Mafia Definitive Edition (XBOX Series X) Review
Game Name: Mafia Definitive Edition
Developer: Hangar 13
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, XBOX Series X/S, Playstation 5
Release Date: September 25th, 2020
Original Game Release: August 27th, 2002
Ever since I saw the trailer for this game, I wanted to play it. I had heard good things about the original game on the XBOX but I never got a chance to get to it. However, now the game was redone from the bottom up and it looks absolutely spectacular.
What helped me to want to play this, is that I have always been a mobster and mafia fan. I love the movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas. I also love the books like Wiseguys. Which made me wonder, why I have never played this game before?
The story is one that I am sure most people have seen before. However, the more that I was playing, the more I was noticing similarities to The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
Here you play the character of Tommy Angelo in the late 1930's and early 1940's. You start the game in a cafe / restaurant and Tommy is waiting for a detective to show up. You explain to the detective why that you want to meet him. What you want is freedom from the Salieri Family, so that you can save your wife and kids. In exchange, you are willing to give all the dirt on Salieri and his syndicate. The rest of the story is you explaining your experiences through the years. Most of the game takes place between 1931 and 1938.
Tommy starts his story as a cab driver in Lost Heaven, Illinois. Depending on how you look at it, he was either at the right time and the right place, or wrong time and wrong place. It seems that there are some mobsters running from someone. They seem to need a ride and they force you to drive them. You end up saving their behinds. They pay you for the damages to your cab with some money left over. However, you get pulled into the mobster life.
Most of the story is doing things for the Don. Basically, it shows how Tommy started out and how he became a trusted member of the family.
The game itself is a very linear game. There is little in terms of an open world. Yes, you can drive in Lost Heaven but most of the buildings and sites are not interactive. When I was streaming the game, I was thinking that in terms of the linear gameplay, I thought that it was similar to Metro 2033 or Metro Last Light. The quests or missions are point A to point B. It does not mean that it is not fun, but if you were looking for an open world, this game is not for you.
There are comic books that you can pick up during your gameplay. These are scattered all over the place. Some of them are quite hidden. They are not detrimental to the game but it does incite you to look around in a house instead of just moving forward with the mission.
You can also read newspapers which is cool. These change all the time based on the day or year that you are in. I read the same newspaper 3 times and it always had a different headline which is really awesome.
You have your typical melee weapons and your guns. Obviously these are guns found at that time. So you have your pistol, shotgun and machine gun. Your melee weapon most of the time is a baseball bat.
Ammo is very scarce and you need to use it wisely. Sometimes it may be better off stealth killing enemies instead of trying to shoot them. The same can be said of health. These can be found in medicine cabinets but they are very rare. The good news is that, if you are close to dying, your health meter will refill slightly. However this rarely makes a difference as usually enemies will shoot you down at that point anyways.
Mafia Definitive Edition - Sample Gameplay
The age old question, is this game worth playing? The answer to that is a really big yes! Either you are a fan of the genre or not, I am sure that you will be entertained by what the story has to say However, it is not without its issues. Let us dig a little deeper into the various aspects of the game.
The first thing that I was to discuss are the graphics. The game looks spectacular. I really felt like I was in a city in the 1930's. When streaming, I must have said how good it looks like 20 times. The buildings looked real and less cartoony. The character models were awesome. Sometimes, I found that the eyes were a little wonky but that is very minor. In general, the game looked spectacular. As far as the graphics are concerned, mission accomplished. Yes, there are games that look better but when you look at how the original was, the Definitive Edition was a vast improvement and felt like it came out this year.
The sound design is also one of the biggest strong points of the game. The voice acting is awesome. The accents and the dialect felt real and not as if they slapped on a generic Italian accent. Some voices sounded a little generic but the main characters were voiced very well. I especially loved the voice of Don Salieri (played by Glenn Taranto).
The radio stations while the player is driving is also awesome. You get current baseball scores and you also get some local news. It really felt authentic. The music is also spot on. However, I needed to stop the music due to DMCA strikes. This is unfortunate as the music selection was great and really gelled in the game well.
The gameplay is showing its age a little bit. I know that the game is primarily played in the third person vantage point, but the action / shooting scenes are a little tedious as it is a little difficult to aim properly. If you get a chance to set yourself up it is not too bad. However, if it is an action and you need to shoot someone right beside you, aiming could be a little challenging. I do not think that in this case, it is the fault of the developer. I think they wanted to keep the original gameplay intact. This is why on this point I will give them a pass.
The game was not without its technical issues. There was a point where I was driving and I was at a red light. I was behind a cop car and it just disappeared. Not sure what happened. Some cars or pedestrians would just randomly disappear. It did happen quite a few times. It never really hindered the gameplay in anyway, but it just looked off. Here is the clip in question below.
Mafia Definitive Edition - Cop Car Glitch
There were a few times where, I clipped on something invisible. These happened here or there. Again, did not take too much from the experience but these were a little annoying.
There is an open world mode called Free Ride mode. This is not a super developed mode that will get old pretty quickly. I did not have a chance to play a lot of it but I wanted to mention it here as it does exist.
Having said all of that, I think that this is a great pick up. Either you are a fan of the genre or not, I guarantee you that you will have fun. The game itself is not super long. Took me about 12 hours to complete. Some people will say it is too short while others will like it just fine. As for myself, I think it was great. I did want to play more of it. This how much I loved it.
What did you think? Was I right or wrong? Let us know!