“Mafia: Definitive Edition” Video Game Review

Story posted October 1, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by David Fortunato.

“Mafia: Definitive Edition” is a complete remake of 2002’s “Mafia.” While the story remains the same the gameplay has been completely rebuilt from the ground up to take full advantage of the power of modern consoles and PCs.

“Mafia: Definitive Edition” tells the story of Thomas “Tommy” Angelo, a poor cab driver who joins the Salieri crime family in the 1930s. The story details his rise from simple mob grunt to full on hitman and one of the Don’s closest associates.

The story is framed as a conversation that Tommy has with Detective Norman in a diner in 1938, beginning in 1930 and ending just hours before the conversation with the detective begins.

The story is by far the best part about “Mafia: Definitive Edition.” Every character is portrayed well and the cutscenes are absolutely phenomenal. Players understand why Tommy would choose to become a mobster even if it means he must forsake his soul to do so.

The real highlight of the game is Tommy himself; actor Andrew Bongiorno really succeeds with giving Tommy a lot of depth. Tommy is not a good man, but he’s also not a monster. He doesn’t kill innocent people, but Tommy isn’t afraid to wash the blood from his hands.

The missions in “Mafia: Definitive Edition” are also a highlight.

Along the way, the player will participate in missions ranging from taking cab fares to assassinating politicians and participating in gang warfare. This means that the mission variety is actually quite exceptional.

One second, Tommy is racing a race car through the streets of Lost Heaven, a city resembling Chicago with traces of New York. A few missions later, Tommy is protecting the Don from an assassination attempt.

Combat in “Mafia: Definitive Edition” is nothing groundbreaking. Along with the standard cover-based gunplay of most third-person shooters, there is a basic hand to hand combat system and some minor stealth elements.

The driving in “Mafia: Definitive Edition” is something else, however. With the game taking place in the early to late 30s, the vehicles reflect the style.

Cars handle like fast tanks and are actually quite a pleasure to drive once you get used to it. The many chases throughout the game are made all the more thrilling when the player skillfully brakes hard into a corner and narrowly avoids collisions into a building.

Graphics wise, “Mafia: Definitive Edition” is a good-looking game, but won’t compete with some of the more advanced titles out there. The details on cars and character models look great, but some textures can look a little ugly and compressed.

Another highlight of “Mafia: Definitive Edition” is the setting of 1930s Lost Heaven. Whether it’s the big band style of jazz that the game’s only two radio stations play, or the static filled news broadcasts, the game makes you feel like you’re in the 30s.

Once the story mode is finished, players can go into free ride mode which unlocks after chapter one. In this mode, the player can drive around Lost Heaven looking for collectibles like mobster cigarette cards or period accurate comic books.

Players could also just drive around and cause mayhem free ride mode as well. However, without the fantastic story, free ride mode just feels a little hollow.

“Mafia: Definitive Edition” is a game with an amazing story that ranks with some of the best mob stories ever made. The setting is also exceptional and allows players a chance to explore a time that video games rarely use.

However, the game is held back by its standard gameplay that rarely matches the brilliance of the story. That being said, for $40-$60 dollars (if bought in the Mafia Trilogy, which contains the original Mafia’s two sequels) the value is fantastic.

The story helps the experience rise above its flaws and makes this game one of the better ones of 2020.

Rating: 4/5

David Fortunato is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email dforch2344@gmail.com.