Made Man PlayStation 2
Published by Mastertronic
Developed by Silverback Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Made Man is a mafia flavoured third-person shooter that tells the story of Joey Verola, an aspiring mobster. The story is rolled out as a recollection and tells of Joey’s rise through the ranks from a cigarette delivery man to eventually becoming a don. Of course being a third person, mafia based shooter the game is going to compared with other similar titles. Perhaps the best mafia based game to date is the PC version of Mafia. The PlayStation 2 version was ultimately a disappointment, for a variety of reasons. The Godfather, whilst not a better game than the PC version of Mafia was actually more enjoyable than the PlayStation 2 version of Mafia. Can Made Man manage to become the ultimate PlayStation 2 gangster title?
In recent shooter titles, both first and third person varieties, there has been an increasing need to play stealthily. Made Man continues this trend and you’re encouraged to make use of cover whenever possible. Whilst I’ve no complaints with this, in fact it makes the whole thing more realistic; there does seem little need for cover most of the time. In fact the game feels like a bog-standard action game at times and at others it’s just plain disappointing for a variety of reasons.
There are many disappointments with Made Man but one of the most annoying is the AI. When you fire at an enemy and narrowly miss you’d expect that enemy to find cover. When he simply stands there and invites a second shot you know the AI has problems. Likewise if you can see an enemy on the other side of a window and firing at him simply breaks the class you would expect that enemy to find cover but when he stands there, maybe firing a shot back but not searching for cover, it makes it all to easy to take him out. I played the game on the Normal difficulty level and witnessed some really poor AI behaviour so I’d hate to play through on the Easy difficulty level and see what's on offer there. The game is filled with instances of the AI just not being bright enough and it really takes away from any fun that might have been had.
Graphically Made Man leaves a lot to be desired. In places the game looks like it was released during the early part of the PlayStation 2’s lifespan and not when it was coming towards the latter stages of its illustrious reign. The character models look basic. Outside of the cutscenes the character faces don’t animate at all and are simply static images. General character animations are quite basic. The textures are quite bland and again look like they are from an early PlayStation 2 game. Load times can be a little on the long side and the frame rate can dip from time to time.
In terms of its support for deaf gamers Made Man is shockingly poor. You’ll receive barebones tutorial messages in text and that’s your lot. There are no subtitles which mean you’ll miss out on the game’s story. No objectives are shown in text meaning that you’ll not know what’s going on or what needs to be done. All comments made outside of the cutscenes are not subtitled and some of these offer useful hints. In short it’s a disaster for deaf gamers and worthy of our lowest Deaf Gamers Classification rating.
If you enjoy quality mafia flavoured third person shooters then you’ll be completely disappointed with what Made Man has to offer. Graphically it’s disappointing. Its support for deaf gamers is none existent. In terms of how it plays it’s a bit of a muddle. In parts it feels OK but in others terrible. The AI is poor to say the least and doesn’t do much to keep the game interesting. In fact the game has little going for it. Yes some will point to the story (which was written by ‘legendary crime writer’ David Fisher) and say that it was well written but if it’s not subtitled then as far as deaf gamers are concerned it’s none existent.
Made Man is a poor experience in many ways. The enemy AI is almost hopeless at times which does a lot to wreck the experience. The lack of subtitles is the final nail in its coffin because the story is the game's best asset and without it the game's just a mess.