Mafia: Definitive Edition is a from-the-ground-up remake of the original Mafia game from 2002. While the story is still the same, everything else has been remade for modern gaming platforms. And we’ve got to say everything looks pretty amazing. We had a chance to play a preview of the game to get a taste of what was to come, and here we’ve got the full review of Mafia: Definitive Edition for you.
Of all the Mafia games, it’s widely accepted that the first Mafia had the best story. And we definitely agree. The game’s set in the 1930s, in a fictional version of Chicago called Lost Heaven. This is a time where gangs and Dons are vying for control over the city; naturally, the guy with the most dough is winning. The story has you hooked right from the beginning and you’re definitely interested to see where the game’s protagonist, Tommy Angelo is going next. He’s basically narrating the story, and talking about how he went from being a cab-driver to being the wheelman for the Salieri crime family. As the story progresses, Tommy’s role in the family grows, and he eventually realises that he’s bitten off more than he can chew and wants out. Now, we usually wouldn’t bother with spoilers for a game that’s been out for 18 years. But 18 years is a long time, and for a lot of people, this might probably be the first time you play the game, so we’ll keep from giving away any spoilers. Trust us, the story is great, and you want to see it through the end. The story might feel rushed and linear for an open-world game, but like we pointed out in the preview, we really didn’t mind it. In fact we even preferred it. It was nice to spend a day without having to do busywork in a game simply to progress the story.
Gameplay in Mafia: Definitive Edition, has thankfully also been rebuilt from the ground up for modern gaming platforms. This means it’s much more fluid than it’s 2002 counterpart. For obvious reasons. The original game, while a classic, wouldn’t hold up today with its stiff controls. For Mafia: Definitive Edition, Hangar 13, the developers, incorporated a lot of the gameplay mechanics from Mafia 3, so that the controls were more familiar to current times.
You’ll be doing a lot of driving in Mafia: Definitive Edition, so we think it’s important to point out that driving isn’t quite the same as we’re used to. Keeping in mind that the game is set in the 1930s, there weren’t exactly any fast cars around at the time. Also, the car controls are stiff, on purpose. Basically, driving will take some getting used to, which is fine. It can be a bit frustrating, but we appreciate sticking to the time setting. Also, while there is a mini map for you to follow, there are little GPS indicators on the road which pop up as little traffic signs on the sides. We liked this feature too, and appreciate not having glowing lines or arrows on the road to follow. It definitely helps keep the immersion intact, which the game has in oodles.
Everything else is pretty standard, WASD to move, shift to sprint, space to vault, right click to aim, left to shoot, there’s a little prompt to dodge melee attacks (left-alt by default) and a wheel for picking weapons by pressing the middle or scroll button on your mouse. You can also shoot while you’re driving, and you thankfully have infinite ammo for these parts, otherwise, you need to be a bit more careful with your munitions.
Mafia: Definitive Edition looks gorgeous, especially if you’ve got the rig to play it in all its glory. The attention to detail in Lost Heaven is easily noticeable, from the architecture, to the cars, to the people, it’s all extremely well done. The game’s special for a variety of reasons. For one, we don’t really have too many open-world games in historical settings, Assassin’s Creed is the only other franchise that comes to mind. Secondly, like we spoke about for a bit above, the story is linear and progresses fairly fast. However, this is still an open world game with lots to do in it. It’s just not shoved down your throat. The map doesn’t hit you with a plethora of side activities to do between missions, you have the freedom to choose to do them if you so please. You can always come back to them whenever you want.
Coming to audio, the selection of music fits the era perfectly, so no complaints there. If you’re someone who enjoys music from the 30s, then feel free to cycle through the radio stations in your car. The voice acting is also phenomenal and believable, and definitely helps bring that great story we were talking about earlier to life.
The original Mafia was a pioneer in the genre of open-world games. It came out long before GTA III or Assassin’s Creed came out and set the standard for, or rather, what we should come to expect from open-world games. The Mafia: Definitive Edition remake sticks to its roots for a fluster-free open world experience. Furthermore, the story has aged really well, and still stands up today, for a great overall open-world experience.
Developer: Hangar 13
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Played on: Microsoft Windows
Price: INR 2,199 (Steam)
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