Review by Jambob

"I _Love_ this game."

Okay, so basically this game is great. I know many people have compared this to GTA3 without actually playing the game. And that's where they've gone wrong - they haven't played the game. Mafia is so much more than that. Sure it's got driving sections which are very nicely done, but in my opinion the most fun can be had in the 3rd Person Shooter parts of the levels.

Reading this review, I guess you are already considering spending your hard earned cash on Mafia, so let's get down to business.

There is such a beautiful blend of genres in Mafia you'd think the developers would have made some mistake somewhere, but no, everything is perfectly executed. For example, the recoil on the pistols, and the way each car handles totally differently.
There are about 20 long missions in all which, at the most basic level, involve driving to a place, partaking in some shooting action and then driving back again, often with some gangsters or cops on your tail. Of course only a few missions actually stick to this schedule: most are unpredictable, which adds a lot to the fun of the game.

Best. Story. Ever. Just my opinion of course, but you are going to love this story. It's full of twists and turns and although a lot of it is told through cut scenes, some occurs actually during gameplay, which adds to the already great atmosphere of the game.
Basically you are regular guy Tom Angelo, you are a cab driver in the city of Lost Heaven, in the 1930s. One evening whilst having a break you are a crash and two gangsters run around a corner and ask you nicely (at gunpoint) to get them out of there.
Your career in the Mafia starts here.

Graphics and Sound
Using the same engine, both huge cityscape locations and indoor places can be rendered in unique detail, which is great. The physics and damage models for the cars are excellent.
The music you get while roaming the city is excellent, using swing music from the time, which gets frantic in time with the action. I thought the voice acting was also excellent which really made me care about the cast of characters.

Mafia has a very high level of difficulty which means it will take you even longer to complete an already long game. As well as the main, linear, structured story mode, there are also Free Ride and Free Ride Extreme (unlocked once you have completed the game) to have fun in. Free Ride Extreme involves no cops and lots of weird bonus missions which award you with new cars.
The main story will probably get a couple of runs through and the ability to load at any of the well placed save points throughout a level means you can always play your favorite bits.

Should I buy it?
Most definitely worth your money.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/17/02, Updated 09/17/02

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