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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 2
PUBLISHER:
Take 2 Interactive
DEVELOPER:
2K Czech
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
March 13, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Mature
IN THE SERIES
Mafia II

Mafia II

Mafia II

Mafia

 Written by Matt Partington  on October 23, 2002

First Impressions: Welcome to the mob; have a nice day.


Being a mobster involves a life of hard-knocks, but Illusion Softworks' recent PC success is coming our way to the console in early 2003 and gamers couldn't be happier. Four years in development, it's not that big of a surprise that such a smash-hit is being ported to the Sony PS2 and Microsoft Xbox. Although this news was just recently announced, we can safely assume that the console edition of Mafia will be near-identical to the PC version. Yet we all know how much porting can make or break a game. Even the most brilliant titles have turned bad through the transition. Quit dreaming, dreamboy, you can finally be a real player in the mob.

You take on the roll as Tommy Angelo, a regular cabdriver who incidently stumbles into a life of crime. When you're at the spot of a gang shoot-up, it only so happens that a pair of Salieri mobsters jump in your cab and demand you drive them to a particular spot. Inevitably this is your first mission, and you're rewarded for your deeds. Soon enough, innocent Tommy chooses to join the Salieri rebellion by fighting back against rival crime family, the Morello. This is all about gangland supremacy.

Mafia is set during the national Prohibition (early 1930s). Gangs ran wild, law enforcement only went so far, and turf wars were more violent than ever?this was the pinnacle of mob life. Mafia allows you to play various roles ranging from getaway driver to assassin. If you do what Don Salieri requests you to do, you're a made man with everything you could possibly imagine. Practical events such as shootouts, mob hits and car chases are in occurrence and even at your fingertips to make an uncanny realism of life in the Mafia.

As action games progressively get better and more innovative, there's an underlying competition to make the most true to life, living breathing city. Illusion has made great strides to fabricate a real American city in the ?30s, which they've named Lost Heaven. Vehicles zoom around the metropolitan area, and pedestrians crowd the streets. The surrounding environments truly remind you of the 1930s decade, absolutely authentic in many ways. If that doesn't get to you, then maybe the 60 classic vintage automobiles will.

By now you might be thinking that Mafia, like many games are being accused of nowadays, is a GTAIII ripoff. Undoubtedly, they hold similarities such as jacking cars (plays a major role in Mafia was well as GTAIII), and the freedom of doing practically whatever you please, not to mention they're both played in third-person perspective. But let's get one thing straight: the entire way each game portrays life is much different. Grand Theft Auto III is an over-the-top, cartoony, sarcastic spoof on the ultimate tragedies in life, as well as the story of a prospering criminal. Mafia on the other hand is a enactment of true Mafioso living and a gritty, graphic depiction of (once again) life's greatest tragedies; there's nothing cartoony about it. Both are about homicide, lawbreaking, and doing things that you'd never even try performing in real life?which is primarily why they're undeniably fun. The two also have a dark, disturbing undertone which lies there and prompts you constantly. As much as the they have in common, just as much separates them into totally different packages.

Final Thoughts
Mafia has become a monster success on the PC, receiving obscenely grand acclaim from both gaming media and community. We've seen some great ports from PC to console such as Half-Life on the PlayStation 2 and Unreal Tournament. Unfortunately we've also seen cruddy ones like No One Lives Forever which only merely survived from elements outside of gameplay and graphics. March 2003 is target for release, not giving Illusion much time to make excess additions to the game specifically for console shelving. Mafia is one of those games that makes non-PC gamers regret what they're missing and pro-PC gamers giddy with excitement. Need no worry, if you missed it the first time around then you have a right to get giddy about a Mafioso lifestyle. Those daydreams about being in the mob shall be suited come March, and we can't wait. Not hardly until Mafia was available to buy did Take-Two Interactive announce much on the game; and they definitely aren't doing it for these new editions either. As litt


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