Illusion Softworks' 2002 classic open-world gangster-'em-up Mafia has finally made its way to GOG.com, five years after it was last available to buy on a digital platform.

Mafia: City of Lost Heaven was one of gaming's earliest open-world successes, arriving about a year after Grand Theft Auto 3 dazzled the world with its meticulously crafted three-dimensional urban sprawl. And while Mafia undoubtedly shared similarities with Rockstar's open-world extravaganza, it managed to carve its own niche through strong cinematic storytelling, and the wonderful ambience of its well-realised 1930s setting.

Mafia's re-emergence on GOG.com marks the first time the game has been available digitally for almost five years, after it was apparently removed for licensing reasons.

It's return is slightly hampered, however, by the fact that it's been stripped of its excellent licensed soundtrack, featuring swinging hits from the likes of Django Reinhardt and The Mills Brothers. Originally, these would accompany your tommy-toting crime sprees, blaring out from your car radio. On the plus side, Vladimir Šimůnek's moody score is still present.

Back in 2002, when the internet was still made of straw and the hopes of humanity, the mysterious "Gestalt" penned a review of Mafia for Eurogamer. "At times it can be a lot of fun", they opined, "but there are so many dumb little design flaws and annoying niggles that you'll need a lot more patience than I have to persevere with it." It was awarded 4 out of 10.

Still, if you fancy taking a fedora-strewn trip down memory lane, the DRM-free version of Mafia will set you back Ł7.99 on GOG.com.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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