The fist fighting is reminiscent of the Bourne Supremacy game, plus there are some cool easy-to-pull of combo moves
The cut scenes actually retain the car damage that you may have sustained completing a mission
The lip sync is not exactly top notch, in fact its bad.
You can tell they just had the characters flapping their pie holes whilst adding the relative dialogue. I guess only Bioware can pull a well-made lip sync, among other companies.
I also think that the main character could use a bit more charisma and inner thoughts just like Tommy in the first game.
Another thing is that after a couple of hours of playing, you find that there isn't really much to do in the city besides enjoying the scenery, driving and going to bars. But, I guess that's why the developers tried to push the game into linear play in an open-world map.
The final questions is whether you should keep reading reviews or get the game
Its the latter...