Chapter 2: Home Sweet Home
After being wounded later in the war you are giving 30 days of leave, and you head home, where you are met by an old friend at the train station. As your friend drives, you have the chance to look at and talk about the City of Empire Bay, and you are reminded of your old ties, and your current situation. As you have your welcome home drink, you learn that your friend is mobbed-up -- not only that, but he has the sort of pull that can make your leave permanent -- and he does!
After the CS you take a taxi ride to the old neighborhood, and are introduced to the radar menu in the right lower corner of the screen, and how to spot your destination. While all this is going on, an incredible soundtrack of period music is playing in the background to set the mood and emphasize the environment... How cool is that?
Head into the Diner nearby to meet Lisa, and catch up on the local news. You can change the song on the juke box in the back, but that costs money mind you. You can also browse the menu by approaching the counter and hitting X. Have a soda and then take a walk around the old neighborhood for a bit on your way home and you will notice other destinations, and a very busy and not blacked-out city!
As you head home you pass a menswear store -- good to know for later -- and as you walk you have the opportunity to have conversations with people you knew from your old life, and as you reach the ally you see some US bombers (B-17's) fly overhead. Near the alley entrance is a newspaper barker who is shouting out the headlines -- and the fact that he is freezing his balls off -- and you may want to stand near and listen to the headlines, because he tells you something that you may find interesting later.
The local area is not exactly booming in this war economy, with a lot of shops boarded up and trash in the streets. As you head into the apartment building and up the stairs, you get a CS with the family and a nice welcome home dinner with a traditional Italian-American Catholic mother and sister. After your dinner, Mom tells you to go to bed -- some things never change -- so now you explore the apartment.
The door off of the kitchen leads to a hallway, the door on the left in the hall is the bathroom, where you can flush the toiled and turn the sink on and off, and at the end is the door to the apartment. Back in the kitchen, the door to your room is on the other side, and as you enter you should easily be able to figure out what side of the room is yours!
-- The Next Day --
Use X to sleep in the bed, which advances the game to the next day, when you wake up telling yourself that you have got to get your own place! Ah, is that our first quest? Use the armoir to change into your street clothes, and then head back into the kitchen for another CS, in which you mention that Joe is helping you out, and your mother reads you the riot act. She really does not think much of Joe! Mom urges you to see the Union Rep about a job, and you promise that you will. It is not nice to lie to your Mom, buddy!
After the CS ends take a look around the apartment, including out the windows for a very bleak view. Man, you do not want to live here! As you exit the building you will notice the destination marked on your radar map -- and as you walk into the alley you find a thug harassing your sister! This is your introduction to fist fighting, and general melee combat, so enjoy it.
After the fight you learn that the thug was the representative of a loan shark who your deceased father was deep in debt to -- and you have just made the situation worse... Defeating the thug unlocks the Achievement / Trophy "Big Brother" and encourages you to get in touch with Joe sooner rather than later!
As you approach the street you are promoted to hit the Back Button to view the map of Little Italy -- remember this is still essentially the tutorial mode -- and when you look at the map you see that your objective is to get to Joe's, and you can see how much money you have left on you -- I had $27.71 left after last night's juke box and soda spree.
Fortunately where you are and where you need to be are not far apart, so you can walk there. Otherwise we might have to boost a ride, muhahahaha! You learn that you can hold LB to sprint, but I think a soldierly walk will do me good, so I take my time getting to Joe's. As you walk pay attention to the radar map, as some interesting things show up on it -- like that blue rectangle that represents a police car! It is always good to know where the man is located, not that we are a criminal or anything - yet! If you stand in the street too long, a beat cop will approach and ask if he can be of any assistance to you, isn't that nice?
After you exit the alley and cross the street you will be heading to the left towards the marker on the map and you will encounter a couple and their disabled car -- if you pause here and watch you can overhear their fight, and the husband eventually storming off. If you offer to fix the car you will unlock the Achievements / Trophy "A Real Gentleman" for your troubles!
As I crossed at the corner I walked past the payphone that I used in the demo at PAX East -- sent shivers down my spine! As you walk you will catch snippets of the conversations that are taking place around you, and notice that drivers in this berg really like using their horns! If you have ever been to New York you will notice that the buildings are very authentic -- what is not authentic is all the open space, something you hardly ever see in the City.
Joe's place is next to the Trattoria, at number 71 -- it has a red front so you should have no difficulty spotting it -- and as you enter you see that his apartment building is in the same shape as yours! As you head up you encounter a woman washing the floor who gives you directions to Joe's flat, and it is pretty clear that Joe is something of a free spirit. Look at the size of that radio! Oh for the transistor era!