2b: Taking Care of Business - Mafia 2
Your First Job
The first task that you have to accomplish after Joe throws the girls out and gets dressed is to pick up your discharge papers -- but on the way out look on the table to grab the first collectibles: an issue of Playboy Magazine (Playboy 1 of 50). As you grab it the magazine opens to show that month's centerfold -- yes, it is an anachronism, considering that the first issue of that particular magazine would not appear in the world until 1953, but hey, it is a video game! Grabbing that magazine also unlocks the Achievement / Trophy "Collector's Item" for finding one collectible in the game.
Before you leave take a look around the rest of the apartment to learn where you will be sleeping and to see your new flat. Once you are satisfied, follow Joe out and down to the exit, then to the nearby garage where he keeps his wheels. You ask to drive, and after a short argument he agrees to let you, so hey, your first driving experience!
When I played the demo at PAX the first magazine I found came shortly after driving my first car in the demo, and I basically sucked at driving at that point, all the more as the demo systems were set up right next to the main aisle and so as I played, passers-by had comments to offer LOL. I nearly died when I picked up the mag and the centerfold opened on the huge flatscreen TV I was playing on. I did not know at that time that this would happen, so needless to say I quickly closed the centerfold!
As you drive Joe will give you verbal directions, but if you look on your radar map you will also see small blue arrows that indicate the suggested route. Pull up to the street and wait for a break in the traffic, and then pull onto the road. Obviously you want to try to do this smoothly so you do not piss Joe off by wrecking his baby -- so take it easy and learn the handling for this car as you progress. An interesting note -- unlike a lot of games, the cars in Mafia II each have their own handling and driving quirks and styles, but you will see that as the game progresses.
As you drive you will notice that there is a red line on the radar map to show you the route, and you have a speedometer to help you stay within the speed limit and to tell you how fast you are going (obviously). This is essential so that you do not take corners too fast on the ice covered streets! As you drive Joe tells you it is time for you to get your own set of wheels -- and not the sort you have to pay for! When you arrive, you pull into the lot for a brief CS and then follow Joe to Giuseppe's.
As you enter Joe outlines all of the many services and items that can be obtained here, including gun permits, discharge papers, and lock picks! Inside you are introduced to what Joe says is the best Safe Cracker in the region, and you receive your papers. You now have the opportunity to purchase a set of lock picks -- you pay of course. After you buy the set, you have the opportunity to test out your picks on a lock Giuseppe has here.
Picking locks is a simple task, making use of the left joystick and the X button. Simply slowly rotate the left joystick counterclockwise until the individual tumbler pin turns green then hit the X bitton to set the pin. The next pin is automatically selected, and you repeat the process through all of the pins. If you make a mistake, you have to repeat the previous pin in the series in order to retry the one you messed up on, but you should get the hang of it quickly.
Sadly as you are in the middle of boosting this new ride a beat cop spots you and calls it in, and you are quickly involved in your first car chase with the cops. You have a choice here -- out run the cop car, or intentionally disable it by knocking it into something like an oncoming car. Either way, you are likely to have damaged your car, so once you are free of the pursuit, follow Joe's directions to the nearest body shop, where he will pay to have the car repaired and a clean set of papers and a license applied.
Remember, the car is still "Wanted" by the police as long as the Wanted Plate is displayed on the screen, so you want to keep an eye out for and avoid cop cars on the radar map. The cops will set up roadblocks at strategic intersections, so you may be unable to take the most direct route to the body shop -- pick your route carefully so you do not have to lose another cop car, right? Once you arrive at the body shop, pull close to the door and hit your horn (the X button). Inside you will have the option to change the plates. You can actually customize the plate ID number if you like -- and why not?
Once you decide on what you want for a plate number, commit the purchase, and then select Repair Car to have any damage from the chase repaired. You can have the car Repainted, you can change the Rims, and get a Basic Tuning Package that will boost the performance. That helps if you are running from the cops and actually want to outrun them, and hey, you are not paying for this, right? Having the car tuned also unlocks the Achievement / Trophy "Tuned Ride" for a nice unexpected bonus!
Once you are satisfied with the upgrades and repairs, go ahead and leave the shop, and Joe will suggest that you introduce yourself to Mike, who owns a Junkyard nearby. Joe tells you about the bloke in the body shop, and as you drive to your next destination, he gives you advice on how to pick up women. Sheesh!
Joe does not have much taste in pick-up lines. While you listen to his best ones, push down on the right joystick to change your view -- you can go with the classic behind-the-car view which is the default, or the inside view that features the bonnet in front of you, with you theoretically looking out the windscreen. You can have a view that is simply forward with no part of the car visible, and one that shows the scene from the lower left had side of the car. Once you decide on your view, follow the suggested route to the Junk Yard, where you meet Mike.
Mind the pedestrians as you navigate the city streets to the entrance to the turnpike, then follow Joe's directions to the gate of the Junk Yard. When you arrive make your way to the office marked on the map, and you will trigger a CS in which you meet Mike, a chop-shop operator. Basically you steal cars and bring them to Mike, who gives you a share of the value. During the conversation you get your first contract -- a Coupe that will get you four big ones!
Joe is going to help you with this first job -- starting with handing you a heater! You get to try out your new gun on a red junker, first taking out the tyres, and then its gas tank. Once you have done so, thus demonstrating to Joe that you know one end of a pistol from the other, it is time to get to work
Before you leave here it is important that you do the following as you cannot do it later: head to the small workshop tot he right of the garage across from the office and you will find a Playboy Magazine (Playboy 2 of 50) on a shelf inside. Grab that now!
Jump back into your new ride and follow the route to the highway -- notice the gun shop you just passed? Might want to remember where that is for later! You drive for a bit -- get used to that, as there is a lot of driving in this game, so it is better if you learn to enjoy it by watching the scenery and refining your skill at the wheel. When you arrive at your destination, Joe points out the target car and then takes off, leaving you to do the stealing.
When you hop over the fence you get jumped by a local who really wants to kick your ass -- but you win the fight, right? As you approach the car you are forced into a gun fight -- draw your new pistol with the D-Pad and aim using the Left Trigger. Fire with the Right Trigger, and reload with RB. All set? Excellent! Once you have eliminated the enemies steal the car!
You can either smash the window or pick the lock -- I chose to pick the lock as it is only one pin, and driving through the Winter streets with a broken window would pretty much suck. A quick tip when picking locks -- if you have trouble hitting the X when pushing on the pin, simply push the pin up past the sweet spot and then let it slide back down. When it lights green, just hit X, which lets you pick locks with no pressure! Smash through the chain link gate and quickly drive away, as there are more enemies shooting at you on the way out!
One oddity I noticed -- and it may just be a quirk of the 360 version -- was that no matter what I set the default measures setting to, the speedometers always displayed kilometers instead of MPH. Weird! You want to get away from the area as quickly as you can because they will chase you -- so either outrun them or take them out, it is your call! Once you get back to the Yard, Mike checks out the car and Joe congratulates you, and you unlock the Achievement / Trophy "Back in Business."
You try to squeeze an extra $200 out of Mike, but it does not work, and Joe takes a cut himself, leaving you with just $300 for your pay. Oh well, it is $300 more than we had a few minutes ago and considering that a bottle of Coke costs .03 cents at the time, $300 for a boost like that is not a bad wage! It is time to go home, so jump back into your new car and head there! When you arrive Joe shows you where to park your car, so just pull near and hit the horn (X) to park it.
Inside Joe suggests that you eat, so grab a sandwich and soda from the fridge as that also heals any damage that you took earlier. You may as well use the bed to end this chapter and pick up the Achievement / Trophy "Home Sweet Home."