Facebook Gangsters Rejoice: Zynga’s Mafia Wars 2 Goes Live

Today is a good day to be a Facebook mafiosi. Zynga’s Mafia Wars 2 was originally expected to launch within the next few weeks, but the game has already gone live on Facebook and is ready for users to start building their massive criminal empires.

We’ve already taken an in-depth look at what Zynga’s bringing to the table with their first direct sequel, but here’s a quick refresher for veterans and newbies alike.  

First off, remember what the original Mafia Wars looked like? Forget it: the game has received a massive facelift. Now you can maneuver your thuggish little avatar through the game, and progress by developing your home turf and conquering seven different worlds. Think of it as CityVille meets Grand Theft Auto on a smaller scale.

Players also progress through the game by competing in fight arenas, where they face off against their in-game rivals (with or without the help of their crew). Mafia Wars 2 has a much stronger focus on customization than its forefather, to boot: the game sports over 300 different types of weapons, armor and vehicles with which players can bring the pain to mob bosses and rivals.

Oh, and international users will be glad to know that the game has full support for 16 languages right out of the gate, so players from Thailand, Germany, and Turkey will be able to engage in the carnage with nary an issue in sight.

In the end, we’re left with a social gaming experience that looks and feels nothing like the original. Given that Zynga’s more recent offerings sport a similar level of polish, it’s sort of gratifying to see one of their oldest properties get a much-needed overhaul.