Review by Janors 2

Reviewed: 01/30/03 | Updated: 01/30/03

When this game hits your drive like a big pizza pie.... THAT's Amore!

Al Capone. The Valentines Day Massacre. Prohibition. These are just a couple of words that come to mind when the word ''Mafia'' is spoken. The Mafia has inspired some of the best movies and films, such as The Sopranos and The Godfather. I've always wanted my chance to be a digital made man, and now my wishes have come true in the splendid game that is Mafia: City of Lost Heaven.

STORY: 9.5/10 In Mafia, you play the role of Tommy Angelo, a taxi driver turned Mafioso. The entire game is a flashback of 8 years while Tommy betrays the family and tells his bloody story to a police officer. There are 20 missions in the campaign with a variety of tasks, such as sneaking into a mansion and breaking into a safe, sniping assassinations, and of course, heated firefights. Each mission's briefing and story is told to you through brilliant cutscenes, obviously made by a would be director stuck with game tools. Overall the story is well made, and you'll wonder whether you're playing a game or watching a movie sometimes.

GAMEPLAY 8.5/10 The biggest complaint a lot of people have about Mafia is the monotonous driving sequences. Whenever you're doing a mission, the game requires you to do ALL the driving. This may not sound bad, but when you factor in the jalopies that you drive, as well as being forced to obey traffic laws, you get a slightly frustrating experience. Control and is standard action game fare; you can use WASD or the arrow keys. The game plays much like GTA3; You're in a vast, absorbing city, and can jack cars as you please. But you also have to watch out for the cops, since they can bust you from everything from Seeing a Weapon to Speeding! Unlike GTA3, however, Mafia is focused more on story than anything else. Some may find this game a tad too linear, but it didn't bother me.

GRAPHICS: 9.5/10 Wow. Mafia's graphics are pretty mindblowing, and definitely raise the bar in the genre. Faces are painstakingly detailed, and you can see every wrinkle, blemish, and hair on the characters' faces. The cars are well detailed and true to form, and the city is a magnificant sight. Looming skyscrapers and beat up warehouses are just a few of the sights in Lost Heaven. My only complaint in this department is that some of the distant buildings ''pop in'' a little to noticeably. Besides this minor complaint, a wonderful job in this department.

SOUND: 9/10 Mafia's music is a wonderful treat for the ears, and all of the gunshots are realistic. Some of the voice acting is subpar, such as the main character (Kind of bland), but the musical genius more than makes up for this. Yet another category Mafia aces.

OVERALL: 9.4/10 Mafia is one of the most immersive, involving games I have played in a while. The great mix of graphics, gameplay, and sound won't disappoint. You'll be in love from the moment it lands on your hard drive to the final gunshot.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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