Review by quikkacrakka

"Greatest *Organized* Crime Game to Date"

Definitely a soon-to-be classic. This game is a collaboration of Illusion Softworks and Gathering Developers. These developers joined together to create the most in depth characters, interactive settings, realistic weapons and cars, and exceptional missions.

Graphics-- 10/10
The character models, backgrounds, and the actual city is by far the most impressive of any game. Realistic body and facial movements of characters, intelligent NPC's, and an in depth map (including actual buildings from the era) make this game a fantastic example of near-perfect graphics.

Realistic engine noise, tire screeching, character voices, and realistic-sounding weapons add to the already abundant realism of Mafia.

Playable Area--10/10
Over 12 square miles of playable area. Need I say more? Well, I will. The most indepth map of any game I have ever seen. Ranging from high-res background to grain-free objects, the playable area given to the gamer is incredible. It even has usable gas stations for Pet's Sake!!!

Intelligent traffic system, cops that actually think, and pedestrians that beg for mercy at gunpoint..what more could you ask for? My favorite so far is the Police AI. Unlike some other crime games, you dont get ''Rodney King-ed'' for simply jaywalking. **cough**GTA**cough**.
If you speed, crash, or make a simple traffic violation in this game, you simply pull over and get a ticket. Three tickets, and the cops get suspicious and haul you in. (peacefully, of course). Unless of course your carrying a weapon in plain view, or are beating someone to a pulp with your fists or a baseball bat. But they won't stop you for carrying a bat. Who are they to know if you are going to a Sicilian Softball game, or beating answers out of a snitch? And unlike other games **cough**GTA**cough**, if you are being chased by the cops, once you turn a corner you can switch cars or take a train, and the cops wont run into walls to catch you. They get confused as to your where-abouts and slowly give up chase. Handy, huh?
The only drawback in the gameplay is the camera may sometimes get a lil quarky, but what game doesn't?

Free Ride, and Free Ride extra similar to ''Free Ride'' in Driver, except there are missions and subquests that you can choose to play. Or you could simply drive around, explore, or blow cars up with a tommy gun you just picked up of the mafioso you got done bashing with your fist. All up to you.
Also available after certain missions are ''Bertone Side Quests'', in which you can pull a job for a private mechanic to earn new cars for your collection. Fun if not useful in certain missions.

The weapons, although limited, are very realistic and easy to use. Though you can choose a Tommy gun, shotgun, or Molotov cocktail, I find it much more fun (and pleasing) to carry around a bat. You can sneak up behind a target and knock them out cold, or you can teach someone a lesson by beating their car to pieces.

Smooth play, great visual effects, easy controls, and a great story line add up to the greatest organized crime game that I have ever played. It so good that you can actually replay missions after you've beat the game. And Free Ride Extreme makes the stresses of the day disappear. Nothing is a cure-all like blowing tires out, wheels off, windshields out, or heads in with a Thompson or the Sawed-Off Shotgun...Ahhh...the wonderful world of my Sicilian heritage.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/18/03, Updated 03/18/03

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