Gamespot UK have an interview with Daniel Vavra, the game designer of the interesting sounding Mafia. He goes into what makes a game such as this, and how they narrowly missed the trap of this being yet another first person shooter, and what they are doing differently
"We wanted to create an absolutely different game (a sort of first-person shooter), but then we realised that there were too many similar titles on the market already. So I was thinking, what could we do to be more original, and I remembered some of my favourite movies - Goodfellas, Last Man Standing, Miller'S Crossing and Heat. I imagined all those crazy gunfights and car chases and realised that there was no such game of this type" Its well worth a quick scan.