Do you remember what happened on July 22? This was the very day when the video game community got some interesting news about the Mafia series. It took just a few minutes and moments of gameplay reveal regarding Hangar 13 and 2K Games’ Mafia: Definitive Edition to surprise everyone. Years later, the video game series is still alive and kicking, ready to welcome us with open arms and a renewed look. I too was just as excited and hopeful about the renewed look and feel, because, you know, Mafia is like one of the family and the memories it gave me were incredible. The gap between the already seen and the unpublished regarding Mafia: Definitive Edition, in this case, is beautifully deep and impossible not to notice it. Here is my Mafia: Definitive Edition review on PC.
MAKING A STATEMENT
Years ago, in the public opinion, there was this idea that video games were just made to entertain children. The trend went on for quite some time, even if there were exceptions like Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto Vice City, to name two. Like those of GTA, the authors of Mafia wanted to show the world that video games are not just a product only for children.
There was a need to make room for better scripts, thick characters, refined music, and realistic graphics. This was ideas that had little to do with all the platformers that came out at the time. These ideas are those that led to the creation of that first title of the gangster saga. And so, with the first Mafia game, players immersed themselves in that gangster atmosphere.
The story of that first chapter was about love, loyalty, desire for power, violence, and inner conflict. All themes that returned several times in the second and third chapter. From these premises, it is therefore clear that the remake had a very hard task at hand. This task was to retell one of the most intense stories and making it seem completely new.
FILLING THE GAPS
At the time of the events that go back to the 1930s, Tommy, aka the protagonist of this story, earned his loaf by driving around wealthy individuals as a taxi driver. Those were the years of prohibition and the great depression. Much of the money that went around was destined for the pockets of the city’s criminal bosses.
Have you played the original Mafia that this chapter refers to? If you have not done so, just take a look on the net, you will find an infinity of gameplay. This examination will allow you to realize that everything that was hinted at in the original game is now perfectly defined in the remake.
The first Mafia, in essence, lent itself to cinematography but that of the current game is cinematic in all respects. The direction choices in the original Mafia were quite sketchy as there were gaps in the dialogue and several dead spots here and there. However, in the remake, everything is perfectly filled, analyzed, and deepened.
The variations on the theme of events are also flawless. The developers have taken the creative license to make intelligent and functional changes, while keeping the identity of the base story unchanged. While you play, it will be better to turn off the light and grab the popcorn, because you will definitely enjoy the cutscenes.
TWO SOULS IN ONE
Mafia: Definitive Edition is quite faithful to the original. This loyalty is clear in the campaign setting, like the fact that there were 20 chapters in the original and there are also the same 20 chapters in the remake. The strength and variety of the original have been excellently enhanced for the remake.
There is really no need to feel bored in the 11-15 hours that the campaign offers you. The title, from the gameplay point of view, has two souls, each of which deserves a specific note. Tommy’s criminal career is divided between shootings on foot and driving in classic cars. The gunfight will vary from time to time depending on the weapon, with different reload times, aiming modes, and accuracy.
The viewfinder in many situations is not at the highest precision, and the targeting system in general is not the best. The coverage system is excellent and reactive, allowing an alternation between attack and lean defense. The developers have also implemented the stealth mode from the third installment into the remake.
However, I must say that this was not amazing, but definitely decent enough. Hand-to-hand exchanges are definitely disappointing. Here, the game becomes very weak by proposing an attack and dodge system that is not acceptable. The guidance system is the real highlight of Mafia: Definitive Edition.
In the 4-wheel sector, the game surpasses the results seen in many other open worlds. The realism with which Hangar 13 has characterized the behavior of each car is to be commended. Each car has a different type of acceleration, physics, and roadholding, and on screen you will be able to distinguish it clearly.
The developers suspended the very structure of the game between two different poles. On the one hand, the linearity of the campaign sequences and on the other, the open world. In this sense, in fact, Mafia: Definitive Edition is conservative and a little retro. Once you have completed all the missions of the story, you will enter a sort of post-game mode. Here Hangar 13 offers you various extras.
First of all, there are various collectibles scattered around the map, and there are also races and timed missions. You are essentially faced with something much more modest than the standard offer of the current open world titles. So don’t expect a flood of activities available immersed in the pleasant atmosphere of the 30s. I am talking about 4 or 5 hours of extra content.
I must say that Hangar 13 was a bit shy when it comes to this extra content. Here I also wanted it to be faithful to the original, however it would have been more appropriate to make some courageous choices to give it a more pleasant experience. Mafia: Definitive Edition thus remains suspended between a manifest linear approach and a sketchy and retro one.
Mafia: Definitive Edition definitely raises the bar compared to the third chapter of the saga. Take note that I configured the various settings to the maximum and everything was quite fluid without particular frame drops. The streets, buildings, and corners of the city are rejuvenated by many details and components.
Street lamps, neon signs, comfortable sofas, and rotary telephones are more than enough to give you the feeling of the 1930s. The textures used by Hangar 13 are generally of a good level, however, some undertone occurs occasionally. The developers managed the surface reflections and lighting very well. At night, this gives great credibility to the general atmosphere.
The realization of the cars appears photorealistic and is full of details. The realization of the characters, excellent acting interpretations, and motion capture are definitely very expressive and characterized by detailed facial expressions. The audio component deserves an award.
On board your custom-built cars, you will have 2 radio stations at your disposal. Both transmit jazz music of unspeakable value. The richness of the sound in Mafia: Definitive Edition will accompany you throughout the story. I mean, I rarely listen to jazz, but this soundtrack has absolutely changed my mind. Make sure you give it a listen!
Do you want to try Hangar 13 and 2K Games’ Mafia: Definitive Edition? What do you think of my Mafia: Definitive Edition review on PC? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more recently released games? Check out our reviews for Crysis Remastered, Going Under, Marvel’s Avengers, and Drake Hollow.
Mafia: Definitive Edition
The title remains suspended in an eternal and fascinating dualism between linearity and a substantial free approach. However, Hangar 13 carefully weighed every single aspect of the original, and the resulting restoration undoubtedly enhances the gameplay experience, making this the perfect opportunity to relive the story.
- Varied and fun missions
- Orchestrated soundtrack
- Atmosphere of the original revived and improved
- Intriguing cutscenes
- Post-game content
- Disappointing hand-to-hand combat