Mafia (video game)

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Mafia
MafiaUSCov.jpg
Developer(s) Illusion Softworks
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive
Director(s) Daniel Vávra
Producer(s) Lukáš Kuře
Programmer(s) Dan Doležel
Artist(s) Pavel Čížek
Writer(s) Daniel Vávra
Composer(s) Vladimir Šimůnek
Series Mafia
Platform(s)
Release Microsoft Windows
  • NA: 27 August 2002
  • EU: 6 September 2002
PlayStation 2
  • NA: 27 January 2004
  • EU: 30 January 2004
Xbox
  • NA: 9 March 2004
  • EU: 8 April 2004
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Mafia is an open world 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 in August 2010, and a third game titled Mafia III by Hangar 13 was released in October 2016.

Story[edit]

Setting[edit]

Map of Lost Heaven.[1]

Mafia takes places during the prohibition years of the 1930s, within the fictional American city of Lost Heaven - a coastal city that incorporates architectural styles, public transportation and other notable landmarks from the real-life cities of San Francisco and Chicago from the same time period - and the surrounding countryside around the city, encompassing around 12 square kilometers.[2]

Plot[edit]

In 1930, Tommy Angelo (Michael Sorvino), a local taxi driver, is strong-armed into helping two mobsters working for crime boss, Don Salieri (George DiCenzo), escape from an ambush planned by members of the Morello family, and is compensated for his trouble with a promise of assistance if he requires it. The next day, Tommy lures two thugs that attempt to kill him, to a bar owned by the Salieri family where they are promptly gunned down. As repayment, Tommy is recruited as an associate and assigned to work alongside made men Sam (Matt Servitto) and Paulie (William DeMeo). Two years after joining the Salieri family, the restaurant's bartender, Luigi, informs Tommy that strange men have been harassing his daughter Sarah (Cara Buono), who passes on the information to Salieri. Outraged at the news, not because of the men's inappropriate behavior, but because of their description matching those of the men that had been causing trouble in his territory, Tommy and Paulie are tasked with scaring the punks off, though while completing the job, the pair end up killing one of the leaders of the gang who turns out to be the son of a prominent city councilor. Following the job, Salieri's consigliere, Frank (Dan Grimaldi), sends Tommy to plant a bomb in one of Morello's brothels and then later tasks him with eliminating an informant within their ranks. Upon learning that the informant is Sarah's close friend Michelle, Tommy spares her life and sends her out of the city. He subsequently marries Sarah, who a few months later gives birth to a daughter.

In 1933, the following year, while collecting a shipment of whiskey for bootlegging, Tommy, Paulie, and Sam are attacked by policemen on Morello's payroll, barely escaping with their lives. The next day, Salieri orders a hit on his consigliere, after Frank provides evidence of his money laundering activities to the authorities, assigning Tommy to the job. Chased to the airport, Frank eventually explains his motive for betraying Salieri was due to his desire to protect his family. Revealing to Tommy where the evidence he took was hidden, Frank is allowed to live, faking his own death before fleeing to Europe. Two years later, Salieri survives an assassination attempt by his traitorous bodyguard Carlo, and in retaliation, travels to his apartment with Tommy to kill him, before eventually focusing his attention on weakening the Morello family, ordering hits on Morello's underboss and brother Sergio, as well as a city councilor in his pocket, both of which Tommy successfully carries out. With his rival's power greatly weakened, Salieri orders a hit on Morello (John Doman), with Tommy, Paulie and Sam chasing his armored limo off the edge of a bridge under construction. With Morello dead, Salieri seizes control of his territories throughout Lost Heaven.

In 1938, the increasingly ambitious Paulie asks Tommy and Sam to help him rob a bank without Salieri's permission, only for both to turn him down. But while doing a job for Salieri to steal several crates of imported cigars, Tommy becomes suspicious behind the motive for the heist, suspecting that he and Paulie are being used. His suspicions are confirmed while Sam leaves to pick up Salieri, when Paulie finds a cache of smuggled diamonds amongst the cigars. Upon Salieri's arrival at the warehouse the crates were brought to, he politely declines Tommy's offer that he and Paulie help to shift the stolen goods for him, with Paulie claiming that the Don intends to keep the diamonds for himself. Following this, Tommy decides to go along with Paulie's bank job without Sam's help, which proves successful. However, when Tommy seeks his share of the proceeds the following day, he finds Paulie dead in his apartment, whereupon Sam calls him and advises him to meet with him at a local art gallery. Once there, Sam reveals that he told Salieri about Paulie's bank job and of the pair's disobedience, whereupon he was ordered to execute them as a result, further explaining that Salieri was outraged to learn that Tommy never killed Frank or Michelle when he was ordered to. Although Tommy kills Sam and flees from the gallery massacre, he learns that both Frank and Michelle were eventually found and killed.

A few months later, on the run from his former allies, Tommy arranges a meeting at a local restaurant with his police contact, Detective Norman, and details his entire story about his life in the Salieri family, eventually brokering a deal for protection for himself and his family, in exchange for evidence and his testimony against the Salieri family. As a direct result, Don Salieri receives life imprisonment for his crime, with most of the Salieri family convicted and sentenced for their activities, some of whom are executed. Tommy, meanwhile, is transferred in safety by the FBI under a new name, to a new life in Empire Bay. Several years later, in 1951, an elderly Tommy is watering the grass outside his home when two hitmen (revealed in Mafia II to be that game's protagonists, Vito Scaletta and Joe Barbaro) confront and murder him on Salieri's behalf. As the pair drive off in their car, with Tommy dead on his lawn, he laments how he and his friends only wanted the good life but ended up with nothing at all.

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,[3] 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 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.

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. The original plans included a multi-player and racing mode which were not present in the 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 fulfill the developer's requirements. This led to it being replaced by the LS3D Engine. Due to the change of the engine, the game was released two years later than planned.[4][5][6]

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 the crime game.[7]

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.[8]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
PC PS2 Xbox
Edge 6/10[9] 5/10[10] N/A
EGM N/A 6.17/10[11] 6.17/10[11]
Eurogamer 4/10[12] 6/10[13] 5/10[14]
Game Informer 9.25/10[15] 7.75/10[16] 8/10[17]
GamePro N/A 3/5 stars[18] N/A
Game Revolution A−[19] C+[20] N/A
GameSpot 9.3/10[21] 7/10[22] 7.1/10[23]
GameSpy 4.5/5 stars[24] N/A 2/5 stars[25]
GameZone 9.3/10[26] 6.9/10[27] 7/10[28]
IGN 9.2/10[29] 6.8/10[30] 6.8/10[31]
OPM (US) N/A 3.5/5 stars[32] N/A
OXM (US) N/A N/A 7.3/10[33]
PC Gamer (US) 91%[34] N/A N/A
Maxim N/A 4/10[35] 4/10[35]
The Times N/A 2/5 stars[36] N/A
Aggregate score
Metacritic 88/100[37] 65/100[38] 66/100[39]

Mafia was well received by critics and gamers 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]

Sequels[edit]

A sequel, Mafia II, was announced on 22 August 2007.[46] The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 24 August 2010.[47] The third installment in the series, Mafia III was announced on 28 July 2015 and was released on 7 October 2016.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mafia The City of Lost Heaven, časť druhá". Sector.sk. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Smith, Edward. 10 Years On: Interview With Mafia Director Daniel Vavra, ibtimes.co.uk 29 November 2012. Retrieved on 5 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven - PC / Windows". GamePressure. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Czech". Databaze-her.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Mondschein, Pavel. "Czech". Bonusweb.idnes.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Martin Šebela (hadl). "Czech". Mafia.gamecentral.cz. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Smith, Edward. 10 Years On: Interview With Mafia Director Daniel Vavra, ibtimes.co.uk 29 November 2012. Retrieved on 5 October 2015.
  8. ^ Smith, Edward. 10 Years On: Interview With Mafia Director Daniel Vavra, ibtimes.co.uk 29 November 2012. Retrieved on 5 October 2015.
  9. ^ Edge staff (October 2002). "Mafia: City of Lost Heaven (PC)". Edge (115). 
  10. ^ Edge staff (March 2004). "Mafia (PS2)". Edge (134): 109. 
  11. ^ a b EGM staff (April 2004). "Mafia (PS2, Xbox)". Electronic Gaming Monthly (177): 116. Archived from the original on 1 April 2004. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  12. ^ John "Gestalt" Bye (6 September 2002). "Mafia (PC)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Kristan Reed (4 February 2004). "Mafia (PS2)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Kristan Reed (6 May 2004). "Mafia (Xbox)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  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. ^ Nick Chester (22 August 2007). "Mafia 2 announced: The most compelling Mafia game since that last Mafia game". Destructoid. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  47. ^ Greg Miller (23 August 2010). "Mafia II Review (PS3, Page 2)". IGN. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  48. ^ Mike Futter (28 July 2015). "First Mafia III Trailer Coming August 5". Game Informer. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 

External links[edit]