Friday, December 17, 2010

The ends never justify

One of the nice things about playing games months after everyone else does is that I can spoil the shit out of the endings and no one cares. Still, be warned, I am going to now going to complain about how a terrible ending can sully the memories of what had been up to that point an excellent game.

Mob stories usually don't have happy endings. Since Vito had already done his stint in the hole fending off butt pirates I was pretty sure he was going to die. He started vouched for a rat, started a gang war, dealt drugs, killed an underboss, then lied about the whole thing to everyone who would listen. Side note: Vito was never a sympathetic character. He was never portrayed as having fallen into the lifestyle or resorting to crime out of desperation. He was a mobster because he wanted to be a mobster, and even he realized that it was about time to pay the piper. To set up the final mission Vito's friend from prison comes back and give him more chance to redeem himself: kill an opposing Don. He's been killing people for worse reasons for years, why stop now?

What follows is a pretty good climactic fight in which many, many men in suits die. Barring one blind stairwell where I fell victim to an out of nowhere grenade (several times) it was a lot of fun. Vito gets to the Don and is about to kill him when his best friend, who he has saved on several occasions, drops out of the shadows and sticks a gun in his back. They talk, make plans, nearly make out, then start killing everyone in the room. Good times. Vito and Joe escape, are escorted into separate limos by the opposing family and ride off into the sunset, or cat house, whichever they come across first.

Except it doesn't end there. Joe's limo splits off and Vito asks what is going on.

'Joe wasn't part of the deal.'

So Joe is going to die. And what does Vito do? Nothing. He is armed to the teeth with no one in his way but a frail old man and some dumb muscle in t e front of the car. He has killed hundreds of made men with relative ease but decides that enough is enough and lets Joe die, probably by being beaten to a bloody pulp with bats and dropped into a hole like Joe Pesci in Casino. Bullshit, I say, bullshit. It would have been better to have killed them both then set up this betrayal. Maye this was more realistic (not being a mobster, I wouldn't know) but it still does not make for a satisfying ending. Now instead of all the good things all I will remember about Mafia II is how the screwed up the ending. And to think I almost downloaded the DLC missions.

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