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Just like working for a boss

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Perform well and your boss will be the nicest guy on earth, watching your back, rewarding you with incentives. Perform badly and he will be your worst enemy ‚ all he has to do is give the word and you are mincemeat. Sounds like the corporate world, but this is how things work in the world of the Mafia. SEAN BACHER tries a new career option in Mafia PlayStation 2.

The story

The story begins in America during the 1930s. You play a character named Tommy, whose job it is to taxi people to and from their destinations. You’re a law-abiding citizen, pay your taxes and the worst crime you’ve ever committed is running a red light.

However, things turn drastically wrong as you find yourself in the middle of a Mafia gang feud. You help Mr Salieri’s boys escape but, at the same time, make enemies with the rival gang and render yourself redundant as a taxi driver. Your only option now is to join the Mafia and carry out Mr Salieri’s dirty work. With the cops in your pocket, you commit every crime possible, from traffic violations to murder, with only one goal in mind: to keep yourself alive.

Game overview

Your fist mission is to drive Mr Salieri’s boys to safety after they trash their car in a high-speed shootout. The following morning however, it’s work as usual. That is, until your taxi gets vandalised by the rival gang. Before you know it they are taking shots at you and you find yourself running to Mr Salieri for refuge. He now owns you and there is no turning back.

It’s now a game of an eye for an eye, where you destroy rival gangs’ cars, collect money and murder gang members.

What we thought

You’ll find yourself getting more and more involved as the story moves along. The full-motion character animation brings a sense of reality to the game, giving you the feeling that you are actually being spoken to and should act accordingly. The game takes on two perspectives. The first is from within a car, where you have to use the analogue sticks to control the vehicle: the second is a perspective from Tommy, whom you are controlling as he goes on his quests collecting guns, throwing Molotov cocktails and beating people up with a baseball bat. Overall, we enjoyed the game, found watching the movie segments entertaining and really making us feel as if we were part of the story. We were however a little put off by the constant re-loading of game scenes as we progressed through the stages and thought it could have been programmed to run far more fluidly. Apart from playing Tommy chasing around killing other gangsters, Mafia offers two other game modes. The first is a racing mode, in which you get to race all the cars featured throughout the game. The second mode, which is one of the more amusing game modes, is called Free-Ride. In this mode your target is to cause as much mayhem as possible while cruising the streets. You gain points for wrecking other people’s cars, breaking the law and running over other gangsters and pedestrians.

Requirements

Mafia is a one-player game and you will need an analogue controller as well as a memory card with a minimum of 501Kbytes free, unless of course you want to start from the beginning every time you switch off your PlayStation ‚ which we definitely advise against.

Gaming Platform

Sony Playstation 2.

Mafia was provided by Ster-Kinekor Home Entertainment, contact them on (011) 445-7900. Sony PlayStation 2 provided by Cats TellySound Eastgate, contact them on 011 615-8870.

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