Mafia Definitive Edition Review
The city of Lost Heaven got hit hard by The Great Depression, and the advent of Prohibition in America means lucrative business opportunities for mobsters. The Salieri and Morello crime families vie for control over Lost Heaven, even as it’s few honest policemen scramble to maintain order.
Thomas Angelo’s humble life as a hard-working taxi driver is forever changed after a fateful run-in with the Italian Mafia. Now he’s doing jobs for Don Salieri and gaining respect in the criminal underworld, though his conscience keeps his ego in check. From missions ranging from driving the Don around to assassinations, to even taking the lead in a major Motorsport racing event at the surface may seem like something out of Grand Theft Auto. I assure you, it is not.
Mafia originally came out in the early 2000s, at the time I remember playing through it but really not remembering much if anything about it. Playing it now truly felt like it was for the first time. While the game may appear to be an open-world concept, it really isn’t. At its core its a very story-driven action game, sure you can cruise around the city as much as you’d like but the story is pointing to you to go to specific locations at specific times hand holding all the way through it. The city of Lost Heaven is a beautiful one to look at, despite being in the great depression, with distinguishable varied locations, such as China Town, the Docks, you even take some trips out to the farmlands. In comparison to Mafia 2 remake, I felt like this city was more alive. Folks making their way around seemed like more cars on the road and police. Traveling wasn’t as fun for me though mainly because of the radio this time, felt like the music wasn’t anywhere near as varied or good in this game. Lots of great and memorable set-piece moments if you will that made it feel like a Mafia movie I was experiencing.
Visually this game looks amazing, from the chrome on the bumpers to the sun in the skyline, Mafia is a looker for sure. While streaming the game even had many people comment on the same on just how good this game looks. From performance issues I had a few, there was a mission I had to reload from a checkpoint because it wasn’t recognizing that I already completed the objective and there was one cut scene I missed because of a black screen and no audio. Other than that, I didn’t experience really any issues with frames, slow down, etc.
The voice acting in Mafia Definitive Edition is done extremely well, authentic period accents, proper Italian lingo, etc. All the characters were performed with the gusto of a big-screen production. The story in this game was so great I really didn’t want to put it down and realistically beat this game by grinding over the weekend. Sure it’s not a long experience but I feel like this genre isn’t utilized and explored enough. I’d rather play something like this over a Grand Theft Auto or clone any day. There are many twists and turns on your journey from Cabbie to made man and all that in between. It was an engaging journey to watch Tommy’s transformation throughout this narrative.
Overall while yes, Mafia is an old game, this is a definitive edition remaster done right! It may show it’s age in a few places but it was still one of the most engaging games I’ve gotten to play this year.