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PC Reviews: Mafia


Mafia Screenshots

The Final Say!


Mafia - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 26 December 2002
Review Score: 9.0/10
Distributed by Take Two Interactive

"Welcome to the family!"

Mafia is the highly anticipated game from developers Illusion Softworks who were responsible for one of the best sleeper hits of the late 1990's, Hidden and Dangerous. There latest offering Mafia, is a third person shooter that is based in the troubled times of the 1930's where Al Capone ruled the streets of Chicago and prohibition was enforced. In Mafia, you play the role of Tommy who has unwittingly joined the ranks of the Mafia but as we all know, once you're in, it's extremely hard to get out.

Mafia Features

  • MA 15+
  • Enter the American underworld of the 1930's
  • Over 20 Action packed missions
  • Drive more than 60 authentic vehicles
  • Choose from a huge arsenal of weaponry
  • Explore 12 square miles of this 1930's American city
  • Full motion-captured character animation
  • 3 CD's
  • Manual
  • City Map of Lost Heaven
  • Free-Ride Option that lets you explore and change the city of Lost Heaven

Because Mafia is a mission based game, you start as a lowly driver for them that has you driving important people around the city but as you become more liked and successful, you will soon find yourself body guarding, assassinating and participating in gang warfare that is all part of the magic of this game. Like Vice City, Mafia is a game of crime that is based in the world of the 30's gangsters. By successfully completing these missions, you will eventually be accepted into the Salieri family and hopefully make your way into the history books. Although the game is primarily a story-based game, there is also a free-ride option that lets you explore the streets of Lost Heaven and even set various attributes of the game such as the density of police, pedestrians and vehicles. 

The control system of Mafia can be tricky at the best of times but once you have worked out what everything does, the game is actually quite playable. Your character Tommy can perform a variety of different functions in the game such as driving various vehicles, running, walking and using weaponry.

One of the most  impressive features of the game is that you can actually drive a car with one hand and then use your other hand to shoot, tricky, yes but a hell of a lot of fun. The combat in Mafia isn't as complicated as Vice City or Max Payne and you will have no trouble taking out your enemies without any fiddle some control system.  

Graphically, Mafia is a visual treat and looks almost identical to the movie by Touchstone pictures called The Untouchables that starred Sean Connery and Kevin Costner and although the game is set in a city called Lost Heaven, the city looks very similar to the Chicago of the 30s. Everything also has this earthly brown tone to it and all the buildings, cars and characters are beautiful portrayed in this era of prohibition.  

All the characters in the game contain a high amount of polygons that are extremely well animated and contain extremely realistic texture models. In its essence, Mafia is almost a carbon copy of the PlayStation 2's Grand Theft Auto Vice City but unfortunately every now and then, the game does suffer from frame rate problems. Unlike Vice City where everything is open, Mafia seems more closed but does have impressive draw distance. Illusion have also done a great job on the realism of the car as there are virtually tons of destructible items lying around and even the tyres of cars can be shot out with guns. Although Mafia does not offer any CGI cut scenes, the game uses its own engine to help push the storyline through in-game cut scenes that are flawless as the game itself.

The soundtrack of Mafia is extremely professional and sounds straight out of the 30's with various scores ranging from swing to orchestral pieces to help set the atmosphere of the title. Truly, an almost Hollywood like soundtrack for Mafia. The voice acting of Mafia is also top notch and features a variety of different characters with various accents of the 1930's from the upper class to the lower class of denizens. Apart from the impressive soundtrack and voice acting, Mafia also offers an amazing ambience of background sounds that range from a variety of different things to the bustle of traffic in the background or to the sounds of rain hitting the dirt.

Minimum Requirements

- 500 MHz Pentium III or AMD Athlon Processor
- 16X CD/DVD-ROM Drive
- 1.8GB Hard Drive Space
- 16MB video card with DirectX 8.1 compatible Drivers
- DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card
- Keyboard & Mouse
Recommended Requirements

- 700 MHz Pentium III or AMD Athlon Processor
- 32X CD/DVD-ROM Drive
- 1.8GB Hard Drive Space
- 32MB Video Card with DirectX 8.1 compatible Drivers
- DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card with surround sound support
- Keyboard & Mouse

Mafia and its Hollywood like atmosphere is a much needed game on the PC as everyone is creating games that already exist and this game stands above the others. Mafia has amazing graphics and gameplay that will make this game to be long remembered. Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com