After the release of the third installment of the game series, which was pretty controversial, and rumors of Mafia 4 game, the topic has become trendy again.
Let’s remember the original Mafia game, which was released back in 2002. This year brings us the first 3D Grand Theft Auto game on PC – the genre king was settled. Just a few might notice the Mafia, some claim it’s just a GTA clone. But it wasn’t. Despite the quite similar concept of 3rd person shooter with the ability to drive a car (still fresh for the early 2000s), the Mafia game was way different. It wasn’t an even open-world game in full scale – you cannot do missions when you want to in any order. The only open-world feature was a free ride mode with many limitations in comparison with the story mode.
So, what we like most in the original Mafia game?
The story was marvelous. It was the real gem of the game. The story mode, thanks to well-directed cutscenes, feels like watching a gangster movie. The plot itself wasn’t too original, there were only a few twists, but it feels very natural. Not to mention the pretty unexpected ending.
So, in terms of the story, the original Mafia was the best gangster game, and sadly, way better than the next parts.
Unlike GTA, the game plot hasn’t stuck to the certain year or so. It covers the whole period from the early 30s to the middle of 40s. The city of the game, the Lost Heaven (the mixture of Chicago and Los Angeles) looks and feels as it should be in this years. Gangsters, police, hobos and prostitutes, the Prohibition, architecture and cars – all depicts the reality of the Great Depression period. Lost Heaven looks a bit sterile in terms of absence of mud and trash, but it is more like a hardware limitation for that period.
The game was quite realistic – you might use public transport (trains), learn how to hijack cars, the main character dies after a couple of gunshots.
Of course, there wasn’t any Nvidia PhysX, ragdoll figures or something else in 2002, but car handling is great, feels more like a sim game, rather than arcade. Cars were destructible, with active fuel level, bullet holes, engine failure – something that GTA hasn’t for quite a long time.
The weapon system is unique – it is hard to explain, you might feel the recoil by your mouse. That’s why the aiming was hard but realistic.
In terms of graphics the game looks stunning – way better than any open-world game of this period, and way better than GTA III blockbuster.
We hope that the next Mafia game will be much better than previous, and could be closer to the overall feeling of the original.