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Score: 95%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Gathering
Developer: Illusion Softworks
Media: CD/3
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

GodGames is good. How good? Well, let me tell you. If you're going to make a game that (to me) is in the mold of Max Payne, it better be really good. It better look good, sound good, play well and have a great story line. So, if the aforementioned 'big four' are the criteria, Mafia is hitting 4 for 4 with a Louisville Slugger right to the kneecap! Mafia starts with an excellent-quality intro that doesn't lose any sharpness all the way to the emotionally-laden ending. The game takes place in the spread out city of Lost Heaven. The buildings are excellently rendered, with a true distinction in them from areas of Lost Heaven like Chinatown to Hoboken. Slums are visible, while high-dollar buildings shout their value to an unbiased sky. The cities are stitched together with roads, some cobblestone, some blacktop. The roads provide avenues for busy pedestrians, cranky lawyers and nosy cops. All of which can be hit, shot, run over, etc. The attention to detail just on a city level is magnificent.

There is also the person level. The clothing looks excellent, mimicking any fashion that the 1930's induced. Facial features are immaculate with five o'clock shadows, furrowed brows and live-looking eyes. Running, punching, swinging, dodging - you can't ask for anything more human looking in a game these days. There are dozens of weapons that look very real, and have their own unique look. Case in point, when you're running around, there's a huge difference between the pump action shotgun, and the sawed-off. A difference that is so appreciated considering the gorgeous beauty of everything else. Finally, there are over 60 butt-kicking cars you can 'borrow' throughout the game. You can steal and drive things like firetrucks, policecars, hearses and the old Tudor and Phaentom cars. If you like graphics in your game, then you get a super-size portion in Mafia.

The sound follows suit and is just as impressive. If there is a soundtrack to this game, you can bet I'll buy it for myself and for all my friends. Hey, Christmas is right around the corner. There are over 8 distinct areas of New Heaven that have their own accompaniment or two associated with them. The one that I loved the most is the one you'll hear the most. You'll spend most of your time in Little Italy, so that track is pure groove. If I gave out awards, the sound crew at Illusion Softworks would definitely get something golden. The voice acting is brilliant as well. From stuttering mechanics to good ol' fashioned Don-inspired 'kappish?' the music and sound are praiseworthy, and make Mafia that much better.


This is pretty simple. You live out the life of one Thomas Angelo. He's a cab driver that is forced into working for the Salieri family, when one of their rivals hunts him down for giving a ride to two of Salieri's goons. You familiarize yourself with driving, weapons and movement in the first few missions, then commence to do quest after quest. The quests are all mob-inspired and exciting all the way. From stealing a racecar (that is extremely fast), to planting car bombs, you can bet that every mission is well planned by the developers and well played by the AI. You drive around Lost Heaven by car that you can fill up at any service station, or if you're low on gas money, just stop traffic, drag someone out their car and use your new 'donation.' Some missions require the use of ballistics while others the delicious convincing of a knuckle sandwich. Either way, you're in for a real treat as the story continues. I felt like a lot of effort was put into the missions, as you don't feel like you're doing anything twice just to make the game longer, like some games are apt to do. The only options you can control are what buttons do what on the mouse and keyboard, video and sound. There is no difficulty setting, but we'll get to that later in the review. Suffice it to say, that Mafia's missions are unique, challenging, but most importantly fun.


Perhaps the best balance I've ever seen in any game. There's no need for a difficulty setting. Some missions are kind of difficult, while others are a gentle break in the typhoon of things. The control scheme is pretty easy, using the mouse and keyboard fluidly like any other first person shooter (of which Mafiais not). The only truly difficult thing to do is while you're driving, trying to steer a big steel beast while trying to aim your gun and shoot out tires of a car that you're chasing. Once you do shoot those tires out though, the bad car is history. So you won't get a difficult game, but one that is adequately, dare I say perfectly challenging to where you feel like you've earned it.

Game Mechanics:

The manual is a life saver, read it. If not, then the first few missions explain things so well, you're as prepared as instant potatoes. The control scheme only makes the game better, while load times are very low. The install takes a while, as three CDs are enough to drive any sane man to delirium, but Mafia is well worth three CDs. Heck, I'd venture to say that Mafia is worth 528,431 CDs.

Riot Rundown: Okay, okay you should definitely get Mafia. Godgames definitely put out a winner with this game. It is a very robust game, both sensually and game-play wise. It's storyline is intense with a very well put message to end the game. It's challenging enough to stay fun, and fun enough to be unbelievable.

-Sydney Riot, GameVortex Communications
AKA Will Grigoratos

Minimum System Requirements:

Win98/ME/2000/XP w/ Direct X 8.1, 500MHz processor, 96MB RAM, 1.8 Gig free hard drive, 16x CD-ROM, 32MB RAM Video Card, Direct X compatible soundcard, keyboard, mouse.

Test System:

WinXP Pro, 1 Gig processor, 320MB RAM, 1.8 Gig free hard drive, 56x CD-ROM, 64 MB RAM Video Card, Direct X compatible sound card, keyboard mouse.

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