GTA clone? Oh, no. It's better than that...
The game unfolds via Tommy's story, which he is telling to a local police officer in "present day". After being thrust into a chase between the families of Salieri and Morello during his cab shift, Tommy soon chooses a life of crime(against his better judgment). The controls work well enough. You have a constant free-aim, courtesy of your mouse. In fact, most of the shooting and combat handles like a typical PC-shooter, which is great. The cars handle well, even though they don't go very fast(it is the 30's, mind you).
The graphics are excellent, considering this game was released in 2002, before the huge graphical leap of games like FarCry, Doom 3 and Half-Life 2. The characters all have good motion captured body language, and the environment looks very appropriate for the setting.
The sound is top-notch, as well. A jazzy soundtrack and great shrapnel-filled car explosions make for a rich, pleasantly audio-laden experience. Not to mention the voice acting. While a few lines sound stiff, overall the acting is very good.
Overall, Mafia is an excellent accomplishment in video game storytelling, and it's fun, to boot. So, if you haven't played it yet, let me say this;
Perchè così stupido?!