reviews\ Sep 4, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Mafia - PC - Review - PC - Review

When you were little, did you ever imagine that you and your friends were in a gang, fighting the cops as you had seen on various movies? Well your dreams can come true, as players will be put in the shoes of a young man just starting off on the life of crime. The game takes place in the 1930's where prohibition was in full force, and people like Al Capone, Carlo Gambino, George "Baby Face" Nelson, and others ruled in this time period. Now it is your turn. Will you have the guts to become a central crime figure that makes Al Capone jealous, or will you become nothing more than a taxi driver?

Mafia is played through a series of flashbacks of Tommy's life. Tommy starts off as a lowly cab driver that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is "persuaded" to help a couple of gentlemen to get away from a rival gang that is shooting them. From that point on, Tommy gets on the good graces of the Mafiosi family, and is offered a job, which he readily accepts. Tommy likes being a gangster and has the opportunity to take revenge on the people that have harmed him. People now respect him, and he eventually finds a girl and marries her, and they have a baby together. After the years pass, Tommy begins to realize the other side of the Mafia, murders, assassinations, and other dangerous jobs that can lead to an instant death. He finally drew the line when he was asked to kill some people that he and his wife have been friends with for many years. Since he has been with the gang for so long, and everyone respects him, no one suspects what his intentions are. Tommy does something unthinkable, he goes and talks to the police telling his life story from his humble beginnings to how he became high ranking in power.

The games missions are varied from being a wheelman to actually going inside a building and eliminating an uncooperative individual. There are over sixty authentic thirties cars, that are modeled to perfection. What is incredible is that when players run into a building or another car, the car takes damage: dents, scratches, and broken glass. It is this attention to realism that makes players feel that they are in this city doing the dirty deeds themselves. To help players' progress though the game, Illusion Softworks has put over twelve different weapons for the players disposal. They range from the Thompson Tommy gun, sawed-off shotgun, colt .45, and if players are really in the mood to inflict pain: a baseball bat. When Illusion Softworks said that they wanted players to be put in the role of a gangster they were not kidding!

Also what players learn in one mission will directly affect what happens in later missions. If players pay attention to certain NPCs they will teach players how to pick the locks of a variety of cars. The more cars that the players know how to steal, the better cars you will be able to have in your personal garage. So it is very important for players to pay attention to every detail of the game, just like the real life counter parts had to.

Besides the single player campaign, Mafia offers a Free Ride mode. This offers players to see every nook and cranny of the city with out having the restrictions of time and people pressing players to move forward in the game. After players complete the game they will have access to a mode called Free Ride Extreme, it will have the entire city opened up, but free of those pesky cops!

Mafia is rated M for Mature for blood and violence.

The system requirements are:
500 MHz or better Processor
128 MB of RAM
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
16X CD-Rom
DirectX 8.1
DirectX compliant video card with 32 MB of VRAM
DirectX compatible 16 bit soundcard
1.8 GB of Hard Drive Space
Keyboard and Mouse.

Gameplay: 9.0
The game can be tough, and it is because players will have to get accustomed to the whole control configuration. Once players can get past that, they will find a real gem. The game offers numerous different missions to undertake. They range from being the wheelman to actually doing the "business" yourself. I never found the game to be repetitive in anyway. The only thing that hampers the game is the beginning. Players will be the wheelman having to drive around the city, these missions are slow, and down right boring. These missions are very important though cause they get the player aquatinted with the city in which they will be doing all of their "business" deals in. Once they get past these missions, they will be enthralled into the game until the very end.

Graphics: 9.4 
The game looks beautiful! All of the cars are modeled accurately, player models have a high polygonal count, and the textures really bring the game to life. The city is huge, and it is not just stale, it is a living, breathing city, full of cars driving on the streets, people walking on the sidewalks, and trolleys going out through the town. All of the NPCs have accurate and highly detailed faces. Illusion Softworks put a lot of time into the entire graphics department, and it shows, if you have a powerful enough video card, you will be amazed how good it looks.

Sound: 9.8
The soundtrack choice for this game is nothing short than brilliant! It features popular music that personifies era, such as swing music. When the times get tough, the music will adjust accordingly and you will be wrapped up in the action ever more so. Illusion Software must have researched the sounds from this time period as it all seems very authentic, and set the mood for the entire game, as the music will play with your emotions to get you feeling that you are in the mob during this period.

The sound effects used are done so properly. All the gunshots, the intricate sounds the car makes, to the screaming pedestrians you are about to run over; they all sound real and bring the game closer to realism. All the NPCs have voices, and none of them seem to be repetitive, and they are all full of life and personality.

Difficulty: Medium
Mafia has a nice learning curve. The game has a nice tutorial to get players accustomed to all the functions on the keyboard. For beginners it will be hard driving the cars, and making those hairpin turns, but before long, and with a little practice you can be the best driver this town has never seen!

Concept: 9.3 
You are in the shoes of a taxi driver that works his way up to a big person in the mob, what is not to like about that? Mafia brings all of those gangster movies to life, and will play on your emotions to see how you can handle being in the mob. Players will have access to a multitude of real life weapons such as sawn-off shotgun, the infamous Thompson Tommy gun, and everyone's favorite: the baseball bat. With the attention to detail, it will become a sure fire hit!

Overall: 9.3
The question here is: why don't you own this game already? This is an excellent game, it takes you into the thirty's, and places you in the shoes of a taxi driver turned to a big time crook. If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be in the mob, this is the game for you. It will take you numerous hours to play through all it offers, and you will not regret it, or else you will be sleeping with the fishes!


About The Author
In This Article
From Around The Web
blog comments powered by Disqus