Review by odino

"Way Overrated"

With the recent release of 'The Godfather' and many people complaining that they would rather play Mafia again, I thought it would be time to voice my concerns that Mafia is not the godly game people say it is.

Gameplay> First of all, there is only a story mode and once you are done with that you can go cruising around in the cars you have collected and that's about it. That is absolutely, all you can do so where is the replay in that? The driving is horrible, but fits to the old car models which are actually greatly accurate. But who had the idea of making speed limits and needing to drive around at 40 miles per hour or you get a ticket. That's not only lame, but also boring after the first few times. "I've got to give to you give a ticket" will make you want to slam the monitor. It might be realistic and not being allowed to hit people with your car is a nice idea, but they shouldn't have gone so strict. On foot, you are so slow it's not even funny. You can only carry a few weapons which makes sense but he's also really slow in picking them out of his pockets. Once the police is looking for you there is nearly no escape. If you are lucky you can drive away from them but it is really hard. On foot you are either off the hook in an instantly by hiding in a corner or you might as well give up now because a cop on your tail is never going to be run away from. As for the missions, which is quite a handful, most of them are nice but then there are a few really bad ones. At some points you need to chase cars and shoot out of the car, the controls are horrible. At the docks you often don't know what you are supposed to do, only to be shot by a sniper from miles away and having to re-do the whole mission again. The only positive thing about this is that it lengthens the game but what a way to do it. Don't get me wrong here, there are brilliant missions like the boat party or the petrol station shoot-out. I didn't like the car race and I would think many people don't, mainly because it is hard. A later released patch includes the option to lower the difficulty and thus nearly impossible to fail. Racing through the streets with the racer is awesome by the way.

Story> Yes it is great, but you get the feeling most reviewers have this "all Italian mobster related things are great" feeling. Godfather, Godfellas, Sopranos, so obviously Mafia is great because it features mobsters? While the story is good, it could be much better and some characters are just really annoying.

Graphics> Not bad, very detailed city and especially the cars. But why create such a neatly designed city if you aren't going to use it properly? The countryside will load separately and loading times aren't nice for that matter. This may not be so obvious with the latest computers but at the time or release it was horrible and still can be. The character models are pretty good and detailed, and even change during the game which is a nice touch. Unfortunately the worst part is that you don't get to see most of the city and only go from mission point to mission point. You will tend to use the main bridges all the time and get quite bored of the layout around there even. Although with the poor car handling at the time you wouldn't want to take too many shortcuts and corners anyway.

Sound> The music and sound effects are excellent, and the game's strong point. Not only does it feature a superb score but also killer voice acting. Chase scenes are given a rapid rhythm whereas a simple cruise around town to a mission checkpoint has the time period's radio station playing appropriate tunes. I believe this also changes a little as you progress through the game and the years pass. If I have one complaint about the music is that the radio music is too repetitive and you want to switch it off after a while, but then you probably have played the game quite a bit to notice. The gun shots and car noises are spot on. Car crashes sound a little weird but that's about all there is to it. As already mentioned, the voice cast is excellent and improves the storyline to the point where I can say it's just above B-movie standard, but I would never compare it to a great mobster story the likes Hollywood has produced in the past.

Overall> You won't regret getting this game, but you'll soon find it dusting in the shelves. GTA will be replayed over and over again whereas this won't.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/28/06

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