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Mafia: Definitive Edition

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 9 - 2020

The first title in gaming’s version of the Godfather trilogy gets the improvements it needs for modern gamers.

 
You can’t move for remasters and remakes in this current generation of consoles. While the quality of these re-releases depends entirely on the game itself, there is also a lot of difference when it comes to how much effort has been put into bringing these games to modern consoles. Some may be a straight forward port, while others have a lot more work put into them. For Mafia: Definitive Edition, Hangar 13 have gone above and beyond and rebuilt the first game in the Mafia trilogy from the ground up. With Mafia 2 and 3 already available on current gen, the gang is now back together.

 


 
While Mafia 2, and even more so Mafia 3, have kept the changes to a minimum for their re-releases, Mafia: Definitive Edition has had a loot more work put in, bringing the game up to date. With an expanded story, much more appealing visuals, and tweaks to driving, gun play and more, Mafia: Definitive Edition is the best place to start your Mafia journey.

 
Mafia originally launched while everyone was still riding high on the success and popularity of Grand Theft Auto 3, and the instant reaction was to imagine the game to be a similar open-world adventure that just happened to be set in the prohibition era. While there are some similarities, such as stealing cars and such, Mafia’s greatest appeal comes from the engrossing story. It is a far more linear affair, with the player rapidly moving on from one task to the next as the great cast of interesting characters develop and the story unfolds.

 
Mafia tells the tale of Tommy Angelo, who begins as a simple taxi driver. However, fate puts him in the right place at the right time and he finds himself aiding some mobsters in their escape of a rival gang. This brings him to the attention of Don Salieri and thus starts his journey through the ranks of the Salieri crime family, from simple driver to enforcer.

 


 
So much effort has gone into making the story even more cinematic than it was before, and it is all really welcome. From new motion capture to nicely improved visuals, it is very easy to get pulled into the story. Those who played the original will be pleased to know that it is not only the looks that have been bolstered this time around, as the story has even been expanded upon. Of course, newcomers will not notice these additions, but it is nice to know that this highly entertaining tale has not just been copy and pasted into the new and shiny Definitive Edition.

 
One of the biggest issues from the original came down to the driving mechanics. There was always a certain amount of acceptance as the game was simulating cars from a time when they were slow and unwieldy. However, modern gamers would likely not put up with that, and so the driving has been upgraded and improved upon to make something that bit more fun. Of course, the cars are still rubbish, and it will take some practice to master the moderate speed car chases, but it feels much more natural now. As the player will be spending a lot of time driving around, both from one location to the next, and to escape from cops or other mobsters, it is welcome that the driving is more enjoyable.

 


 
The developers have taken the same approach to the gun fights. The mechanics have been updated to make it feel more natural to modern gamers, including adding a cover system. However, the weapons themselves still suffer from the inaccuracy of the time, keeping in with the setting of the game. The chaotic and unsatisfying shoot outs of the original are now replaced with much more civilised, chaotic shoot outs.

 
There are plenty of other tweaks to the game, but Mafia is still a quirky title. Both the driving and the gun play will take adjusting to, thanks to the vehicles and weapons of the time, but even moving around can present challenges. Tommy’s movement can be a little janky and it is easy to get caught up on things, especially when trying to climb over obstacles. This may not be much of an issue when just strolling around, but when trying to escape from a dangerous situation, being slowed by an obstacle could mean the difference between life and death.

 
Playing through the missions, which are nicely varied and don’t get old or tiresome, Mafia will run in excess of a dozen hours. The city and surrounding areas are beautifully recreated, and look even better at night time. There are a good variety of different vehicles to steal or collect, including motorbikes to keep things even more interesting. For those who are looking to enjoy the more original Mafia experience, a Classic Difficulty setting is included, which will make the driving far more tricky, the cops far less agreeable, and the navigation less guided. It’s all optional, but those who are missing the much more stressful experience of the original have that choice.

 


 
The original Mafia was a good game, but a game of its time. Mafia: Definitive Edition is a complete rebuild of the game, including additional content, that will be far more appealing to modern gamers. The visual upgrade itself is very impressive, but the improvements and tweaks go far beyond just the looks. All of this aside, it is the story that still really shines and those who have recently enjoyed the sequels, those who want a story-based 1930s action adventure, or those who simply want to be a mobster will not be disappointed with Mafia: Definitive Edition.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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