Mafia Definitive Edition Review

A story about joining the mafia, what an adventure we shall have!

General Info

Release Date: Sep 25, 2020
Rating: M 17+
Developer: Hangar 13
Publisher: 2K Games
Platform I Played On: PC
Platform(s) Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Difficulty I Played On: Medium

Small edits and updates to this post have occurred on 01/19//2022

Synopsis

Taken From Official Site

MAFIA: DEFINITIVE EDITION (mafiagame.com)

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 its 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.

Why You Should Play: The Shortened Version

>> Great story and progression

>> Divided into chapters or episodic nature

>> Game keeps you engaged from start to finish

>> Detailed and gorgeous scenery

First Impressions

Beware there may be minor spoilers below depending on one’s qualification of a spoiler. Read at your own risk. In my opinion, this review should not spoil any new player’s experience with the game~

Disclaimer: This is my HOBBY blog with my own opinions, please take that into consideration~

Disclaimer 2: I have never played the original game so this review is solely based on the Definitive Edition.

Overall I came into this game not knowing quite what to expect other than reading the steam reviews, which at the time I purchased this (I think during the summer sale). I have to say I was initially drawn towards the game because it appeared that is was a linear story game (and the trailers for the definitive edition worked because it made me intrigued). I can honestly say I was not disappointed in that expectation because this game is a linear story with moderate opportunities to explore the world.

From the very beginning of the game, I felt pulled into the story. It all starts out with a scene of Angelo in a diner talking to a detective in hopes of leaving the mafia. He has to prove he’s on the level and begins his story of how his life slowly got turned around and sucked into the mafia. As one can surmise, Aneglo doesn’t start the game as a mafia member immediately. He is but a simple cab driver in the city of Lost Heaven, a fictitious town that has elements that remind me of 1920s New York, Chicago, and San Fransisco. From beginning to end playing and watching Angelo’s various escapades and questionable life decisions was a fun adventure. It kept me entertained and curious as to what would happen next.

Throughout the game there are moments of short cinematics to present the chapters or a shift in scenario. After the cinematic is done it allows you, the player, to continue where the cinematic left off. While I know some do not prefer cinematics I felt as if this format helped progress the story. I think the game would’ve lost some of the story telling if there were not the cinematic transitions.

I love it when a game has designated chapters and this game has just that! There are 20 chapters in the game including a prologue and epilogue. Every chapter/mission can is fairly varied in both tasks and location. Some missions are basically a blood bath while others are stealth missions (that you can pretty much instantly fail, I say that from experience haha).

You really get to see a wide scope of Lost Heaven throughout the story (which for some reason I always think its Lost Haven haha) from random warehouses, an abandoned prison, a church, a river boat, a brothel, or the outskirts of town. You also do a lot of driving in the game, being that being an ex-taxi driver you’re… well… good at driving… so that enables you to see at least facades and the general layout of the city throughout all the missions.

I really like how the progression of the story and how at first you experience the Mafia lifestyle through rose-colored glasses and eventually things start to not add up and take a precarious turn for Angelo and other associates. While this storyline is a typical cliché for organized crime stories, I think it worked well in the context of this game. Overall, the execution of the “diminishing rose-colored glasses” of the Mafia world via Angelo’s experiences was a fun and engaging.

Overall, upon completion of the game I felt satisfied but also suffered from “show hole”. I say I was that invested in the story from beginning to end and that is a good thing! It felt like the overall story was completed in a timely and appropriately manner. I finished the story in approximately 15 hours. This game does not waste a player’s time with a tonnage of frills and extras. The core of the game is the main story which I respect immensely.

The Characters

All characters have Purpose // Added to game atmosphere

Through the semi-episodic nature of the story telling, we predominantly see certain characters via the cutscenes. There are a few characters that come with us on certain missions and are closer to Angelo. Throughout the game it felt like each character had purpose and brought something to the table be it plot or establishing atmosphere. While we do not know every detail about the characters, I enjoyed Angelo’s interactions with a wide range of personalities and ranks within the mafia.

Being the story revolved around the Mafia most if not all the people you associate with have somewhat questionable morals, values, treatment of others, etc.. The game really showcases the variety of people and their reasons for joining the mafia, ranging from wanting power or simply wanting an excuse to gun down people, this game has numerous perspectives. I enjoyed the characters in this game and will leave the rest as a surprise for newcomers!~

Our Protagonist: Tommy Angelo

Fun to play as // Questionable Decisions 😂// Good juxtaposition to world

Ultimately, I thought the overall character execution of Tommy Angelo as the main character was engaging and how you pretty much viewed the story via his lens. He is fully voiced, and we play as him throughout the entirety of the game.

Angelo is a fairly standup guy considering his newfound mafia relations. Some may make the claim that he’s a pretty vanilla character, but I think he is a good juxtaposition in comparison to his associates. This pretty much solidifies him as a “decent guy protagonist.” I think if they made him have any major foibles or habits it would have lessened the overall impact of his surroundings and overall story arch. As the story progresses, we see Angelo change and open his eyes to the world around him. There is some good character growth from the early game Angelo to the endgame Angelo and it feels appropriate to the story told.

Gameplay

Options: Keyboard or Controller

Nothing Game breaking // Reasonable Weapons // Stealth May Be Questionable

There were no game breaking moments/frustrations I encountered in terms of gameplay. However, I have to say a certain car race was rather prickly at times 😑😑😑 but the sense of accomplishment after winning was oh so sweet~

So, I played this on my PC, and I started off with the keyboard controls. While I don’t think the keyboard controls were bad especially since we have the option for key binding. I think I felt more comfortable with using a game controller. It felt more fluid and less clunky (driving was so much easier with the controller). While I played probably 80% of the game on a keyboard the last 20% felt more natural, so keep that in mind for your personal preferences. Key binding is a thing though I didn’t feel the need to alter too much in terms of customization the defaults were decent. My one complaint is that for the controller controls there was no mapping that was game specific which meant I basically had to learn the controller controls by trial and error since I didn’t start off with a controller.

The shooting mechanisms were pretty straight forward. It never felt impossible to shot things especially once you got used to the controls. I didn’t use aim assist and was able to shoot things with a decent amount of accuracy. There are also a variety of weapons to choose from but you can only have two in your inventory with the ability to swap out as needed. I never got super attached to one particular weapon but often liked a combo of a pistol and either a shotgun or tommy gun.

The stealth sometimes was a bit clunky especially when playing with the keyboard. I felt like sometimes there was a bit of delay when doing stealth commands. However, be warned one enemy sighting of you and stealth is typically a lost cause hahaha

I think the overall movements of the character and how you interact with things is a bit on the slower side or needing to be in a very precise position to interact with things. I did not mind the slower movement and interactions because it felt appropriate for the game, i.e. moving like a normal paced person and not a superhuman. Though I can see that people may find it a bit clunky but overall I thought it matched the spirit of the game.

Graphics & Artistic/Aesthetic Style

Updated Graphics // Beautiful World // Loved Building Facades

I gotta say, seeing the comparison shots of the original to this game this game wins hands down. Once you adjust to the overall style it looks very clean and clear. In my opinion the animations were sometimes not super fluid but this is a video game, I mean I typically don’t expect every little minute detail to be hyper realistic. The fluidity of motion and facial reactions were never ultra-off-putting so I’d say that is a plus. Also, the npcs while basically aimless walking people never looked overtly stiff and there was enough outfit variance that it didn’t look like the same 4 models were walking around town.

Overall, I really enjoyed the overall artistry and aesthetics presented throughout the game, particularly all the buildings and building facades around Lost Heaven. What can I say I am a sucker from interesting city scenery😍~ There is a level of detail and realism that really makes me appreciate and enjoy driving around all the areas of Lost Heaven. The emphasis on the 1920s/30s architecture styles were just eye candy and I liked the juxtaposition from the downtown areas to the more residential ones. The 1920s/30s theme is well executed in that everything felt appropriate down to the advertising, characters’ outfits, and the various transportations throughout the city.

Would I Recommend?

The episodic nature made me really enjoy the pacing of the game and it gave me the sense that the game was truly focused on delivering a good story and experience for the player. I liked playing as Tommy Angelo and seeing his various exploits as a mafia member and his growth as a person. The overall story progression felt appropriate and kept me wondering how things were going to turn out for Angelo.

Keep in mind that the game is rated Mature so if you are not a fan of violence or questionable moral values of in game characters maybe the experience of being well… a mafia family member… Or if you are not a fan of somewhat lengthy cutscenes that drive the story this game this game might not be the one for you.

I would recommend the game if you like a linear story driven, single player, 3rd Person View, limited open world, fairly driving heavy, or aim-to-shoot style gameplay. Single player games are a passion of mine, so when they have dynamic characters and a good yarn combined sign me up! If you are into any linear story games, I would say definitely add this to your list of games you should play! It shouldn’t disappoint~