Description official descriptions
Tommy Angelo was an ordinary taxi driver trying to make a living on the streets of Lost Heaven until one day an unexpected meeting changed his life forever. Two men jump into his cab, telling him to drive as fast as he can. Bullets begin to hit the cab, and a car with armed pursuers gets closer. Barely escaping a violent death, Tommy obeys the instructions of the two men and delivers them to a bar of their choice.
Impressed with his driving skills, the men pay him and offer him a job in the mafia. The next day, while Tommy is taking a coffee break, his cab is smashed by two rival gangsters. After this, he recalls the proposition from yesterday, and, without much hesitation, joins the Salieri family, making his first steps on the path of organized crime. While performing missions for Salieri, Tommy gradually begins to regret his choice. However, it turns out that joining the mafia was much easier than leaving it.
Mafia is an action and driving game set in the 1930s in Lost Heaven, a fictional city in the USA modeled after New York and Chicago of the Prohibition Era. Similar to GTA games, it consists of free-roaming (driving or on foot) in a large city, completing missions to advance the narrative. The missions often include driving to various locations, car chases, and one race; however, most of them are structured like fairly large and long third-person shooter levels.
The player will have the chance to drive over sixty vehicles that are reminiscent of the 1930's period. Each car handles it differently, with various degrees of damage. It is possible to smash windows, destroy bumpers, lights, and mirrors, dent the car, shoot out the tires, or shoot the tires so much that they fall off. To add to the realism, if the car's gas tank gets punctured, gas will slowly leak out until the car totally empties. There are gas stations scattered throughout the city, allowing the player to refuel. With these vehicles, the player is able to explore twelve square miles of the city, visiting areas such as Central Island, Chinatown, and the Downtown district.
Complementing the vehicles is an array of weapons, such as pistols, tommy guns, shotguns, explosives, baseball bats, and crowbars. While driving a car, Tommy can perform a drive-by, sticking his hand out the window and firing. Trying to impede him is the police force; they will act on anything suspicious. If they see Tommy carrying a weapon, they will attempt to arrest him. Going over the speed limit, running red lights, crashing into buildings, cars, or objects will result in fines.
Tommy is often given new cars to use during the missions, usually provided by Ralph, the mechanic of the Salieri family. The player can also save hijacked cars in the backyard of the bar belonging to Salieri. Weapons can be acquired at the beginning of a mission by Vincenzo, the local arms dealer.
- Мафия - Russian spelling
- מאפיה - Hebrew spelling
- 四海兄弟：失落的天堂 - Simplified Chinese spelling
Credits (Windows version)
196 People (195 developers, 1 thanks) · View all
|LS3D Engine Director|
|Director Of Photography|
|Written and Directed by|
|Collision, Facial Animations and Cutscene Editor|
|Physics Engine Programming|
|LS3D Engine Team|
|LS3D Editor Plug-ins|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 85% (based on 53 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 204 ratings with 9 reviews)
The first decade of the 21st century was marked by a rise in creativity in Eastern European game-making. Among the new games that were developed in those countries that used to dwell in the shadow of communist regimes, the Czech Mafia stands out as the one that found its way into the mainstream and became an instant hit within its genre.
Mafia was truly one of those "games you can't put down" for me. From mission to mission, my appreciation to it grew and increased. It was so clear that the Czech developers loved their game so much and invested everything in it, left in it a part of their souls. When a game is created with so much dedication, you just feel those vibes coming at you.
Since Mafia was conceived as a GTA clone, the inevitable question is of course "how does this game compare to GTA games"? I can only give you this advice: don't compare. I started playing Mafia while thinking of GTA, and that was a mistake. It took me some time to appreciate this game for what it was. GTA games are great at what they do, and Mafia is great at what it does. Their goals are different. GTA is about pure fun, diversity, and humor; Mafia is serious and realistic. In GTA, you are happy to perform all kinds of crazy things even though you know they are impossible; in Mafia, you are immersed into a genuine life of a mafioso. GTA is arcade-like fun, while Mafia is hardcore action. GTA is about insanely versatile and totally unrealistic missions tied by silly plots sparked by satire; Mafia is about down-to-earth assignments and serious third-person shooter gameplay crowned by a meaningful story. They are different, they are both great, and we need them both.
That doesn't mean that there is no fun to be had in Mafia. Oh no, there is plenty of it. Just like in GTA games, you can wreak havoc in the city, running over pedestrians, shooting people, blowing up cars, etc. You can hotwire and hijack cars and just drive around, enjoying the beautiful scenery. But it is clear that the focus of the game is not on that. In GTA, driving was clearly more important than shooting; in Mafia, it's the other way around. The "meat" of the game are its missions, in which shooting sequences take much more weight than the driving ones.
Mafia is above all a fantastic action game. It is challenging and sometimes frustrating in a good way. The large, varied, excellently designed levels, the tricky foes, the realistic way the weapons are handled - everything indicates a first-rate shooter. It is full of unforgettable moments - I'm sure each player has fond memories of how he crouched behind a wall with only two hitpoints left and no health kits in sight, with vicious shotgun-wielding maniacs waiting around the corner; how he desperately charged into a guarded building, diving to the side and giving the gangsters a taste of the old trusty Thompson; how he finally reached that checkpoint, read the magic words "the game was saved", removed the sweaty, trembling hands from the mouse and sat back, pouring a glass of water to quench the thirst of the dry throat...
Mafia never lets go, it is always ready to greet the player with yet another nerve-wrecking episode. There is always great variety in the shooting parts of the game: besides the usual "kill everyone" missions, there are stealth missions, melee fighting, sniping; the levels are massive outdoor environments, narrow corridors, a boat, an abandoned prison, docks, airport, art museum; each and every level is memorable, each and every mission is different in terms of goals and execution, but similar in the amount of pure suspense and adrenaline-raising action. Mafia would have been a great game even if it didn't have the driving parts.
But the driving is also great fun. The city in Mafia is a wonderful place to explore. Everything is done with outstanding care. The city is very large, with several drastically different areas: busy city center with skyscrapers, charming areas with old buildings, a rich district with villas, a workers' quarter, a lovely countryside, etc. There is a vast amount of different cars to steal and to drive; all of them have an authentic look and feel of the thirties. There are fully interactive trams and trains in the city that you could board if you are tired of exploring the city by car or on foot. While most of the driving serves as just a prelude to the actual missions, there are also several suspenseful chase sequences and an incredibly challenging (fortunately, with a difficulty level slider if you apply the much-needed patch), but excellent racing mission with the coolest cars you've ever seen.
Mafia has beautiful, detailed graphics, excellent music and sound effects. I just love the main theme (the music that plays when you access the main menu and also during the most important cutscene). It is done in the style of those heart-wrenching Italian melodies for gangster movies and it fits the game's story so well.
Speaking of which: Mafia is a very story-driven game, much more so than the GTA games, in which the stories were there mostly to tie the missions together and also served as excuses for bringing up as many satiric scenes as possible. The story of Mafia is very serious, tragic, and could in all honesty serve as a plot for a good gangster movie. There is something indescribably honest and direct in this story: it is warm and humane without being sentimental, concise without being dry or underdeveloped, and moving without being melodramatic. There is a lot of understanding in this story, but also a lot of realism, which is naturally not always pleasant, since it is a story about organized crime, after all. Above all, it is poignant and very sincere. The dialogues might appear plain in the beginning, but there is a lot of power in those precise, clear sentences. Characters tend to have moral discussions, so those dialogues are full of quotes that illustrate the happenings in the story and are stuck in the memory of the player. The story just gets better and better as the game progresses, with plot twists to follow, until it culminates in the outstanding ending.
Mafia will satisfy you only if you don't come to it expecting crazy GTA-style antics. It is less ambitious and it generally goes only for what matters most. I imagine some people wouldn't appreciate its austere nature, sparse side activities, and relentless difficulty level. Be sure to apply the patch, since the race is almost unbeatable without it. Also, being killed by the last enemy left in the level and having to restart the whole mission is understandably frustrating. I don't like limited saving options in games and strongly oppose this treatment; but somehow, the gameplay here was so engaging that I almost didn't mind.
The voice acting could be called "uneven". Not just because some actors are better than others; the same actor's performance can range from convincing to adequate to almost fake during different dialogues. In a game with such a dramatic, serious story, everything that falls below "convincing" reduces the intensity of the experience. I also think that they could have worked more on the expressions on people's faces; they are absolutely bland. So many times Tommy is distressed, angry, or desperate; his face never betrays any of these emotions, and sometimes it just looks silly, especially when combined with the less than emotional voice acting.
The Bottom Line
Mafia gives you everything you would expect from a great action title: nerve-wrecking suspense and intense fights, great levels and atmospheric scenery; it also gives you a gorgeous city to explore while driving cool, stylish cars from the thirties; and on top of this, it has outstanding cinematic qualities and tells a good story. If you don't go and play this game now, I'll have to liquidate you on behalf of the Don.
Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (180476) · 2015
Okay, I just started playing this game, but I already got my review.
First of all, the graphics are unquestionably amazing. The characters look finely drawn, and use of colours and textures are great. The cut scenes make you want to stay and watch, their more like a tv show than a video game cinematic. I found that the voice acting was very good. The characters look, well, like the mafia.
The sound was great. Once again, the voice acting was amazing, but what was also great were the sound effects. All the sounds were realistic and great.
The loading time was nothing. I played some games like Freedom Force where you just keep waiting for the loading time, but this game was a breeze on my PC. It was very quick, and there were almost no, no, NO slowdowns at all. Even when there was tons of action on screen, it kept the regular speed.
The folks at Illusion also managed another great aspect, there are many types ofplay. You can drive in a car around the city, shoot people in a Max Payne type style, or race in a track(I HATED THAT). Nevertheless, it was amazing to be able to do so much.
The control layout was good too, using the mouse and keyboard and creating shortcuts on the keyboard, whic were easy to remember.
Music sucked. There's no question about it. Sure, it created the mood of the game, but I hated it. Couldn't they have gotten a less corny soundtrack?
Once again, that racing part was too hard!
The Bottom Line
Still, Mafia was an unquestionably amazing title that might just be what everyone had been looking for-until now. I give Mafia a very well earned 5 / 5 .
Windows · by ThE oNe (180) · 2002
Oh man. I was just blown away really. When I bought it, I had serious fears that it won't run at all, since I only have a 750Mhz computer with 128Mb RAM and Voodoo3 card (which doesn't pull GTA3, for one, which is why I can't compare this game to that one very well) - but it did run, and I fell worshipfully down before the beauty of it. As far as I'm concerned, this game has set the standard for mafia/cops and robbers games that the releases of the next few years will have to measure up to. And point 1 of that standard is this: COVER EVERYTHING. Every single thing from all those crime and mafia movies that you've played out in your childhood with model cars and toy soldiers with fat plasticine cheeks sticked on (each to his own) - you get to do it LIVE, in glorious Technicolor, 3d and all beautifully designed, from the laundry drying in the yard to the lead characters' remarkably done faces.
Let's see if they've missed something: a Tarantino-style break-in in a mansion full of armed bandits holding your wounded mafioso-mate hostage (complete with a gangster coming out of the toilet), check, shooting it out with the police on the rooftops and fire-escapes, check, shoot-outs in the church while hiding behind an altar (!), check, a massacre of policemen trying to escort a valuable witness onto an airplane, check, a shootout in a multi-story car-park, check, protecting the Don in an ambush as you're hiding behind an upturned table in a restaurant with a battalion of hoods firing at you from the street, check, massive shoot-outs in the docks among ships, trains and cranes with bandits on top, check, assasinating important people in public, check, sniping off politicians giving speeches from an abandoned prison tower half-a-mile away, check, a massacre in the city museum, check, and of course car chases galore - fleeing, chasing, drive-by shooting, taking it out at chasing cars with a tommy gun from the back of a truck, shooting down an airplane taking off - check, check, check, check. Oh yeah, and a bank-job too, of course.
In short, it's all here. And they've done it with style. No budget cuts here - beside your basic huge GTA3-style city, beautifully done locations include a church under repair, a five-story brothel, MASSIVE docks, an airport, country roads (seems it's always autumn in the country), a bank, a cruise ship, an abandoned jail-house, a restaurant, a bar, a huge museum, an apartment block, a rich villa with a surrounding park, a road-side motel and a realistically done 1930's racing track. And the level design is intense, unpredictable and action-filled, tying in plot elements and using the locations excellently. For example, you're meeting somebody who has some booze to sell: dark night, lightning, storm, a broken door creaking, a bunch of farmhouses on a lonely road miles from anywhere and these guys want you to go there alone to check out "why no-one's here yet" (make a wild guess); suffice to say that at the end of this one you're on the top story of one of those barns, with a mafioso mate bleeding to death on the floor next to you, and you shooting through the window at a bunch of cops outside.
The essence of the game is the heart-breakingly beautiful changes of pace from the excitement of a wild chase (though you better make sure you have a faster computer than I do to enjoy it all properly) to the cliff-hangers that are most of the shoot-outs. Forget your Quakes and Jedi Knights and Half-lives: in this game, you can't charge into a room and just shoot a bunch of people dead - in this game, the bunch of people shoot YOU dead before you manage two steps inside. Basic survival tips for you FPS-type people: 1. crouch; 2. hide behind objects (preferably ones that don't blow up); 3. wait until the enemy reloads, pop up, let him have it; 4. shoot in the head; 5. keep the distance - people with shotguns and sawed-offs will blow you away with one shot if you come close enough; 6. watch your back, watch every tower, crane or upper-story window, and expect surprises. The level design is tricky to say the least and the AI is devious - people will move about and surround you; one moment they'll hide, the next they're charging at ya, and blowing you away with their portable cannons. Together with the no-save-games approach, it makes the combat missions not entirely unalike to walking a tightrope blindfolded over a bottomless pit with some level designer bastard shaking the rope about on the other end. It's a thrilling ride that'll probably make you cross the street the next time you see a warehouse or a hangar coming your way, waving their hands in a friendly greeting, but it'll also make you smile wryly the next time somebody forces you to go to a museum or a church.
And that's obviously the designer's intent. The game really DOES make you feel like a mafiosi - a nervous wreck hiding behind the steely blue-eyed glare of Tommy Angelo, the lead character, a cross between de Niro in Godfather 2 and that third guy in Goodfellas whose name nobody remembers (at least I don't). The other characters range from the brilliance of your best friend Pauli (an obvious tribute to Joe Pesci in the aforementioned classic) to the servicability of Don Salieri to the open plagiarism of Don Morelo (de Niro in the Untouchables) to the plain idiocy of the moron romantic interest, Sarah - but everyone's kept in line, and everyone is eventually sacrificed to the game's grand message: crime doesn't pay. I don't want to give any plot elements away here, but after Tom and Pauli shoot Salieri and side with his mortal enemy Morelo who then commands them to kill their former best friend Sammy - hah! Fooled you! That's not at all what happened! As I said, I'm not giving away any plot elements here. I'll just quote the lead character's final speech: "we wanted more from life than other people but we ended up a lot worse than most" - and you should have an idea how the superbly written story of the game proceeds. It starts out happy-go-lucky taxi-cab driver turns to mafia for help, then proceeds into stylish cool mafioso professional hitmen fun until it turns all dark and creepy and everything falls apart for a very bleak ending. All the characters are very well worked out, their personalities really drive the story and you can really identify with the lead character's point of view - "the world is not run by laws written on paper, it is run by people, and it just depends on whether you'll play by somebody else's rules or you'll create your own". In fact, the story touched me so masterfully that I didn't at all want to explore the game's free-ride options after I had finished the game - after the deadly serious ending, I wasn't in the mood for any light-minded car-jacking and gangster-killing. It really was that good.
I won't say anything along the lines of, "two words - race mission". I actually liked that one - it took a couple of hours, but they were a couple of fun, realistic 1930's racing filled hours. I really have no idea why people would complain about that one so much - I guess racing sim fans and GTA3/Max Payne fans are seperate groups of people. The REAL problem with the game is with its attitude to the player. It's like there was this one sicko of a level designer who thought that his job was not to create an entertaining experience but to simply OUTSMART THE PLAYER: I guess the guy thinks like this, "huh, he thinks he's so smart that he got through that predicament; he thinks he's getting a save game now - what about a guy hiding behind that door instead, letting you have it from a double-barrel shotgun straight in the face, ha ha ha!" What a moron! It's like all his experience with level design was from those old cartridge Nintendo games, or "pre-postal experiences" as I like to call them. OK, I understand that you shouldn't be allowed to save games where you want in a game that depends so heavily on tension and realism - but why shouldn't I get the feeling that the game is my friend instead of my enemy? If I get through one major shoot-out alive, why do I have to make it through one more shoot-out alive and then one more and only THEN is the game saved? If I can't figure out how to get out of the third one, why must I replay the first two ones as well, the ones I've figured out already?
An illustration of the game's attitude: in the final mission, in the museum, you first have to shoot some 15 people in 3 or 4 separate small gunfights, then a cutscene comes - but the game is NOT saved - and you resume in the open, on some stairs, with people firing at you from all sides and you can't even see where they are and you get killed of course. So you have to make it through the first 15 people AGAIN, just to see where those people shooting at you are. In the process you get killed again. But now you have a strategy - so you go through the first 15 again, then employ your strategy, kill the 6 or 7 people shooting at you on the stairs, then go through a bunch of corridors and rooms crouching, killing people, your nerves totally on fire because you know that if you get killed now, you start all over. Thus you manage to kill another dozen. And then - you come to some stairs, tuck tuck tuck, huh, what's that?, BANG! Somebody threw a grenade down the stairs and you're dead! Start over! You could almost hear the level designer chuckling there! It's so incredibly frustrating - half a dozen times at least I stared at the CD and had to literally clench teeth and count to ten in order not to do violent things to it.
Actually I did have to use a trainer in two missions. The first one was the 8th one I think, where you have to go against some thugs with a BAT. I'd like to beat with a bat the guy who came up with that idea. What am I doing beating people with bats in a mafia game? And it's so incredibly frustrating - you're totally outnumbered, you have to watch out for your psycho pal Pauli, and it's just so hard to get a good whack in when three or four people are beating you at the same time. And after you get through that lame idiocy of a fight, you're then thrown into a tough gunfight, no savegames again, and get killed. Fun. The other mission was the airport mission - I couldn't get through the hangar alive, and again was being frustrated to the point of CD-mauling. I just think this game could've done a lot better with what is common practice in most other games, ie, a difficulty setting. Real hardcore players maybe should've been allowed to even go through the ENTIRE game without any saves, but surely hardcore players constitute only a small percentage of the game's intended audience. So what gives? What kind of marketing strategy is that? I read in a Max Payne review on this site one guy advising to buy the game before the weekend and return it on Monday. So maybe these guys thought that if they'll make the game normal difficulty, most players will finish it quickly enough to cheat and get a refund? I just can't see any other reason for this - are there actually any normal people out there who'd rather have a game incredibly frustratingly hard just so that it wouldn't be over in a couple of days? Well, Illusion Softworks - if you want to make your games longer, just make more missions for godssakes!
As for other things. The battle AI, though sometimes very smart, was sometimes also incredibly dumb - you'd go up to a guy and he just wouldn't shoot you! He'd weirdly circle around you, crouching, trying to get an angle where he could see your head from down there, I guess. And would you just look at how people are driving on the streets! In one mission I had to follow a guy who was driving at approximately 25 mph in a SPORTSCAR, and he still drove over some grandma! And didn't look back or anything! Nevermind police cars driving over people, nevermind cars generally turning out to be driving around in circles if you take care to follow them for some time, nevermind them piling up behind your car if you've parked it on the verge.
Hilarious but true story: in one mission you had to stop at some house and wait until a car drives out of it and then follow it; so when you arrived at the house, you had a cutscene of sorts, which was sort of an interactive cutscene as it took into account the actual situation on the street as you had left it before the cutscene began: so, this black car drives out the house, and drives away, and your character is sitting in a car on the opposite side of the street, and says to himself, "whew, that was close!"; only thing is, there were five cars already piled up behind Tommy's car, all hooting (you could actually see it in the cutscene!) - those guys must've been bleeding BLIND not to notice that!).
And why do police cars only notice if -I- exceed the speed limit? I'm chasing some car which is obviously driving at something like 70mph (40mph is the speed limit), and the policeman doesn't give a hoot when it passes him by, but when -I- pass him by, he immediately turns on the siren!
And what's up with that Thief rip-off mission? Couldn't Looking Glass sue? This game is brimming over with original ideas, it didn't need to unimaginatively borrow stuff like that.
And one more complaint. This game takes the old approach of having your character enter the scene already after the events of the game have taken place, and narrate his life's story to some cop. All the actual missions are in fact flashbacks of sort. Well, in that case I can't help thinking how exactly did he "tell" the story of the carpark shootout to that policeman. Must've been pretty emotional: "oh yeah, man, and then I threw a grenade, and then, BANG, and WOW, like all the cars go up, and then I run, BANG, BANG, I shoot at the guy, he falls dead, I pull out a Thompson and shoot THRADDADDA, then Pauli shoots me in the back by accident but it's nothing I go bang bang again, there's this guy hiding around the corner, I crouch, pull back a little, jump out, bang bang, he shoots at me, I go like , ouch.... etc."
The Bottom Line
Well there was once a game called Syndicate. This game is like a 3d version of it, with a super-cool film-quality story thrown on and the squad tactics exchanged for some stealth/commando tactics. If you could manage with the no-save-games tactic of that game and enjoyed all the massacres and the cold-blooded realism, you're going to enjoy this game as well. Only thing is - I can't help thinking that Illusion Softworks must've tried REALLY hard to come this close to totally screwing up such a great game.
Windows · by Alex Man (31) · 2002
|References to heavy metal?!||Simoneer (29)||Sep 12th, 2010|
|Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven||Indra was here (20633)||Sep 1st, 2010|
1001 Video Games
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
The German version of Mafia has been censored. There is no blood when running over or attacking people. Also, pedestrians cannot be killed, they just lie down on the ground and take cover. Interestingly enough, the in-game cutscenes still have all the blood effects.
The game features a fictional luxury car called the Phaeton. Two years after the game's release, Volkswagen has released a new luxury car also called the Phaeton. Coincidence?
- One mission has you entering a hotel named "Hotel Coreleone". Coreleone is the famous family name from the The GodFather movies.
- Another mission has you stealing cigars from a box labeled "Scorsese Import/Export". Scorsese is in reference to the film director Martin Scorsese, who has directed many mob movies, including GoodFellas and Casino.
- The names of the opponents during the car-race are taken from actual people, mostly frontmen of heavy metal bands, like Mark "Barney" Greenway from Napalm Death, Chris Barnes from Cannibal Corpse or Kirk Windstein from Crowbar.
- The museum at the end of the game is a detailed clone of the "Kunsthistorisches Museum" in Vienna, Austria. Illusion Softworks, the Czech-based company who developed the game, obviously chose the building as an inspiration for the level.
In the German version of the game, Mogens von Gadow voices Paulie. Von Gadow is the German voice of actor Joe Pesci who performed in Scorsese's mob movies Goodfellas and Casino.
- 2002– Best PC Action Game of the Year
- 2002– Best PC Action Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
- 2002– #6 Best PC Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
- Computer Gaming World
- April 2003 (Issue #225) – Best Music of the Year
- GameStar (Germany)
- February 13, 2003 - Best Game in 2002 (Readers' Vote)
- February 13, 2003 - Best Action Game in 2002 (Readers' Vote)
- February 13, 2003 - Most Innovative Game in 2002 (Readers' Vote)
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 11/2005 - #4 Game Which Absolutely Needs A Sequel (it eventually got in in 2010)
Related Sites +
IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
One of the first and biggest fan sites.
A rather huge and very good fan site.
Official German website
The official German website of the game.
The official website of the game.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by JPaterson.
Game added September 4th, 2002. Last modified October 15th, 2023.