Friday, 8 August 2014

Mafia (PC)

Today's 'M' game is 30s gangster simulator Mafia, though weirdly every other site on the internet seems to be part of a conspiracy to convince the world that it's called Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. I don't know why they're all so keen to disseminate such obvious MISINFORMATION (probably because it makes it easier to actually find the game in a search engine), but if you check any of the game boxes, the official website, or the game itself, all you'll see is 'Mafia'.

I've played this one before, but I don't remember getting very far in it. In fact it's been so long that I don't even remember what happened to my game box, so I had to get a second copy of it just to play it for you folks. Good ol' 2002: late enough for the average game to be a gig or two big, but just too early for DVDs to be standard for PC. Three CDs this comes on, all stacked up on the same spindle to maximise the chances that at least one of them's getting scratched.

Anyway, like always I plan to play this just long enough to get a handle on what kind of game it's trying to be and judge if it's any good at it, then once I'm satisfied I'll kick the door open and bail.

(Click the screenshots to view them in an utterly mindblowing 1280x960 resolution).

Mafia main menu screen
I'm liking this main menu screen, very classy.

The camera floats across to focus on different objects on the table depending on what menu option I've highlighted, and as it's all contained in a small room they've been able to go crazy with the model detail. They even have shadows! You don't generally find guns that pretty in a game from 2002 and I guarantee they won't look anywhere near as good by the time I'm holding them.

Mafia Bolt V8 Roadster
The cars on the other hand are going to look a lot prettier than this, because I've really had to crush the detail out of this poor thing to bring the file size down into the realms of sanity. I had to cut it down to a third of the frame rate as well, so... insert Xbox One joke here I guess.

This is what you get if you select the 'carcyclopedia' option: a model viewer for cars that displays their stats and lets me take them for a spin. I can't actually drive any of them yet, but I can spin them around to my heart's content. Still looking for the guncyclopedia though.

Unfortunately this has already revealed a problem with the game: the cars are all old and rubbish! Worse, they're not even real car models, they're just close imitations with made up names. It'd be cool to drive around in a Model T, or get to know all the authentic cars from the time, but I couldn't care less about a Lassiter V16 Fordor, and I'm never going to remember what makes it different to a Bolt V8 Tudor.

Oh hey, turns out that there's a story included with this car spinning simulator.

The tale begins with a nameless, yet high ranking, gang member meeting with a cop in a café to discuss a business arrangement. The guy's in serious trouble and is willing to give up his former crew in exchange for protection for himself and his family. But the cop wants to know everything he knows about the Mafia, and the guy takes this literally, starting right at the very beginning.

Back in late 1930 our hero was a humble taxi driver, coping with prohibition during the Great Depression by abusing cigarettes instead. He had to work long hours to make ends meet, but they were tough times and many were doing far worse, so he was happy enough.

But in 1930 fate wasn't interested in anyone being happy, so it wasn't long before a pair of gangsters decided to hijack both his taxi and its driver. They'd crashed their own car nearby and were eager to avoid getting shot by the rival gang that's been chasing them around the city all night.

Oh, the game's expecting me to do the driving? Wow, how very typical.

Well this seems pretty similar to Grand Theft Auto 3 so far, with the most obvious differences being the radar up on the top left and the fact that the cars hate moving. It'll be interesting to compare the two games as this goes on, as GTA 3 is only 8 months older than it; meaning that this is less of a deliberate clone, more of an alternate universe doppelgänger.

Oh dear, looks like the rival gang in the red car didn't anticipate my advanced driving technique of driving into a wall, and they overshot their target. They then proceeded to launch themselves up the sloped edge of those stairs and flipped their car over, ending the chase before it began. I'm awesome at games I am.

Or not... as their vehicle has just automatically twisted back upright onto its wheels again like it's the car-shaped monster out of a sci-fi mobster horror movie. Great, now I have to get my engine started again! It's hard enough to talk this thing into going forward, you can imagine how it feels about reverse.

I usually prefer driving from inside the car, but I just cycled through the different camera views and I've decided that this is my favourite now. Front left wheel cam: for when you've got no immediate plans to turn right.

No seriously, I love this camera view, and I'm going to finish the chase like this. I'm watching their little red dot follow me around on the radar and can see the oncoming traffic I'm going to lure them into as well, so I've got enough to work even with a giant wheel obscuring half my vision.

Alright, the chase has apparently ended somehow, but I still need to get my two passengers back home so I can collect my fare. Also I've come across another problem: cars didn't have GPS in the 30s, so I have to drive with the map up on screen to know where I'm going. My poor brain just can't keep all these streets in it at once; when are game machines going to have memory expansions that plug into the player's head?

Okay I'm under a bridge right now and I want to be over it, so I'll need to carry on down this road and take the next two rights. Then once I'm halfway across Central Island I need to pull a sharp right and head down a tunnel. So I won't be driving there using front left wheel cam then I guess.

You know, this map looks really familiar to me somehow. Hang on, this city is another pseudo New York isn't it? It's Liberty City and Steelport all over again.

With the job done, our still-nameless cabby waits outside a Mob owned restaurant for his 'reward'. And waits, and waits, and waits. Until a man steps outside with his hand tucked into his jacket. Our hero eventually decides he's had enough of this scary Mafia business and gets the engine started, but he's just a little too slow to escape... getting paid a whole lot of money to get his cab fixed. He also gets an offer from Mob boss Salieri to come work for him, but right now he'd rather just go home and count his money.

These cutscenes are a little more sophisticated than I remembered; they're closer to Metal Gear Solid 2's level than Grand Theft Auto 3's. It's interesting just how much tension they chose to squeeze out of this moment, considering that the narrator's not likely to get whacked at the beginning of his story. But he doesn't know that, so the scene is all about what he's feeling, and right now he's not feeling all that interested in signing up for a life of sharp suits and shoot-outs.

Anyway, our hero ends up getting his cab fixed and goes right back to working as a taxi driver. It's a simpler life, especially when I'm the one doing all the driving for him.

Or at least I will be doing the driving, just as soon as this bloody bridge comes down. Is a whole fleet coming through or something, what's up with this? I kind of have a time a limit here, as my passenger will explode in just a few minutes. Or just whine a bit maybe. I'm not entirely sure what the penalty for failure is at this point to be honest.

Fuck it, I'm going to jump it! Well, perhaps I'll wait for it to close a bit more first, then I'll jump it.

Man, I do everything I can to get them to their destination on time and all I get from them is whining. I even put the speed limiter on to keep this thing under 40 mph, though to be honest that's more out of concern about getting a speeding ticket than their well being. I don't have to follow every little traffic law (the other drivers certainly don't) but the cops are absolutely determined to make sure that no one goes above 40 in this city, and I can't be arsed to keep my eye on the radar and slow down every time a blue cop car dot appears in my path.


Wow, is this guy seriously telling me to take the tunnel?

Listen mate, I've been doing this job long enough to know what the shortest route is. Plus I have to cross the bridge before I can even reach the bloody tunnel! The only other way across is that bascule bridge further south, and I don't think they want me back down there after my Dukes of Hazard stunt earlier.

It seems that most of the city is open to me right from the start, but the game isn't open in the same way as GTA is. I can't choose my next job, buy guns, change my outfit, do side activities etc. All I can do is carry people from A to B, then to C, then to D... basically I'm playing Crazy Taxi in slow motion with a jazz soundtrack.


Crap. Those bastards remembered the license plate of my car and took it on themselves to hunt me down...

I had to leave the taxi at this point and run through the back alleys on foot. Though I decided to turn around and take some shots of my pursuers instead. I figured I might get a good screenshot out of it and ended up getting my cabby's dumb ass shot dead. Well at least now I know that he can't take all that many gunshots, and his health doesn't regenerate.

But then I reappeared back at this cutscene; just after I'd finished the taxi work, but before people started kicking me in the face. The game autosaves after every section of every level, with each save getting its own file! That's an unusual way of implementing a level select, but I'll take it with gratitude. Plus it's way better than having to restart the mission from the start after my inevitable failure.

The chase through the alleyways sent me right back to Salieri's restaurant (because every time I went a different way it was an instant mission failure), and there I ran into a whole lot of well armed gangsters who owe me a favour. Long story short, my pursuers ain't going to be back for Mafia II.

But now the narrator's made an enemy of Mob boss Morello, and his association with all this crap has cost him his job, so he decides to finally take Salieri up on his offer and work for him instead. As a mobster I mean, not in the restaurant. I have to say, I'm disappointed that he goes straight to wearing the suit he has in the framing scenes, complete with painted on tie; I was hoping he'd have to work up to it.

Oh, I should mention that they've finally revealed the protagonist's name! He's called... Thomas Angelo, and today's he's been given a chance to get back at those bastards who wrecked his taxi. Or their friends anyway, seeing as the actual folks who chased him are dead.


Man, when they said they were going to give me a chance to get back at the guys who wrecked my cab I was expecting a little more help from them than a baseball bat. It would've probably been more sensible to steal the rival gang's cars instead of slowly smashing them up with a bat, but sadly I don't have that particular skill yet.

You see, I get taught how to break into cars one model at a time by chatting with the Salieri's mechanic each mission. Which is dumb, because I can't even tell which car is which! I have no idea what I'm allowed to steal already and it's not like they give me a list. I see what they were going for, as letting the player move up to more powerful cars as the game progresses sounds good on paper, but games like GTA 3 have demonstrated that it works better to let the player grab anything they see off the street.


Well it took me a few tries, but those cars have been successfully smashed. The first few times I accidentally attracted too much attention and got a swarm of angry mobsters chasing my narrator around and shooting him to death, but he's pre-destined to win so those guys can just go cry over their smoking piles of automotive debris. Another victory for team Salieri.

Though now that I'm back at the restaurant I have a new problem: I was told to meet with Vincenzo to get a weapon, but they forgot to tell me where the guy is. I've searched every room in the place and this garage in the back too, but he ain't here. I don't have any map markers or compass arrows telling me where to go, and I can't ask anyone where he is, so I'm a little lost now.

I eventually found him hanging out upstairs in the building next door, which is annoying but whatever. It's hard to stay mad now that I've got my hands on my very own Smith & Wesson Model 10 M&P revolver! That's an actual real gun too, not something made up for the game like the cars are. Well okay the M&P wasn't actually technically called a Model 10 until around 30 years after this... but who would even know that or care?


Okay this doesn't look good. We've ran out of map! We're in the unknown, driving blind, with only a compass to guide us. I'm starting to think the blue arrow is scheming to set us up, as we're supposed to be out collecting protection money from businesses right now, and this seems a little too far out of the way.

I'd turn that speed limiter off, but you just know that the second I do that will be the second a cop car decides to come by down the other lane. Then there'll be sirens and speeding tickets... maybe even a chase. More hassle than I really want to deal with in any case.

Of course Tommy Angelo would be dumb enough to smoke next to petrol pumps and barrels marked 'flammable' while waiting for his buddies to get done collecting the cash. Waiting, smoking and putting himself in serious danger is basically all he does in these cutscenes.

Suddenly his friend Paulie comes stumbling out with a gunshot wound, while his other colleague Sam doesn't come out at all. Morello's boys got here first and right now they'll be beating Sam for every bit of Mob related information he's got in his head. Hopefully for their sake he'll cut to the chase instead of rambling on about taxi missions and the time his friends got ambushed at a motel for no reason.

Paulie needs urgent medical attention, but fuck that. I've got a revolver and 18 bullets... time to go Rambo on their asses!

Not that I have a choice. The mission here is to save Sam, and I couldn't drive off if I wanted to.

But I'm not exactly doing a great job at it, as most of my bullets are ending up in the wall. I'm pretty sure I got one of the crooks, but it cost me more bullets than I can really spare if I want to keep this roaring rampage/rescue mission rolling. Can't shoot folks without ammo, and the dying mobsters are disinclined to throw their guns outside for me to grab.

By the way, take a look at where I'm standing on the screen. Later third person games tend to put you a little off center when you're shooting to give you an unobstructed view of what you're shooting at, but this is straight from the old school, where they put their leading man dead center on the screen. Well, their leading man's ass anyway.

Shit, I can't find a single gun or box of ammo outside at all. Do the developers expect players to clear the motel out with hand to hand CQC techniques or something? I'd be slaughtered the second I stepped through the back door! Man I really am completely clueless about how I'm going to get into... I'm looking at steps made out of boxes aren't I?

Okay then, here's my plan: I'll climb up to the top floor using the boxes, get inside through the balcony door, then I'll sneak up and kung fu some lone guard unconscious from behind with a charged up punch and appropriate their pistol. Of course the plan will completely fall apart if there's two people up there and they're facing me, but that kind of negative thinking won't get anyone rescued.

Oh man, whoever said "never punch an armed mobster while he's taking a shit" wasn't messing around. Still, fifteen hundred punches later and I was the one holding the gun (while holding my guts in with the other hand), and now I have a fighting chance to rescue Sam.

Hey, there's a loaded Tommy gun just lying on the bed in the room next door! Could've done with finding that sooner really.

I'm liking this Tommy gun! It's just a shame I can't actually see the thing. The game makes my character model fade out when it gets close enough to the camera to obscure the view, so in tight corridors I'm playing as the invisible man.

A lot of third person shooters tend to scale up rooms to give the camera room to move around but Mafia doesn't so much, meaning that this fading out happens a lot, especially when I'm hiding in cover. This is extra awkward because it means I can't see what I'm doing with the gun; I have to click once to raise my weapon if Tommy's not ready to shoot, but if I can't see the gun I don't know if he's ready.

There's no cover feature, no aiming button, and I can't lean around corners, so clearing this room is going to take a bit of calculated stupidity. I can either try to get the first shot in and keep one of them off balance, or get them firing and wait for them to reload, but either way I've got to step out and put myself in front of their guns to take a shot here.

I've played better third person shooters to be honest.

Well I killed them all... but then this asshole ran out of the motel and got into a banana car with the money!

Paulie and Sam need urgent medical attention you jerk, but instead you've got me chasing you through tunnels leading to... who even knows where! Worse, the tunnel is uphill so I'm getting 20 mph top speeds in here.

Look at this, I'm so close that my pistol is leaning over his car and I still can't hit him. I'd have more luck if I got out and walked! Actually that's not a bad idea; I just need to pull out in front of him first.


Time skip! Everyone survived the motel incident, all's well, and Tommy Angelo's now a respectable criminal. This seems like a reasonable place for me to quit and start writing up some kind of conclusion, but I'm not quite done with it yet. I haven't yet played.... the race level.

But I'll get to that later. First I've been asked to borrow this top of the line race car and take it over from the race track, through that tunnel, over that bridge, and to a friend's garage without getting a scratch on it. Fortunately they seem a bit lenient with what counts as scratch, as I just smashed right into a lamppost and didn't instantly fail. It's not my fault, this is the fastest car in the world I'm driving right now! It can go 0-60 in... well it can go 60 at all, and that's way too much power for any regular guy to handle. At night. Without headlights.

Then plan was for the mechanic to learn what makes the thing tick and use it to improve our own race car, but when I get there he just decides to sabotage the thing in the end and sends me right back to the race track with it. With a time limit. Across the bridge and through the tunnel. Without a scratch. Again.

(I hit another lamp post).


And now I'm finally at Mafia's infamous racing level! You see Salieri got everyone in town to bet on his driver, and then his driver got his arm broke, so now it's up to me to win the big race. And I do have to win, against 12 other opponents, there's no second prize here.

There's a number of problems with this, not least of which is the fact that I have to come first in a five lap race to reach the next level in a Mafia game about being a Mafia guy doing Mafia things. 

But the main problems I'm having right now are:
  1. My car is an excitable, easily distracted free spirit and prone to fits of whimsy. Keeping the thing going in a forwardly direction without it spinning out is a bit of a challenge.
  2. My car has the miraculous ability to fly, but it cannot survive a landing.
  3. There's all these other guys on the track and they're better drivers than me.
Six times I've tried this race, and not once have I managed to get the car past the finish line. I can get it into first place, but I can't survive there for the full 10 minutes. But the worst thing about this is...

...I'm playing on easy difficulty! The race has its own difficulty select screen that pops up at the start just to make sure that no one gets stuck on it for long, probably patched in at some point after the developers realised that no one who owned their game had ever seen past level five. I actually thought about starting it at medium difficulty at first, but I remembered hearing that lots of people had trouble with the race and decided not to push my luck. Turns out I WAY overestimated my luck.

I suppose I'll have to turn damage off and put this down to 'very easy' then if I ever want to see any more of the game. I used to think I was pretty competent at racing games as well. I don't know, maybe I'd have better control if I switched to using my Xbox 360 pad instead.


THERE YOU GO! 1st place champion at 'baby's first racing game' difficulty on my 7th try. I am truly a shining example to all other gamers.

Okay I've done taxi driving, car smashing, third person shooting, chase driving, race driving and I've introduced the fastest car in the world to several of the city's most invulnerable lampposts, but is there any other kind of gameplay in Mafia that I've yet to discover? What lies beyond level 5?


On this mission I have to escort a friend's daughter home from Salieri's place (unlike me she actually does work at the restaurant). Sarah's been getting hassled by some punks lately so I'm here to make sure nothing happens.

At least, that was the plan. What actually happened is that three of them ganged up on me and kept me stunned while she ran off somewhere and was killed off screen. Yeah, this is a real old school escort mission, featuring the world's worst hand to hand combat!

Seriously, this is so astoundingly terrible, that I have to assume that I'm just doing it wrong. I'm giving the game the benefit of the doubt here, because the alternative is that I'm really meant to be circling the group of enemies while tapping attack like this. It takes so many punches to knock someone out with fists that this slow dance of death is dragging out forever.

I'd try backing away, taking them on a few at a time, but that'd leave Sarah unguarded and I've seen how that ends. Honestly this is so tedious it's making me want to go back and have another go at that racing level instead.

Eventually I manage to get Sarah back home and the two can finally relax. They chat, she gets something for them to drink, he tests the bed springs, they kiss...

...and then after the sex scene he gets another cigarette, because he can't make it through a single bloody cutscene without one. Still, the smoke effects are cool. Sure in motion it looks more like a few hundred expanding bubbles than an actual cloud of smoke, but I still can't stop staring at it.

Okay Mafia, what have you got for me next?

Oh come on, again? Don't worry Paulie, I'll save you from these four other enemies! Somehow.

You know, I think I may actually be getting the hang of this game now. It still takes longer than I'd like to knock someone down, and Paulie's losing a worrying amount of health, but I'm doing alright. I'm even at the point now where I feel like I can drive around the streets without that speed limiter on keeping me at 40 the whole way.

Aw crap. Why is this the only unskippable cutscene? C'mon let me drive again already!

Fine, I'll pay your bloody speeding ticket; it's not like I have any need for money. In fact in this main game mode there's no cash and nothing to spend cash on anyway. It's just one level at a time without distractions, each usually involving a trip through that tunnel and across the bridge (and back). Takes a minute and a half each way at 40 mph in case you were wondering.

Yeah this seems like a good place to just walk away from this business.


Only a fool would play the first eight levels of a story driven game like Mafia and then claim that they can review it. But that doesn't mean I can't throw a few opinions around.

The game has excellent visuals and presentation for its time and must have been a top tier game in its genre back then. Sure it's a bit unnerving the way skyscrapers pop into sky as you drive around and one end of the city looks much the same as the other, but it's a well crafted world with a lot of atmosphere, and you're encouraged to take your time and take it in. The story of Thomas Angelo's fall is a bit flat maybe but it's interesting enough, with solid acting by nearly the entire cast, and unusually for the genre it's played entirely straight without a hint of satire. In fact I found the game to be pretty likeable in general so far,
BUT ... the gameplay has not held up that well at all. 
The driving sections seem to have a reasonable simulation of 1930s style automobiles (the game even gives the option of manual gears), but that's kind of a flaw in itself. I can't say how realistic the cars are (in fact I wouldn't be surprised if the real cars they're based on were on a whole other level of awkwardness), but they're plenty slow and awkward to drive in this. And then the game sticks a speed limit on top of that. Also apparently right of way wasn't in fashion in the 30s, but hey like I can talk about following traffic laws (in games).

Then there's the on foot sections, which usually involve melee or ranged combat. I've said enough about fist fights already, but here's the problem I have with the gun fights:
  • Enemies usually take 3-4 hits to put down with a typical pistol, assuming your shots are on target.
  • Guns take forever to reload and often contain 6-7 rounds. This means that you can only really kill one enemy without needing to reload to finish off the second.
  • If you reload a gun before it's empty you'll throw those rounds away, and ammo is too limited to waste. This means you don't want to reload before engaging the second enemy (and the third and fourth coming up behind him).
  • If you're out of ammo you won't automatically switch to a different gun.
  • To grab more ammo from defeated enemies in a fight you have to look around on the floor for their gun and pick it up manually, and you'll likely automatically throw one of your own away to make room.
  • You seem to have to click once to ready your gun if you're not already ready to shoot.
  • If you hold the trigger down when firing to avoid this issue the recoil will send your bullets everywhere but where you want them to be. 
  • The levels are cramped so you often can't see yourself or your gun, which means you can't see what you're doing with your gun.
  • So when you pull that trigger and nothing happens, you often don't know if you're getting ready to shoot, out of ammo, reloading the gun, or... anything about what the fuck's happening. You just know that you got killed because you took a chance to jump out and stun an enemy by putting bullets into him, and the bullets weren't ready to back your play. Back to the last checkpoint.
Also there's no cover system, or aim button, or bullet time, or regenerating health, or any of those little things games have added over the years to sweeten the shooting a little. You can't stay mobile and weave through bullets and you can't lean out around walls. You can do a dodge roll though, and I found myself using that move a lot, accidentally, because it's activated by double tapping in a direction... which by pure coincidence is the same thing I press when I want to carefully peek out from behind a wall without getting shot up too much.

Basically it's not a massively fun game to play, not for me anyway. Would I keep playing it though? Well... yeah, probably. The checkpoints keep the frustrations bearable and I can't just give up on the game so easily; the next level's going to be the good one I'm sure of it! So the rules say that it gets a star.

There you go, another requested game played, capped, written, and posted just for you (and anyone you link this to). This is the 1000th game article page written for the site in fact (though not the 1000th published), which means we're up to... something like 977 games. Next time though I'll be playing a game that no one has ever asked for, and I'm certain that no one ever would have. So you've got that to look forward to I guess.

Leave a comment!


  1. Great game nevertheless :) When can we expect your review of Mafia 2?

    1. Won't be for at least six months I'm afraid. I'm done with 'M' games for this year after the next one.

  2. Mmh, looks like you're giving away gold stars like hot cakes, recently! Reading your review, it didn't seem like you were enjoying the game (or that the game itself was enjoyable), and yet there it is again.

    I wonder what's the game that nobody asked for and nobody would have? That beard over there makes me think about The Last Of Us, so you might've been ironical...?

    1. Yeah I'm terrible with my gold stars, plus I think Mafia may have broken me. I could list problems with the game all night long, but I don't really dislike it all that much and I'm not really sure why that is. Maybe it just reminds me so much of better games that I keep expecting it to turn into one of them.

      Also I WISH I could write about The Last of Us for the site! Or play it at all! I've got a few weird old consoles lying around now, but I still don't have a PS3 or anything that can capture from it, and that leaves a gaping hole in my heart. Better that than a gaping hole in my bank account right now though.

      Sadly the upcoming game really isn't anything interesting. In fact it's so uninteresting that I actually played it almost a year ago and couldn't find a good time to publish it until now. That's a behind the scenes site secret for you. So if you find yourself wondering why it's ANOTHER semi-modern PC game about guns instead of a retro console classic, there's your depressingly mundane explanation.

  3. I also beat this long past its prime. It felt like 70% of my time was spent slowly driving through the same roads over and over again to get to the next mission. Combat was fine though IMO and the story was good.

  4. Aaah, Mafia, one of most memorable gaming experiences from my childhood. Thanks for giving it fair chance. :)

    Regarding automatically rolling to sides when double pressing strafe keys when crouched - this can be disabled in game options. And about having to ready your gun before shooting - this can be remedied by crouching when shooting, then your gun gets immediately readied and stays like that, and it also makes your aim more steady and precise with lesser recoil from tommy gun.

    One detail I like is progression of historical time during whole campaign as story starts in beggining of 30s and concludes in their end, so you can watch as later in game more modern cars starts to replace older ones on roads. Also various missions often feature more hidden paths to complete them. For example that mission where you go collect protection money from Clark's motel and everything screws up can be finished in two additional ways. Either you can shoot tires of that yellow limousine which prevents boss from escaping and then you can easily finish him off at his car without any chase... or... if you know at which precise window to shoot, you can kill him immediately at front of motel, thus skipping almost whole mission.

    Heh, when I played Mafia for first time, there was no patch to ease up race mission, so I had to beat up fair and square. From what I remember it took me several frustrating tries, but after finally beating it, the feeling of accomplishment was amazing. And later, from time to time I used to load up old save and replay it again. (BTW game keeps your times for whole race and laps in separate save file, so they get kept and you can try to beat your records.) :D
    So my main advice is, do not rush to first place in first lap, you have lot of time get to there. And when you get there, do not feel pressured and rather drive more carefuly than fast and I guarantee you, they cant overtake you when you keep clean trace. Also avoid any collision with other cars at any cost, you car is too fragile and can very easily get flipped over. And about that you trying Xbox controller, I recommend to try steering wheel instead (which is natively supported, eat that GTA 3!).

    BTW you forgot to mention that this game also features Free ride mode, where you can drive from all over city freely, without any constraints of missions, do taxi missions, kill mobs and so on. By progressing in game you unlock new selectable cars and different options. And after finishing campain you unlock Extreme free ride where you can complete lot of often crazy and wacky missions (like kill guy who is fast like speedy gonzales, avoid ufos and so on.) to unlock various bizzare cars.

    BTW Have you tried Mafia 2 and if yes, what were your impressions? Me as big fan of first installment, was bit disappointed, as I find story and characters from first game more memorable and atmosphere in second game also seemed bit lacking to me compared to first.

    1. I've heard that the folks developing the racing mission built it with steering wheels in mind, so they weren't just supported they were practically mandatory. Well, until the patch came out anyway.

      Yeah I probably should've written something about free ride mode, but I'd written so many words by the end that I was getting worried that balancing even more of them on top would send the whole stack toppling down into a pile of embittered vowels and disillusioned consonants. Well it was getting a bit much anyway, and I try not to make my walls of text entirely impregnable. That's my rubbish excuse.

      Also I haven't yet given Mafia 2 a try, and I'll probably be saving that until next year as I've moved on from 'M' games now. I do own the game though and I fully intend to give it a proper look at some point. With screenshots and whining.


Semi-Random Game Box