Written by  :  Clark Gable (93)
Written on  :  Jul 06, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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One of the most revolutionary games of all time

The Good

Nearly everything is to like about this game.

You are Thomas "Tommy" Angelo, a regular day-to-day taxi driver back in the early 1930s. Tommy goes about doing his taxi duties, until one night while taking a break he hears a sound coming from an alley. Two men come out of the alley, one of them is wounded by a gunshot. They hold a gun to Tommy's head and tell him to get in the car and drive them to a certain restaurant. As he drives them, Tommy realizes the two men are gangsters who are running away from their assailants. From here on out the game turns into an awe-inspiring mafia story of epic proportions which basically plays out like a top of the line mafia film.

You have everything you would expect from a mafia story here. You have dozens of beautifully modeled cars with huge amounts of detail that look and drive just like old 30's cars did, and with impeccable damage modeling usage. Do not expect the cars to drive fast as it is the 1930s, the realism factor is very evident here. You have a wide array of weapons (from a simple bat to Molotov Cocktails to pistols and revolvers and automatic weapons and sniper rifles) and all of them are in great detail and operate as they should in real life.

The game revolves around a city called "Lost Heaven" which is basically a real life Chicago or New York back in the 30s. The city design is extremely well done and features high quality rendered buildings and street lights, roads, bridges, and anything you would expect. Since the city consists of certain islands which can only be crossed by bridges or by train, the water detail is impressive, the train tracks are nicely situated throughout the city for easy access. Boats are seen from time to time in the waters and airplanes appear up in the sky. People are walking and talking in the streets just like normal people would. The people models look very different from each other and with different clothing and hats that suit the 1930s era.

The main character models are the best around in any genre or system to date. With superb detail to every little aspect of a model's face or body or clothing. This is backed up with some of the best speech and acting around, to an extent that you can truly relate to and understand every character in the game.

Music in this game is perfectly suitable to the 1930s and it probably won't appeal to everyone (especially teens) as it features old Jazz and melodies of some of the best performers of the time. You won't find Pop/Rock/Rap/Disco/Dance/Soul/whatever here, so if you can't appreciate true music, please stay away. During the intense moments of the game, the game features a kind of dramatic music to increase the effect and it really does the job well.

The game features an incredibly strong and long story that will certainly keep you up during not so few nights, featuring superb car chases and gun-fights in the old style.

You can also choose to play "Free Ride" which is different from the story mode since it allows you to roam the city freely and do whatever you want. If that is not enough for you, once you complete the game once, you get to play "Free Ride Extreme" which basically consists of many little quests that you have to do throughout the city, with every mission you complete you get a new fancy car in reward. Those cars are nothing like the game's regular cars as they are some of the most bizarre cars (and fast too) you'll see.

The Bad

If one had to be VERY picky about this game I would say that it is somewhat disappointing that you do not have enough freedom and other activities to in the city outside of the main story mode.

Another little rant I may have is about the fact the you'll have to spend a long time driving just to start a particular mission and thus just getting to the point where you can start a mission may sometimes be a little tedious.

However, these little rantings should not keep you from missing a game of a caliber of this size and strength.

The Bottom Line

Bottom Line - You need to own this game already. It does not matter whether or not you like action games, this is so good it can appeal to everybody who can appreciate a true art of a game.

This is easily one of the most revolutionary games of all time and one that is at the top of my game list, one that I'll probably play when I'm 60 and one that I will forever remember and enjoy just thinking about. Folks, games don't get better than this and all should appreciate the art that is this game.