Mafia Definitive Edition

08/10/2020

The original Mafia game on XBOX and PS2 held a place in many gamers' hearts. The appeal of the story, the ability to drive a car freely like in GTA, and the action of the gameplay. So why did this beloved sequel deserve a remaster? Developer Hanger 13 believed that because the gameplay was so dated, it deserved more than just a polygon update. It also deserved new voice overs and cutscenes, as well as a more cinematic approach.

But what truly makes this game more approachable than before? Is it truly worth picking up now? I believe not. The game currently is selling for $40 in the US, and even then, it's not worth that, seeing as how the game is mostly all campaign, with no side missions to do, outside of the free ride mode. Even the original game didn't have side missions. But, in the course of remastering a game, calling it the Definitive Edition, add more side things to do. Most remastered games add on extra things to do. But, a few side collectibles aren't worth the trophies or the hunt to find them.

2K and Hanger 13 made it into a movie style game. The voice acting truly is superb, but some of the voices just don't sound Italian enough to be fit for a Mafia game or movie. There are no side missions, and the game throws you from mission to mission, autosaving along the way. If they truly wanted to capture the Mafia style movie cinematics, adding side stories into the game would've been a way to fill in the void that's greatly missed in these style games.

The controls aren't as clunky as they once were. I played Mafia on both PS2 and Xbox back when it was released and although the PS2 controls were a bit easier, the gameplay just felt empty. There's one mission especially that frustrated me in the original, but in the Definitive Edition, it's even worse. It's called Race. In the original Mafia, you could set the difficulty of JUST the race without any repercussions to the rest of the game. However, in this version, that's not the case, and I would like to know why. If the race is only ONE mission in the entire main game, not including side drives, why not add that option?

Yes, there is classic difficulty in which the police will hunt you down even for speeding. The speeding limiter is back as well. But, to not allow us to adjust the difficulty of that one race mission upsets me to the point I nearly once again gave up on this game.

Aside from this gripe, 11 hours is around the rough time frame to finish the game. Beware if you play on classic difficulty, as it will frustrate a lot of gamers. They added more enemies than the first in missions, and certain maps have been expanded and given more obstacles. This isn't enough to save the game and make it a must buy. Wait until this game goes on sale. There's still glitches and bugs on certain roads, and people still look plastic on some faces. My final verdict is a 3/5.

Brian Eckles