Mafia "Made Man" Makes Game

Mastertronic enters the shady world of full-price publishing

Posted by Staff
Mastertronic has picked up the publishing duties on ‘Mafia action’ title Made Man (previously known as 'Interview With A Made Man'), being developed by Manchester-based Silverback Studios. The title almost didn't see the light of day, as it began life as an Acclaim Manchester development. Fortunately, Silverback rose from those particular ashes, and the title is now due for a full price release on PS2 and PC in September.

The first thing that struck us about this is that it’s the first time that Mastertronic, traditionally a budget/value software specialist, has moved into full-price publishing, picking up the choice crumbs off the ex-Acclaim studio’s table.

Speaking to Garry Williams earlier today, one of Mastertronic’s ‘Made Men’, he told SPOnG: “The big publishers are already concentrating on next-gen console and that creates opportunities for smaller players like Mastertronic. We already have our Blast Entertainment range launching shortly; some titles fall outside Blast’s family remit but demand to be released. With genuine Mafia insiders having contributed to every scene in the game, Made Man is the most realistic portrayal of life inside the Mob ever. By approaching us with a title of this quality, Silverback made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

From the press release, we find out a little more about the game: “Prepare to get 'made' in the most compelling and thrilling mafia experience you've ever seen. Work up the ranks of The Mob, from opportunist G.I. fighting in Vietnam, to 'wise guy' on the make, doing deeds and winning favour from the Don in New York City….Your mission is to be 'made' – that is, being firmly accepted into the fold of the Mafia elite. But what dirty deeds must you perform to get there? What will you have to sacrifice, and who might double cross you, on the way?”

It will be interesting to see how Mastertronic does with this pretty interesting sounding title. Of course similarities are going to be drawn with EA’s rather boring epic, The Godfather, but it seems that Made Man is going to offer something a little different to that title. Comparisons will also be drawn, no doubt, with Vivendi's official Scarface game out later this year, so we'll try to get a look at both titles to bring you an unbiased comparison between the two.

Andy Payne, Mastertronics MD said of the game: "With Made Man, we're doing to the Mafia videogames genre what The Godfather did to Mafia movies."

Check out the first batch of screens here, plus further details, in full, from the release:

Bill Bonnano, real life Made Man and former member of the Bonnano crime family said: "This is about as close to really being in the mob as a game can be. You turn your back on the wrong person, that's it, game over… I have worked with author David Fisher to make sure every level, every scene, every detail, actually represents the inner workings of organised crime. No question about it this is as real as it gets."

Players assume the role of Joey Verola and play through the key events in his life of crime. Along the way players will experience many innovative gameplay features, including:

Jump to cover – Avoid a hail of bullets by using the jump to cover technique, which launches Joey in the direction of the nearest safe spot. From there, Joey can sidle along and around the cover spot as well as fire over or around it before ducking back into safety. Joey can also create his own cover spots by strategically blasting away at the game's destructible scenery.

Picture-in-picture (PIP) – Remotely view the action at key locations away from Joey's immediate environment by taking advantage of the picture-in-picture views. PIP allows players to memorise the locations of sentries and important items, as well as heightening Made Man's movie-like dramatic style.

Dual weapons and melee combat – Joey can wield two firing weapons simultaneously for double the carnage! Melee weapons are also available for brutal bar room-style brawling and hand-to-hand combat using anything from chair legs, crowbars and knives to inflict the most damage.

Missile combat – Joey can throw all manner of explosive missiles including grenades, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs for maximum firepower. Missiles may also be used in stealthier stand-offs, in the form of empty drinks cans and rocks that can be used to distract and stun the enemy.

Proprietary physics system – Silverback's proprietary physics and 'rag doll' system is designed from the ground up to feature rich and dynamic environments that allow the player to destroy surroundings and enemies with realistic and spectacular results.

In addition to the key features above, Made Man also features a comprehensive reward system. As Joey fights he will be rewarded for performing various types of hits and kills. As Joey amasses these rewards he increases the effectiveness of his abilities and also gains new skills. Beware of hitting innocent civilians however, as doing so will actually punish the player by reducing accumulated points and, if too many innocents are targeted, Joey's speed, reload time and accuracy are all negatively affected.

SPOnG will bring you further Made Man information and updates as we get them over the coming months. We might even interview Garry Williams, although we hear he’s been looking into “whacking” us due to some ‘business misunderstandings’ earlier this year, so we better clear all that up first.


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