|Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven|
|Publisher||Gathering of Developers|
|Released||August 28, 2002|
|Ratings||ESRB: M BBFC: 15 PEGI: 18 OLFC: MA15|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox|
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven is a third-person shooter video game initially made for PC and released in 2002. It was later made available for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004. It was developed by a Czech based company Illusion Softworks, published by Gathering of Developers and written as well as directed by Daniel Vávra. The game allows the player to take on the role of a criminal who has to accomplish various missions in order to advance in the game. It received strong critical reaction and continued to maintain a loyal cult following. As of March 12, 2008, Mafia has sold 2 million copies according to Take-Two Interactive. IGN gave it a rating of 9.2/10 while Gamespot stated in their review: "Quite simply, Mafia is one of the best games of the year." and rated it at 9.3/10.
On August 21, 2007, Take-Two Interactive announced Mafia II at the 2007 Leipzig Games Convention, under development by Illusion Softworks, and was eventually released in August 2010.
The bulk of Mafia's storyline gameplay consists of driving, mostly for general travel between game locales, as well as car chases and races; the remaining portions of the game consist of on-foot third-person exploration and shooting, similar in style to the Grand Theft Auto series. In addition to the entire city of Lost Heaven and countryside, several detailed interior levels were also included for many of the on-foot levels, including the city's airport and museum, a church, a hotel, an abandoned prison, a restaurant, and Don Salieri's bar. Weather and night effects are also available in the game.
There is also a Free Ride mode, where you can earn money and can do pretty much anything you want, even though you don't have space to hide all your weapons at first.
Mafia offers players the opportunity to drive a total of 51 classic cars based on real-life counterparts, in addition to another 19 bonus vehicles (including five classic racing models) available for unlocking in a new mode upon completion of the game's storyline. Unlike the Grand Theft Auto series, however, cars are introduced progressively through time in the storyline, with 1920s models available earlier on during the storyline, while newer varieties from the 1930s appear later. In addition, the players must "learn" how to steal a car by acquiring such knowledge from experts or experience, as opposed to the Grand Theft Auto series, where players are free to acquire any type of vehicle, superior or otherwise.
The game was well received by critics and gamers upon release as a more realistic and serious Grand Theft Auto-styled game. Police would book players for minor offenses such as speeding or running a red light, and car accidents caused physical harm to the driver. Such was the realism that unless a mission was timed, many found that actually obeying the road rules proved to be faster than speeding, as the latter would more likely result in accidents and injuries. Mafia had a much bigger city to explore than Vice City, with many forms of transport available (such as trams and elevated rail; neither of which are drivable by the player), in addition to an expansive countryside where police are strangely absent.
During Free Ride mode, the player is able to purchase weapons at Yellow Pete's as well as additional health at the city hospital for $1000. All of the game's weapons are available for purchase albeit for an inaccurate and inflated price for the era (i.e: 1 grenade: $1000, baseball bat: $10, Sniper rifle: $2000.) The player has many methods to raise money such as killing fellow (but now enemy) henchmen for $500 a pop, speeding above 70mph nets $100 every other second, as well as exploding vehicles for $100 each.
Mafia is also noted for having damage physics on nearly all vehicles. 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 crashing, hitting with blunt weapons (fists, baseball bat) as well as firing bullets at them.
Law & Order in Lost Heaven Edit
Main article: Lost Heaven Police Department.
The Police department in Lost Heaven uphold the various laws that have been set. When these laws are broken from view of the police, they will respond. Offenses can be minor or serious offenses. Minor offenses will end up with the player being fined (-$1,000 in Free Ride mode, no monetary value in campaign mode), and serious offenses can lead to the player being arrested for the first offense, or a shootout with the police until the player or they are dead. A series of four successive minor offenses will lead to the player's arrest. Police force increases with the severity of the player's disregard of the law to a point where now well armed police form blockades with tire spike strips in attempt to defeat the player while firing from behind their armored cars.
Certain criminal acts most people would expect to warrant a response from the police do not occur, such as: driving on the sidewalk, driving on the wrong side of the road, and ignoring yield and do not enter signs (in the early stages of game development, these were supposed to be considered as an offense but were later changed). Also, if AI is breaking the law (gangsters chasing you and shooting on the way, for example), police will not respond
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 and Chicago of the same time period).
Although the plot is not directly taken from the movie, certain names such as Paulie, and certainly the faces of the characters, the style and pace of the story, and many scene elements appear to be heavily inspired by the 1990 Martin Scorcese film "Goodfellas". Indeed, the front of the box playfully announces "Welcome to the game of the greatest 1930s gangster film Scorcese never made."
The player takes the role of taxi driver Thomas "Tommy" Angelo, who, while trying to make a living on the streets of Lost Heaven, unexpectedly and unwillingly becomes involved in organized crime as a driver 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.
After a not-so-casual encounter with two of Don Salieri's henchmen, Sam and Paulie (who escaped from Morello's men and while trying to get away, had a car accident), Tommy is given the 'chance' to work for the Salieri organization. Tommy refuses politely, preferring to remain poor but legitimate. However, the very next day he is attacked by two hitmen sent by Salieri's arch-enemy (later revealed to once have been his companion) Morello, 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. Indebted, Tommy becomes a Salieri getaway driver.
Through a series of assignments given to him by Don Salieri, Tommy quickly becomes deeply involved in the activities of the Salieri business, concerning extortion, bootlegging, assassination, arson jobs and a lot of unexpected gunfights, often with the opposing Don Morello, whose power Tommy describes as "built on violence". He is also 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 the assassination target 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.
Tommy eventually marries Sarah, the daughter of Salieri's bartender Luigi, who gives birth to a girl a year later. However, a fatal shootout at a farm where the Morello mob and police surprise them trying to buy Canadian whisky nearly kills Sam. 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. In one of the game's more emotional moments, Tommy lets Frank go and he flees to Europe with his family. Believing Salieri will never find out, Tommy later saves his boss from being assassinated while dining at a luxurious restaurant. Salieri has his bodyguard-turned-traitor, Carlo, killed along with Morello's ally, the councilor (who is shot while giving a speech at his birthday). Morello's brother, Sergio Morello, is also killed on Salieri's orders. These actions shatter the Morello crime family and Salieri finally orders the death of his rival. After having succeeded, the game pauses to present times, while Tommy shows Detective Norman a photo of a young Salieri standing next to another young man revealed to be Morello. He tells Norman that this photo proved to him that "This life is poisonous", and is one of the main reasons why Tommy wants to betray the local mafia.
After the death of Morello, the Salieri family runs the town. Following the assassination of another politician not co-operating with the family, Tommy, along with Sam, is presented with a plan to rob a bank by Paulie. Both men refuse, Tom mentioning the danger involved if Salieri were to discover such a plot and Sam citing his loyalty to the family. The three then steal what is ostensibly a batch of Cuban cigars on Salieri's orders, but Tommy and Paulie discover that the cigar boxes contain a considerable amount of well-hidden diamonds. Convincing Paulie not to steal any of them, Tommy acts as though he is unaware of the diamonds and surreptitiously probes Salieri for information about the matter. Deciding that Salieri was well-aware of the diamonds and intended to cheat him out of his fair share, Tommy joins Paulie in his bank robbery plan, risking their lives if Salieri would find out. The robbery is successful, but the following day Tommy arrives at Paulie's apartment to find him murdered. Tommy panics, and is tricked by the ever-loyal Sam, to meet him at Lost Heaven's art gallery. In the midst of a gun-battle it is revealed that Salieri, having discovered Tommy and Paulie's unauthorised bank-robbery, has ordered their deaths. Sam also tells Tommy that Salieri has mistrusted Tommy for some time after discovering that he spared both Michelle and Frank's lives, both of whom were eventually found and murdered by the mafia.
During a climactic battle on the top floor of the museum, Tommy gets the upper hand on Sam, 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, a warning of Salieri's power, and is then shot to death by Tommy. Here, Tommy's story to the detective (and thus the game) ends, telling that he fled to Europe but decided to return and to testify against Salieri to ensure the safety of Sarah and his (unnamed) 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, presumably dying during his detention. 80 gangsters are convicted, some sentenced to electrocution and the family is destroyed. After the trial, Tommy is relocated to the other side of the country where he starts a whole new life, buys a two-story house there, indicated to be Greenfield, Empire Bay in Mafia II, with his family, all under new names. Tommy works as a driver "for a respectable company".
The epilogue, set 1951, shows an old Thomas Angelo, grey-haired and moustached, standing outside his house watering the grass. Two men, revealed in Mafia II to be Vito Scaletta and Joe Barbaro, pull up to the side of the street in a red 'Tudor' car (resembling a 1957 Ford Thunderbird) 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 women can be heard screaming and the two men get back into their car and hurry away, Tommy lies on the grass, blood still running out, the hose lying next to him. Tommy's last narration as the camera rises from his dead body ends with:
- "You know, the world isn't run by the laws written on paper. It's run by people. Some according to laws, others not. It depends on each individual how his world will be, how he makes it. And you also need a whole lot of luck, so that somebody else doesn't make your life hell. And it ain't as simple as they tell you in grade school. But it is good to have strong values and to maintain them. In marriage, in crime, in war, always and everywhere. I messed up. So did Paulie and Sam. We wanted a better life, but in the end we were a lot worse off than most other people. You know, I think it's important to keep a balance in things. Yeah, balance, that's the right word. Cause the guy who wants too much, risks losing absolutely everything. Of course, the guy who wants too little from life, might not get anything at all."
Mafia was ported to PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004.
While similar games such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto III were almost identical to their PC counterpart, many changes appeared in the Mafia's console versions. It was reported that because of the grand scale of the original PC game, sacrifices were made in order to accommodate the lesser processing power of consoles, and Illusion was not involved in porting the game. Many of the features of the PC version do not exist in the console port, such as police patrols around the city, realism, graphics, details etc. The gameplay is also very different and most people who played the PC version commented that the ported versions have sluggish control, lumbering movements, and technical issues.
While the original PC game received rave reviews and grew a cult following around the world, PlayStation 2 and Xbox were critical and commercial disappointments. This fact and the conflict and disagreements Illusion Softworks had with the head programmer later was said to be the reason why the company delayed plans for the sequel.
In the game system console, there is the racing mode Grand Prix which can only be obtained to the PC through modifications to the game's scripting.
In Free Ride Mode you play as Thomas Angelo, basically trying to make money while killing gangsters, running from the police, and much more. As the mode's name implies, there is no job you have to complete. If you do not have a good grasp on this mode, try playing through the main game before hand so you are used to the controls. It is a game mode which you only want to play once you have actually gotten a feel of the game, and how you fight (offensive, defensive, etc.), so try getting to the level Molotov Party before you try Free Ride. At first your choices are quite limited, but soon you will be sticking to cover, shooting gangsters and police. You will also be able to choose what car you want, and what city mode you would like. If you want to act natural, drop or hide your guns and walk like a businessman or run like you are in a hurry. You cannot hide your Thompson 1928 at first, since you have no room to hide it.
- Much of Lost Heaven's art gallery interior, which is featured prominently in the final mission, is based heavily on the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. The gallery's grand stairway, grand cupola and exhibition rooms are recreations of those seen in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The name of the Salieri family is also a pun on the famous Cellini Salt Cellar, called Saliera, which is housed in the museum.
- The British newspaper Daily Mail unsuccessfully called for Mafia to be banned after the murder of Stefan Pakeerah, in which the murderer was allegedly believed to be inspired by the game Manhunt.
- Three of the game's prominent voice actors, Matt Servitto, Dan Grimaldi and William DiMeo, have all appeared in the mob-themed TV series The Sopranos, as FBI Agent Dwight Harris, Patsy Parisi, and Jason Molinaro, respectively. Also Cara Buono who voiced Sarah in the game, is known from the last season of The Sopranos as Kelli Moltisanti.
- "Corleone Hotel", which is a place you have to visit in the mission called "The Whore", refers to the Corleone Family of the book The Godfather written by Mario Puzo, and also the famous film with the same name.
- During the race, many of the opponents' names refer to heavy metal musicians (e.g. Chris Barnes, Barney Greenway), and in fact the names of two of the main characters in the game, namely Tommy and Morello are probably derived from the well-known guitarist Tom Morello.
- The "Morello" Brothers in the game are the rival family of the Salieri's. The family name was based on a true crime family dating back to the 1920's. The family is now extinct and does not exist. The Morello crime family was one of the earliest crime families to be established in the United States and New York City. The Morello crime family was based in Manhattan's East Harlem and would establish dominance over the New York Sicilian mafia families operating in the Italian-American underworld. The crime family eventually gained dominance in the Italian underworld by defeating the rival Neapolitan Camorra of Brooklyn. Many of the organizations members included such criminals as Ignazio "Lupo the Wolf" Saietta, Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria, Francesco "Frankie Yale" Uale, Umberto "Rocco" Valenti, Tomasso "The Ox" Petto and Charles Ubriaco as well as others becoming future leaders of the "Five Families" such as Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Frank "the Prime Minister" Costello, Vito Genovese and Giuseppe "Joe Adonis" Doto. The Morello crime family's successors would gain control of New York city's criminal rackets following the fall of the Irish and Jewish gangsters who dominated New York's underworld in the beginning of the twentieth century.
- Operating system: 98 ME XP or higher
- CPU: 500MHz
- Graphics: 14MB
- HD space: 1.8GB
- CDROM: 16 speed
- Directx: 8.1
- Multiplayer: no
- RAM: 96MB
- Input: Mouse and Keyboard
- Sound: Directx 8.1 Sound
See: Gameplay Mechanics.
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