6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A stone cold classic. Ya hear?,
This review is from: Mafia (PC) (Video Game)
It's a long time since I played Mafia, but the mediocrity of most of the games I've played since led me to write a review. These days, it seems it's difficult to lay your hands on a truly great game that doesn't require you to spend £600 upgrading your PC, but Mafia certainly fits that description. You are Tommy, an accidental mobster, who has a likeable enough personality for you to pass over his many misdemeanours. Tommy is sent on various errands for the mob, and these really only involve shooting and driving (or both at the same time), but the game produces a remarkable amount of variety on these themes, which keeps it always enjoyable. The level of difficulty is spot-on throughout; it never becomes frustrating, but avoids being too easy. The dialogue is entertaining and well-voiced, and the graphics are good, but the real star of the show is the city of Lost Heavan you live in. Man, I felt like I lived there while I was immersed in this game. Learning to find your way around, short cuts and all, is great fun. It also becomes a place in which you have a history - there's the hotel where I did that bomb, over there is that church I had to shoot my way out of - so that you become part of a loud, bustling American city, with all it's passions, sleaze and lust for life. And each neighbourhood has its own character - I used to just drive around for fun, exploring run down port areas and leafy, well-heeled suburbs. It is extremely atmospheric. I wouldn't be surprised if the designers had been studying Edward Hopper paintings, as the use of light is very reminiscent.
And for a man whose interest in cars extends to owning a 1994 VW Polo out of necessity, I found immense pleasure in steadily upgrading vehicles, all of which handled differently, and how you would expect them to (the small sports cars fast but flighty, the larger saloons slower but smoother). Beautifully done.
The only real minus point as far as I'm concerned is that there are very few buildings that you can just walk into and poke around - it keeps you fairly much to the plot. But I quibble. Mafia is a truly great game - I can't believe they didn't do a sequel, but maybe it would have been a let-down. Highly recommended.