The first Mafia game has landed on GOG.com, after disappearing from Steam just over five years ago. 2002's City of Lost Heaven was one of the first great open world games, arriving about a year after GTA III, and using its detailed period setting as more of an evocative movie set than a playground. Right now, it's a GOG exclusive.
Mafia was a favourite of mine at release, right when I was properly getting into PC gaming. Its sincere attempt to tell a cinematic story was very convincing at the time, and its shocking ending—which would cleverly tie into Mafia 2, eight years later—was among the best in gaming's history. It holds up reasonably well, too, although the driving is tough as hell. I last wrote about Mafia a couple of years ago. The smoke ring effects, which are basically in every cutscene, still look decent for a 15 year-old game. PC Gamer UK awarded it 91% back in the day—I remember reading that review in the magazine and being instantly sold on it.
If you're curious about the notoriously hard racing section from the original release, that was patched to be much easier back in the day, so that shouldn't be an issue now. The GOG version doesn't feature any of the game's licensed music, which I assume is the reason Mafia got pulled from Steam almost exactly ten years after release—although I don't recall licensed music being as important to The City of Lost Heaven's atmosphere as it was in Mafia 2.
As a GOG representative points out to me, this is another of the games from our list of notable titles that are not available on digital platforms. Indeed, with SWAT 4, Full Throttle and now Mafia ticked off, we're getting closer to having them all available again. How about Westwood's Blade Runner next, eh?
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