The Final Say!
- reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: March 2004
Review Score 7/10
Distributed By: Take2 Interactive
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"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster."
Mafia is the blockbuster PC title
brought to life on the Playstation 2 after about two years from
it's original release. The game at the time was a hit as far as I
was concerned and many other gamers felt the same way as me from
the feedback I got.
Look I've gotta say
it, you ARE going to draw comparisons to GTAIII and they are
totally and utterly justified. Anything you can think of for that
title is in this one, which is not a bad thing however considering
who made the game renders the ideas a little obselete.
The game looks very similar and
plays very similar to the GTA title and I'm still not sure exactly
how I feel about it when I think about it in those terms.
Even the rags to riches storyline
is very similar to GTA where you start off as the lowest of the
low and make your way up the food. The games level design does
give the impression that you can go anywhere and do anything,
however the way that the game is designed there really is no point
to doing this as the cars aren't that much fun to drive outside of
the bounds of missions. They handle exactly the way that you would
imagine with poor steering, braking and everything else associated
with the vehicles of the 1930's era.
In this title you play the part
of Thomas Angelo (Tommy Vercetti anyone?) who gets sucked up into
the vice like grip of the mafia whilst working as a taxi driver in
the fictitious town of Lost Heaven, very similar to the surrounds
that you'd expect of New York or Boston of that same gangster
infested period of time. Attention to detail is everywhere that
you look and quite believable.
The way the story is cool and
like a flashback of sorts as Thomas is telling the story after the
event in exchange for protection from the mob. There are twists
and turns throughout and I was of the impression that there was a
genuine effort put into the story to be just as good and moving as
the actual gameplay is. You will find yourself engrossed in all
this despite the fact that some of the cutscenes are a little
stilted and aged due to the amount of time that has passed from
the PC to the PS2 port.
It's the port of this title
that really gets this game into trouble with some sluggish
controls and a quite annoying pop up problem with buildings and
other items occasionally just appearing in front of you. It
appears that the code hasn't been fully optimised to take
advantage of what the PS2 has to offer and make the most of it.
Possibly the other thing that is going to make people scream are
the load times as they are pretty damn long.