After reading Scott's main review for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I wondered what I could possibly add. Scott's writing is always a tough act to follow, and he covered it all— gameplay, story, sociological aspects, role-playing elements, and even the optional cornrows. I agreed with everything he touched on, so I sat down looking for words I could say that he didn't. It was tough, but eventually I did come up with something—"ten."
That funeral scene, along with a touching moment when a grieving son walks into his now empty childhood home and looks at his dead mother's photograph, are surprisingly emotional moments, moments that had me checking the disc to make sure that I'd loaded up the right game. Has GTA gone all Dr. Phil on me?
Game Description:Carl Johnson left the San Andreas neighborhood of Los Santos five years ago, when it was being ripped apart by drugs and gang violence. When he returns in the early 90s, his mother has been killed, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are criminals. When crooked cops frame him for murder, he decides to save himself and his family by taking over the streets. Side missions help develop skills that come into play later—from working out at the gym to gambling in a casino.
While the story is a great one presented in an engaging fashion, it's just not enough to save Mafia as a whole. The bland graphics, clunky controls, and atrocious load times (nearing 40 seconds in some instances) are nearly insurmountable shortcomings. Mafia and publisher Gathering may make you an offer, but believe me, it's one you can (and probably should) refuse.
Game Description: Start out as a hitman, enforcer or getaway Driver -- you'll have to complete missions to earn the respect of other mobsters, plus Don Salieri himself. Deal with rival Morello family while controlling your rackets -- see if you can run all the gambling, extortion, smuggling and prostitution in the city. You'll need patience, skill and accuracy with a Tommy Gun as you fight your way through 20 dangerous missions. High-speed car chases, bootlegging, assassinations, bank robberies and more -- you'll have to do it all and avoid getting caught by John Law. Just remember, your actions have consequences -- don't hit any innocent people unless you want heat from the cops, and don't cross Don Salieri unless you want to wear cement shoes!
To illustrate his experience with Way Of The Samurai, Chi compared the game to John Woo films, specifically Hard-Boiled. The film is used to indicate his feelings that there are underlying themes of loyalty, morality and honor. I also thought of an influential filmmaker and film while playing this game. Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing was always on my mind.
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