Mafia (video game)

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Mafia
MafiaUSCov.jpg
Developer(s)Illusion Softworks
Publisher(s)Gathering of Developers
Director(s)Daniel Vávra
Producer(s)Lukáš Kuře
Programmer(s)Dan Doležel
Artist(s)Pavel Čížek
Writer(s)Daniel Vávra
Composer(s)Vladimir Šimůnek
SeriesMafia
Platform(s)
Release
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Mafia is a 2002 action-adventure video game developed by Illusion Softworks and published by Gathering of Developers. The game was released for Microsoft Windows in August 2002, and later ported to the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox consoles in 2004, in North America and Europe. The game traces the rise and fall of Tommy Angelo, a fictional mafioso in the 1930s.

Mafia received positive reviews for the Windows version, with critics praising the game for its realism, while the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game received mixed reviews. A sequel, Mafia II by 2K Czech, was released on August 23, 2010, and a third game titled Mafia III by Hangar 13 was released on October 7, 2016. On September 25, 2019, There were rumors that Take-Two Interactive is possibly renewing Mafia and Mafia II are getting remastered versions.

Gameplay[edit]

The player controls the character of Thomas Angelo from a third-person perspective. He can freely move around, using cars or public transport.

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 city and 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 in use, though unlike in Grand Theft Auto missions take place at a set time and the weather is fixed during the duration of the level.

51 classic American cars around the city can be driven in Mafia, plus 19 bonus cars (5 of which 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. All of the vehicles are based on real-world cars from the era, albeit renamed and redesigned due to copyright issues.

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 noted for having comprehensive damage physics on nearly all vehicles, even going so far as to make use of real-time deformation,[1] compared to vehicles in other games that used pre-made damage models.[2] 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 driving an explosive-rigged truck at a certain speed.

Law and order[edit]

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.

Story[edit]

Setting[edit]

Map of Lost Heaven.[3]

Mafia takes places within the fictional American city of Lost Heaven, during the prohibition years of the 1930s. The city is situated on the coast (not defined within the series' universe), with a river dividing it into three boroughs: West Side, consisting of industrial buildings, the main port, and residential communities of Chinese and Italian immigirants; Central Island, consisting of the city's commercial district and municipal buildings; and East Side, consisting of both residential suburbs and slums, a bustling downtown district, and the city's local armory and stadium. The city features surrounding countryside that consist of a hydroelectric dam, international airport, and a race circuit. The game's main story involves two major mafia families - the Salieri family, and the Morello family - who fight for control over the city's rackets in the wake of the demise of a third mafia family. Alongside the two groups, the city also features a variety of smaller street gangs.

Much of the city's design, including the architectural styles, public transportation and landmarks, are inspired from real-life American cities of the period, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The overall size of the setting encompasses around 12 square kilometers.[4]

Plot[edit]

In 1930, local taxi driver Thomas "Tommy" Angelo (Michael Sorvino) finds himself strong-armed into helping members of the Salieri family - Paulie (William DeMeo) and Sam (Matt Servitto) - escape an ambush by the Morello family. Upon successfully escaping their attackers and reaching a restaurant owned by their mob boss Don Ennio Salieri (George DiCenzo), Tommy is compensated for his help and promised a favor. The following day, while on a coffee break, he is attacked by thugs from the Morello family who manage to track him down and attempt to kill him for assisting the Salieri family. Tommy manages to escape from them, and reaches Salieri's restaurant to call in his favor. After the thugs are dealt with, Salieri recruits Tommy to his organisation as an associate, becoming friends with Paulie and Sam, and takes on jobs for him.

In 1932, Tommy becomes involved in attacks against Morello family operations for both Salieri and his consigliere, Frank Colletti (Dan Grimaldi). At the same time, he develops a relationship with Sarah (Cara Buono), the daughter of Salieri's bartender, Luigi. His relationship with Sarah leaves him questioning his morals when he is ordered to eliminate an informant named Michelle during a raid of a Morello brothel. Finding her to be a friend of Sarah's who needed money to pay for her brother's medical care, Tommy goes against his orders and advises Michelle to leave the city, covering up his actions from Salieri. A year later, Salieri orders a hit on Frank following an ambush on a bootlegging operation, after he is found to be supplying information on money laundering activities to the authorities. Tommy agrees to the job, but finds that Frank was forced to do so to protect his family. Tommy allows him to leave for Europe with them, covering up his actions from his boss once again, before recovering the evidence against Salieri. Tommy eventually marries Sarah, with the couple receiving a daughter a few months later.

In 1935, Salieri declares open war on the Morello family, after its mob boss Don Morello (John Doman) calls a hit on his rival while he is visiting his favourite restaurant. Tommy, who prevents the assassination and kills Salieri's bodyguard for betraying his boss, helps to weaken the Morello family by eliminating a corrupt city councillor that supports them, and assassinating Morello's brother after several failed attempts. Eventually, Tommy, Paulie and Sam, go after Morello and kill him after chasing him into the countryside. By 1938, Salieri has full control of the city's rackets and territories. Becoming ambitious by this time, Paulie asks Tommy and Sam to help him rob a bank, against Salieri's permission. Both men refuse. When Tommy and Paulie steal crates of imported cigars on Salieri's orders, the pair find a cache of diamonds amongst the cargo. Suspecting Salieri knew this when he comes to check the cargo and sends the pair away, Tommy changes his mind and agrees to Paulie's heist, without Sam's help.

Although the bank heist succeeds, Paulie is murdered the next day when Tommy goes to collect his share of the stolen money. When he goes to meet Sam at the city's art gallery to discuss Paulie's death, Tommy learns from him that Salieri ordered him to execute both men for conducting the heist behind his back, having betrayed the pair. Sam further reveals that Salieri became outraged when Tommy's failure to kill Michelle and Frank came to light, forcing him to hire others to kill the pair. Although Tommy kills Sam in revenge for Paulie's murder, he is forced to flee the city with his family to escape his former allies. A few months later, Tommy returns to Lost Heaven to arrange a deal with Detective Norman, offering to give evidence against the criminal operations of the Salieri family in exchange for protection for himself and his family. Norman agrees to the deal, and the resulting investigation and mob trials lead to most of the Salieri family being convicted and sentenced - Salieri himself is imprisoned for life. Tommy is moved into federal protection with his family to Empire Bay and enjoys a good life, until two men confront and murder him on Salieri's behalf in 1951. As they drive off, Tommy narrates his lament over how he and his friends only wanted the good life but ended up with nothing at all.

Development[edit]

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. Multiplayer modes were also planned and announced during development, but were eventually cut in the final release.[2] The release date was scheduled for 2000. Illusion Softworks initially utilised the engine used in Hidden and Dangerous but was replaced by LS3D as the previous engine did not fulfill the developer's requirements. Due to the change of the engine, the game was released two years later than planned.[5][6][7]

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.

Story and theme development[edit]

"[As] I dug deeper, I began to see these men as people who are unwilling to obey the rules and would rather set their own. I wanted to tell the full story of a gangster- how somebody joins the Mafia as a young man, rises almost to the top and then falls down to the bottom." —Vavra on writing Mafia.[8]

The original cinematic inspirations of Mafia were films like Goodfellas and The Godfather, aiming for a more serious and mature tone for the game. Wanting to create a rich story line, director Daniel Vavra tried to mix drama, action and humour to heighten the game's realism.[9] The development team originally intended to put players in the role of a police officer taking on the Mafia; this was reversed when Daniel Vavra took in charge of writing the game's script.[10][11]

Re-release[edit]

A DRM-free re-release of Mafia was released on GOG.com in 2017 after being discontinued from Steam in 2012. The GOG release is essentially unchanged from the original game, albeit lacking the soundtrack due to licensing issues.[12][13][14]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
PCPS2Xbox
Game Informer9.25/10[15]7.75/10[16]8/10[17]
Game RevolutionA−[19]C+[20]N/A
GameProN/A3/5 stars[18]N/A
GameSpot9.3/10[21]7/10[22]7.1/10[23]
GameSpy4.5/5 stars[24]N/A2/5 stars[25]
GameZone9.3/10[26]6.9/10[27]7/10[28]
IGN9.2/10[29]6.8/10[30]6.8/10[31]
OPM (US)N/A3.5/5 stars[32]N/A
OXM (US)N/AN/A7.3/10[33]
PC Gamer (US)91%[34]N/AN/A
MaximN/A4/10[35]4/10[35]
The TimesN/A2/5 stars[36]N/A
Aggregate score
Metacritic88/100[37]65/100[38]66/100[39]

Mafia was well received by critics and players upon release as 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,[29] while GameSpot described the PC version as "one of the best games of the year" and rated it at 9.3/10.[21] 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."[15]

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.[22][23][30][31][40] In the Czech Republic, the country where the game's developers come from, the game received universal acclaim from both critics and players. Mafia was even elected the best video game developed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in a Survey by Czech server BonusWeb when it received 3866 votes out of 13,143 as every reader could choose for three games to vote for.[41][42]

According to Take-Two Interactive, Mafia had sold 2 million copies by 12 March 2008.[43][44][45] Its computer version received a "Silver" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[46] indicating sales of at least 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom;[47] and a "Gold" certification from the Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (VUD),[48] for sales of at least 100,000 units across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.[49]


Sequels[edit]

A sequel, Mafia II, was announced on 22 August 2007.[50] The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 24 August 2010.[51] The third installment in the series, Mafia III was announced on 28 July 2015 and was released on 7 October 2016.[52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven - PC / Windows". GamePressure. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b Bracken, Justin (25 August 2000). "Mafia Preview - Page 2 - Civilians, Game Engine, & Damage Modeling". Neoseeker. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Mafia The City of Lost Heaven, časť druhá". Sector.sk. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  4. ^ Smith, Edward. 10 Years On: Interview With Mafia Director Daniel Vavra, ibtimes.co.uk 29 November 2012. Retrieved on 5 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Czech". Databaze-her.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  6. ^ Mondschein, Pavel. "Czech". Bonusweb.idnes.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  7. ^ Martin Šebela (hadl). "Czech". Mafia.gamecentral.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  8. ^ Smith, Edward. 10 Years On: Interview With Mafia Director Daniel Vavra, ibtimes.co.uk 29 November 2012. Retrieved on 5 October 2015.
  9. ^ Smith, Edward. 10 Years On: Interview With Mafia Director Daniel Vavra, ibtimes.co.uk 29 November 2012. Retrieved on 5 October 2015.
  10. ^ Hladik, Roman (29 August 2017). "My Life in the Mafia (Games): Looking Back on the Series' 15-year History". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  11. ^ Roman Hladik (30 August 2017). "Mafia – Celebrating 15 years in the life - MAFIA III". Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  12. ^ Roberts, Samuel (19 October 2017). "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven comes to GOG, years after vanishing from Steam". PC Gamer. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  13. ^ Ariyasinghe, Pulasthi (19 October 2017). "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven is purchasable once again after five years - Neowin". Neowin. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  14. ^ Wales, Matt (19 October 2017). "The original Mafia is back from digital purgatory and out on GOG". Eurogamer. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  15. ^ a b Kristian Brogger (November 2002). "Mafia (PC)". Game Informer (115): 147. Archived from the original on 25 February 2005. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  16. ^ Matt Helgeson (March 2004). "Mafia (PS2)". Game Informer (131): 104. Archived from the original on 1 April 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  17. ^ Andrew Reiner (June 2004). "Mafia (Xbox) ["Second Opinion" wrongly addresses "Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dawn of Destiny"]". Game Informer (134): 132. Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  18. ^ Pong Sifu (24 March 2004). "Mafia Review for PS2 on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 12 February 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  19. ^ Shawn Sanders (September 2002). "Mafia Review (PC)". Game Revolution. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  20. ^ Ben Silverman (4 June 2004). "Mafia - PS2". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  21. ^ a b Erik Wolpaw (4 September 2002). "Mafia Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  22. ^ a b Greg Kasavin (27 January 2004). "Mafia Review (PS2)". GameSpot. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  23. ^ a b Greg Kasavin (15 March 2004). "Mafia Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  24. ^ Kevin Rice (18 September 2002). "GameSpy: Mafia (PC)". GameSpy. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  25. ^ Matthew Gallant (31 March 2004). "GameSpy: Mafia (Xbox)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 27 December 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  26. ^ Michael Knutson (4 September 2002). "Mafia - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  27. ^ Steven Hopper (16 February 2004). "Mafia - P2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 30 December 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  28. ^ John Wrentmore (31 March 2004). "Mafia - XB - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  29. ^ a b Dan Adams (29 August 2002). "Mafia Review (PC)". IGN. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  30. ^ a b Douglass C. Perry (26 January 2004). "Mafia (PS2)". IGN. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  31. ^ a b Douglass C. Perry (30 March 2004). "Mafia (Xbox)". IGN. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  32. ^ Thierry Nguyen (April 2004). "Mafia". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 98. Archived from the original on 28 June 2004. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  33. ^ "Mafia". Official Xbox Magazine: 74. June 2004.
  34. ^ Bert Salkmoor (December 2002). "Mafia". PC Gamer: 90. Archived from the original on 15 March 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  35. ^ a b Alex Porter (28 January 2004). "Mafia (PS2, Xbox)". Maxim. Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  36. ^ "Mafia (PS2)". The Times. 6 March 2004. Retrieved 12 September 2015.(subscription required)
  37. ^ "Mafia for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  38. ^ "Mafia for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  39. ^ "Mafia for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  40. ^ Matt Keller (25 February 2004). "Mafia Review - PlayStation 2 Video Game Review". PALGN. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  41. ^ "Czech". Hodnoceniher.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  42. ^ "Czech". Databaze-her.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  43. ^ Matt Martin (12 March 2008). "Grand Theft Auto series has sold 66 million units to date". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  44. ^ "Industry-Leading IP Portfolio: 15 Million Unit Plus Owned Franchises" (PDF). Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. 26 March 2008. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  45. ^ "Nejlepší česko-slovenská hra? Že neuhádnete, kdo na plné čáře vyhrál". Bonusweb. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  46. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009.
  47. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.
  48. ^ "VUD-SALES-AWARDS November 2002". Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland. November 2002. Archived from the original on April 22, 2003. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  49. ^ Horn, Andre (January 14, 2004). "VUD-Gold-Awards 2003". GamePro Germany. Archived from the original on July 18, 2018.
  50. ^ Nick Chester (22 August 2007). "Mafia 2 announced: The most compelling Mafia game since that last Mafia game". Destructoid. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  51. ^ Greg Miller (23 August 2010). "Mafia II Review (PS3, Page 2)". IGN. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  52. ^ Mike Futter (28 July 2015). "First Mafia III Trailer Coming August 5". Game Informer. Retrieved 28 July 2015.

External links[edit]