Mafia Wars 2 launched today on Facebook, marking the first sequel for successful social game developer Zynga. As another measure of just how wide the appeal for these games has grown, the game supports 16 languages, another first for the company. Whatever your opinion of them, Zynga games have grown to be the guilty pleasure of more than 232 million monthly active users.
Mafia Wars 2 will look familiar to those legions of fans. Erik Bethke, the game's general manager explains, "Our goal with Mafia Wars 2 was to build on the Mafia Wars franchise in a way that feels familiar to our loyal players, yet provides a brand new world of criminal mischief to explore. The game makes fighting a visceral, social experience and wraps it in a story and art style we think our players will love."
That story casts players as an ex-con, fresh out of five years in prison. The boss sets them back up and after a betrayal the game becomes a quest for revenge. The press release for the game lays out three ways for players to advance their cause:
- Lock Your Land: Players build their turf to collect cash and keep their hands clean by hiring in-game workers to do the dirty work. Mafia Wars 2 features over 100 decorations for players to personalize their home turf. Players can build casinos, knock-off DVD stores, banks and (ahem) "grow houses."
- Savage Saga: Players travel across seven worlds - Casino Row, Granite Square, Neon Strip, Downtown, Bluebird Meadows, Boxer Island and Westside Wharf - to seek revenge, take on crime bosses and build their empire.
- Battles & Bloodshed: The game features three fight arenas at launch – Bone yard, Badlands and Area 51 - where players fight asynchronously and attempt to rob random rivals in the game. Players call on friends (crew members) for social support. Friends help defend a player's turf when it's under attack and repair it after damage is dealt. After a rival is robbed, they’re added to the attacking player’s rival bar, where they can be targeted again.
So if you haven't blocked them already, expect to start seeing a new flood of Facebook game requests over the next few days.