Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
|Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven|
|Publisher(s)||Gathering of Developers|
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Mafia is a third-person shooter video game and the first installment in the Mafia game series. It was developed by Czech company Illusion Softworks (now 2K Czech) and published by Gathering of Developers. Mafia was released for Microsoft Windows in 2002, and later ported to the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox consoles in 2004, in North America and Europe. The game allows the player to take on the role of a mafioso who has to accomplish various missions in order to advance in the game.
Mafia received positive reviews for the Windows version, with critics praising the game as a more realistic and serious Grand Theft Auto-styled game, while the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game received mixed reviews. A sequel, Mafia II, developed by 2K Czech and published by 2K Games was released in 2010.
Mafia's storyline gameplay consists of driving, mainly easy city cruise between different locations, as well as chases and races; the rest of the game is based on third-person on-foot navigation and shooting - all inter-connected with cutscenes. In addition to the photo-realistic city and a huge countryside, detailed interiors like the city's airport, a museum, a church, a hotel, an abandoned prison, restaurants and Don Salieri's bar are included. Weather changes and day/night cycles are also in use.
51 classic American cars around the city can be driven in Mafia, plus 19 bonus cars (of which 5 are racing models) unlockable after the main mode and the opening of a new game mode. Cars are introduced periodically - in the beginning of the game, early 1920s models drive on the streets of the city, while models from 1930 begin appearing in later game stages.
Police book players for minor offenses such as speeding or running a red light, and car accidents cause physical harm to the driving player. While other forms of transport are available, such as trams and elevated rails, they are only ridable and not drivable by the player.
Mafia is also noted for having comprehensive damage physics on nearly all vehicles, even going so far as to making use of real-time deformation, compared to vehicles in other games that used pre-made damage models. While substantially more robust than their real counterparts, smaller and weaker vehicles stand less abuse before breaking down and finally exploding, than large armoured vehicles. More realism is added here compared to other games in the same genre, such as the ability to puncture the fuel tank, overheat the engine, and the ability to break transmission gears. Many exterior components (such as windows, tires, headlights, and bumpers) can be removed from most vehicles with physical means such as crash-driving, hitting with blunt weapons (fists, baseball bat) as well as firing weapons at them.
Finishing the main storyline unlocks the "Freeride Extreme" mode, which is essentially the same as Freeride, but with the added benefit of stunt jumps, side quests, and the lack of police patrols. Side missions in this mode range from the trivial, such as carrying packages or killing gangsters, to the extreme and sometimes outlandish, like chasing an alien spaceship, or in one mission, driving an explosive-rigged truck at a certain speed, which is a reference to the 1994 action-thriller film Speed.
Law and order
The police department in Lost Heaven uphold the various laws that have been set. When these laws are broken in view of the police, they will respond by booking the player with offenses that can be "minor" or "serious". Minor offenses (such as speeding in a vehicle or running a red light) will end up with the player being fined (-$1,000 in Freeride mode, no monetary value in campaign mode), and serious offenses (such as physical assault, or visible display of a weapon) can lead to the player being arrested for the first offense, or a shootout with the police. A series of four successive minor offenses qualify as a "serious" offense. Police force increases with the severity of the player's disregard of the law to a point where police, now well armed, form blockades with tire spike strips in attempt to defeat the player while firing from behind their cars.
Certain acts which would catch police's attention in real life do not in the game, such as driving on the sidewalk or on the wrong side of the road. The police AI do not recognize computer AI violations. In freeride, the police will ignore violent actions against the player. Certain motorists in the game will resist with violence if the player attempts a carjacking. The AI of these motorists does not differentiate between the player and police officers in active pursuit, and motorists will attack police if they are nearer than the player. The police will not take defensive action against the motorist and will, if the player stays out of reach, eventually be killed by the motorist.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2014)|
Mafia is set in the 1930s, between the fall of 1930 through to the end of 1938, during the later part of Prohibition, which ended in 1933. The game is set in the fictional American city of Lost Heaven (loosely based on New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago of the same time period). The player takes the role of taxi driver Thomas "Tommy" Angelo, who, while trying to make a living on the streets of Lost Heaven as a taxi cab driver, unexpectedly and unwillingly becomes involved in organized crime as a driver and enforcer for the Salieri crime family, led by Don Ennio Salieri.
Through the events of the game's story, Tommy begins to rise through the ranks of the Salieri family, which is currently battling the competing Morello family, led by the sharply-dressed Don Morello. Eventually becoming disillusioned by his life of crime and violence, Tommy arranges to meet a detective (Detective Norman) in order to tell him his story, to be given witness protection, and to aid the detective in the destruction of the Salieri crime family. The 'Intermezzo' chapters of the game depict Tommy sitting in a cafe with the detective, relating his life story and giving out important pieces of information at the same time.
In 1938, Thomas Angelo meets with Det. Norman at a coffee shop in Lost Heaven City. He explains that he wanted to meet up with him because he is willing to provide Norman with information, business deals and henchmen about Salieri family, the powerful Mafia syndicate that controls the city, in exchange for providing Tommy and his family a way out of it and reduced sentence to Tommy. Norman accepts, and Tommy begins to tell his story about his life with Salieri family.
In 1930, 8 years earlier, Tommy is a regular cab driver struggling through the Great Depression, living from a peaceful pay and living honest. One night, he is taking a cigarette break and checking out his car when he hears a car crash. He notices two men, Paulie and Sam, who hold him at gunpoint and force him to drive him. He complies, evading the men chasing the duo. He manages to slip away and drives them to Salieri's bar, where he drops them, and Sam instructs him to wait. Through Sam as his proxy, Salieri says he is impressed with Tommy's grace under fire and that he is indebted to Tommy for doing so; at some future time Tommy may come back to Salieri for help. Since Salieri also tries to help men of Italian blood in the onslaught of the Great Depression, he offers Tommy the 'chance' to work for the Salieri organization. Tommy refuses politely, preferring to remain poor but legitimate, and his thoughts are reinforced when he sees his pay package contains more money than he has ever seen before, and the very next day he is back to work as a taxi driver.
However, in between scouting for fares he is attacked by two hoods who are members of Salieri's arch-enemy, the Morello crime family, as revenge for him helping Paulie and Sam escape them. Tommy is saved by Salieri's men, who, when Tommy escapes into their bar and the Morello men follow him, murder the attackers. However, the cab company learns that their taxi was vandalized by gangsters and Tommy's employment is terminated. Hard up for employment prospects in the Depression years and grateful to Salieri for saving his life, Tommy accepts the offer to work for the Salieri family, mostly working as a getaway driver.
In 1932, 2 years into working with Salieri, Tommy gets a request from Salieri's bartender, Luigi, who likes Tommy and asks him to walk his daughter Sarah home from work on account of reports of hoodlums. While escorting Sarah street punks attack, to which Tommy defends her, and they fall in love. Enraged at the mugging, Salieri orders Tommy and Paulie to hunt the gang and cripple them, which then leads up to the Salieri family being targets of the city government as Tommy helped murder one gang member who was the son of an alderman. Tommy is later made to carry out jobs to avoid Salieri having to face prosecution, culminating in an assassination mission involving the bombing of a hotel. Although he carries out the bombing, he discovers that one of the assassination targets is his girlfriend's best friend Michelle, an informant to Morello. Unable to bring himself to kill her, he instead orders her to flee the city and never return. This begins the process of his eventual rejection of his new vocation.
Another watershed moment is when Tommy is escaping the bombing, he stumbles into a cathedral during the funeral of the alderman's murdered son, where Tommy is identified as the killer and gang members attempt to shoot him in revenge. After eliminating them all, the priest leading the eulogy tells Tommy he has committed a grave sin and fears his soul is at risk, which Tommy rationalizes at first that he killed all bad men, but seriously takes the priest's warning to heart.
In 1933, Tommy is already married with Sarah and has a baby girl, and he is on a job with Paulie and Sam to drive to a farm where they will buy Canadian whiskey to provide with alcohol, but they flee away when the shootout occurs with Morello's men and the crooked police department working for them. On the same day, Frank Colletti, Don Salieri's Consigliere, hands over Salieri's account books to the police. Though being a friend of Frank for more than 20 years, Salieri orders his death. Tommy finds Frank at the Lost Heaven International Airport, attempting to flee to Europe.
Tommy learns from Frank's wife that the police blackmailed Frank and gives him ways to recover the books for Salieri, and Tommy gets her and her daughter reunited with Frank. In one of the game's more emotional moments, Tommy lets Frank flee to Europe with his family. Since Frank is in far away England, Salieri is told that Frank is dead and his funeral is given. Later on, Tommy and Salieri go to a luxurious pizza restaurant for a lunch owned by Salieri's friend Pepe, where Morello's men almost gun them down, but Tommy saves Salieri from the blast and guns down Morello's men. Salieri has his bodyguard-turned-traitor, Carlo, killed by Tommy, while he repays Pepe for the damage in the store and leaves.
In 1935, Salieri starts launching counter-attacks against Morello's crew. First, Tommy is placed on a luxurious steamboat where he kills a powerful chancellor who is working for Morello on his birthday party. Next, he devises schemes to kill Sergio Morello Jr., Don Morello's brother, to weaken his family. However, in the combination of accidents and mishaps, Sergio evades the assassination attempts, before Tommy finally manages to kill him at the shipyard, disrupting the family. Finally, Tommy, Paulie and Sam ambush Morello near the local concert in the city and kill him after the lengthy car chase.
After the death of Morello, the Salieri family runs the town, paying off the rest of the police department and cooperating with the rest of the politicians in Lost Heaven, effectively controlling the city. During this time, Tommy finds out that Salieri and Morello were once best friends, working for Don Peppone, a powerful mob lord decades before, but his death in 1921 caused a stir between the two and becoming enemies.
In 1938, Tommy is just finishing a job of assassinating a local politician who is acting against Salieri, when Paulie and Sam join together to steal a batch of Cuban cigars deployed in the shipyard along with the duo. During the way, they talk about a possibility of performing their own job of robbing a bank. Both Tommy and Sam refuse, since Tommy is afraid that Salieri would find out about it, and Sam because he is loyal to the family. After performing the job, the trio inspect the boxes and find a stash of diamonds hidden. When Salieri arrives, they play along that they don't know about it, and Salieri informs them that he will get someone to pick up the cigars, and they realize that he is aware of the diamonds, cheating them out of their pay.
After that, Tommy and Paulie devise a plan to rob a bank, stealing a powerful car as a getaway vehicle and get guns from a local gunsmith. The heist is a success, but Tommy arrives next day to Paulie's apartment to find him dead, with the money missing. Sam calls and instructs Tommy to meet him in the local museum. In there, Sam reveals to Tommy that he knew about the heist, and that they also found both Michelle and Frank; Michelle returned to Lost Heaven a month ago and Salieri found out, and had Sam eliminate her. They also did background checking and also found Frank in England and had him murdered as well. However, Salieri was still able to give Tommy a chance, but he betrayed the family with the heist.
During a climactic battle on the top floor of the museum, Tommy gets the upper hand on Sam and his guys, but when he runs away, finds that he cannot bring himself to kill his former friend. Ultimately, as Sam is stumbling towards the exit, Tommy watches him from above and fires a bullet into his back. Shivering and astonished, Sam delivers his final words before shot dead by Tommy. Tommy leaves the museum.
Here, Tommy's story to the detective (and thus the game) ends, telling that he left Lost Heaven the same day and fled to Europe but decided to return and to testify against Salieri to ensure the safety of Sarah and his daughter. The detective agrees to put Tommy and his family under the protection of the police, and Tommy is free to testify against the Salieri family. Don Salieri is arrested and sentenced to prison for life, but dies of old age during his first year in jail. 80 gangsters are convicted, some sentenced to electrocution and the family is destroyed. Tommy is sentenced to 8 years. After the trial, Tommy is relocated in Greenfield, Empire Bay City, on the eastern coast, with his family, all under new names. Tommy works as a driver "for a respectable company."
In 1951, an old Thomas Angelo, grey-haired and moustached, is standing outside his house, living in Empire Bay and watering the lawn. Two men, Vito Scaletta and Joe Barbaro pull up to the side of the street in a red coupe and approach him. Addressing him by his real name (which was changed beforehand by the FBI), Barbaro pulls out a sawn-off shotgun. Scaletta tells Tommy that 'Mr. Salieri sends his regards', and both barrels are emptied into Tommy's body. As the two men get back into their car and hurry away, Tommy lies on the grass with blood pouring out of his wounds. Tommy then later lamented on what happened to him and his associates as the camera zooms away from his dead body.
- Thomas "Tommy" Angelo - The main protagonist of the game. He worked as a taxi driver but a chance encounter leads him to join the Salieri crime family and become a gangster.
- Paulie - Tommy's partner and best friend. He works with Tommy on multiple missions.
- Sam - Paulie's partner who initially brings Tommy into the family. He is very loyal to Salieri.
- Don Salieri - The boss of the Salieri crime family.
- Frank Coletti - Salieri's Consigliere and his best friend. He takes care of the family's business.
- Norman - The police detective who interviews Tommy throughout the game's narrative.
- Vincenzo - Long-time armorer for the Salieri family, he provides Tommy with weapons and equipment.
- Don Morello - The boss of the Morello crime family. His family are rivals to Salieri family. He serves as the main antagonist for most of the game.
- Sam is voiced by Matt Servitto, who played Agent Dwight Harris on The Sopranos.
- Frank is voiced by Dan Grimaldi, who played Patsy Parisi and his twin brother "Philly Spoons" Parisi on The Sopranos.
- Paulie is voiced by William DeMeo, who played Jason Molinaro on The Sopranos.
- Sarah is voiced by Cara Buono, who played Kelli Moltisanti on The Sopranos.
- Yellow Pete is voiced by Ray DeMattis, who played Gerry Gaultieri on The Sopranos.
- Don Morello is voiced by John Doman, who played a patron of the Bada Bing club (billed as "District Attorney") in the episode "Full Leather Jacket" of The Sopranos.
The game was in development since the end of 1998. It was codenamed Gangster and originally intended to be a driving game similar to Driver. The original plans included a multi-player and racing mode which was not present in finished version of the game. The release date was scheduled for 2000. The engine that was used was the same as Illusion Softworks used in Hidden and Dangerous but the engine did not fullfill developer's requirements. It led to replacement of an engine and in the end Mafia is run by LS3D Engine. Due to the change of the engine, the game was released two years later than planned.
The soundtrack to the game features Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club de France, The Mills Brothers, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Lonnie Johnson, Latcho Drom and one track by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. The main theme to Mafia, along with the original score, was composed by Vladimir Šimůnek, and performed by the Czech Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adam Klemens. The ending credits music is a cover of the song "Lake of Fire", performed by the Lordz of Brooklyn. The last verse of the song borrows the musical arrangement of the theme song for The Godfather movies.
Mafia was ported to PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004. Illusion was not involved in porting the game. Some of the features of the PC version do not exist in the console port, such as police patrols around the city in Free Ride, and some aspects of the game's realism and graphics.
Mafia was well received by critics and gamers upon release as a more realistic and serious than a usual Grand Theft Auto-styled game. Mafia contains a much bigger city to explore than most video games of the time, with multiple forms of available transport in addition to an expansive countryside. Dan Adams of IGN gave the game a rating of 9.2/10, while GameSpot described the PC version as "one of the best games of the year" and rated it at 9.3/10. Game Informer compared it favorably to Grand Theft Auto III, and wrote that "from the living city in which you reside, to the incredibly realistic vehicles, this title has the heart and soul of a blockbuster."
While the original PC game received widespread acclaim, the versions for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox were considered inferior by many critics, and received lower scores as a result. In the Czech Republic, the country where the game's developers come from, the game received universal acclaim from both critics and players. According to Take-Two Interactive, Mafia had sold 2 million copies by March 12, 2008.
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