Excerpt: Graphics & Sound: GodGames is good. How good? Well, let me tell you. If you're going to make a game that (to me) is in the mold of Max Payne , it better be really good. It better look good, sound good, play well and have a great story line. So, if the aforementioned 'big four' are the criteria, Mafia is hitting 4 for 4 with a Louisville Slugger right to the kneecap!
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: Mafia is indicative of many publishers' less-than-stellar approach to porting titles. Clearly, bringing this PC stalwart to home consoles would've required far too much effort and (more importantly) money to do right. So, instead players are expected to make do with a game that is a mere shell of its former self. And frankly, that's just not good enough any more.
Excerpt: Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven is third person action game where you play the role of a gangster in an American city of the 1930s, and get a chance to live through gangster's rise and fall. Mafia is played through a series of flashbacks of Tommy's life. Tommy, whose taxi is taken over by a gang of runaway mobsters chased by their enemies. Tommy manages, thanks to his exceptional driving skills, to shake off the pursuers.
Conclusion: From top to bottom the game is a work of art. Mafia puts you in a living, breathing, world of the gangster. The end result is staggering and we have possibly the game of the year on our hands.
Excerpt: The past year has been a hotbed of mob activity for game developers. Touched previously on a tangent in pizza business simulations incognito, the only real attempts to portray the mafia were abortive, as evidenced by Eidos' Gangsters. But last year's rousing success of Max Payne and Grand Theft Auto 3 brought la cosa nostra back into the limelight. There were critics who called Grand Theft Auto 3 a brilliant Italian mafia game.
Excerpt: The mafia has always held a strange grip on the public's imagination. How could men who so value respect, honor, and family also be so violent and vindictive? This strange duality has made gangsters interesting subject matter for countless books and films. It would also seem a natural subject for computer games, but there have been surprisingly few games on the topic.
Excerpt: Since the days of Al Capone and Elliot Ness, America has had a fascination with the mafia. La Cosa Nostra has reached the point of iconic status in this country, not far removed from the cowboy—don't believe me? Check out popular entertainment…there are a lot more films and TV shows out there about gangsters these days than there are cowboys.
Conclusion: Mafia's realistic car physics and police behavior both add to the occasional tedium of the straightforward driving segments. For the most part, the game's 60 or so 1930s-era vehicles aren't rocket cars. They don't often go very fast, they don't always start the first time you turn the key, and they have some serious problems climbing steep hills. You won't be making 300-foot barrel-roll jumps in any of them.
Summary: Between Swedish developer Digital Illusions' upcoming World War II shooter Battlefield 1942 and Czech Republic-based Illusion Softworks' newly available Mafia, September's turning out to be a banner month for great driving-shooting hybrids from European companies with the word "illusion" in their name.