Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

Mafia: Definitive Edition is a journey into the historical past and into the videogame one, in this review we will tell you all in one breath

Do you remember last July 22? That very day the videogame community and the specialized sites were definitely revved up. It only took a few moments of one gameplay reveal of Mafia: Definitive Edition to shake the feet of the old guard, the one who was already mature enough to distinguish the good games from the usual story, at the dawn of 2000. Years later (18) the old video game guard is still alive and well, ready to welcome a arms outstretched and pad to hand the remake of the first episode of one of the most popular crime sagas ever. 

We too joined in that hug to Mafia: Definitive Edition, because, you know, Mafia is like one of family. The game in question is done in the image and likeness of the ancestor born in 2002. Every now and then, however, he looks for a flash, he wants to be more jaunty, emancipated. The groove between the already seen and unpublished, in this case, it's pretty deep. Impossible not to notice it. So let's find out in this review how much new (and old) there is in Mafia Definitive Edition.


Why the series Mafia is important? The answer to this question implies a concise one excursus of videogame history. In public opinion there was too much the idea that video games were just the stuff of animated puppets to entertain the children. The trend was a bit like this even if there were exceptions, Grand Theft Auto III e Grand Theft Auto Vice City, to name two. 

The first chapter of Mafia goes to place itself, broadly speaking, in that niche destined then, over time, to grow more and more until it becomes one of the most populated of the entire video game industry. Like those of GTA, the authors of Mafia wanted to show the world that video games had what it takes to not remain forever a product exclusively for children. There was a need to make room for CDs and cartridges a scripts, thick characters, sophisticated music, realistic graphics. Stuff that had little to do with all the platformers that came out at the time, in short. 

These prerogatives are those that led, in a nutshell, to the creation of that first title of the gangster saga. Illusion Softwork (the software house that created the title), to emphasize as much as possible the distance from children's games, he took cinema as a model of reference. The auteur cinema to be exact. And so, with the first Mafia, the players had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of The Godfather and Goodfellas

The story of that first chapter was about love, loyalty, the desire for power, violence and the inner strife caused by the disturbances of conscience. Human versus inhuman primarily. All themes that returned several times in the second and third chapter. From these premises, it is therefore evident that the remake released a few days ago had a arduous task: to retell one of the most intense stories of the gaming past by making it seem completely new. Let's find out now in this Mafia Definitive Edition review how Hangar 13 has succeeded in this intent.

Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

The threshold - Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

At the time of the events that go back to '30, Tommy, alias the protagonist of this videogame story, earned his loaf by driving around Lost Heaven more or less wealthy individuals as taxi driver. Those were the years of prohibition and great depression. Much of the money that was going around was destined for the pockets of the city's criminal bosses: Ennio Salieri and Marcu Morello, in fact.

As fate would have it, on a break from work Tommy found himself right on the road to Sam and Paulie, two scoundrels gravitating around the criminal universe of Don Salieri. The two, chased by Morello's minions, improvise as customers and force Angelo to start the taxi to rescue them. That was the first date with the underworld by Thomas Angelo. The first time the driver's foot passed the threshold of lawful for a fleeting ride in theillicit. The following times Angelo will take that step more and more consciously until he settles down completely beyond the threshold

We have just told you the incipit of the story represented in a video game, yet, it is safe to bet that you would not blink if we told you maybe that this is the beginning of a film. The demarcation between videogame and cinematic, in fact, in Mafia: Definitive Edition is thin like that between legality and illegality. Have you played the 18-year-old Mafia that this chapter refers to? If you have not done so, just take a look on the net, you will find an infinity of gameplay.

This examination will allow you to realize what it was in that game mentioned now is perfectly outlined. The history of the first Mafia, in essence, yes lent to cinematography but that of the current game is cinematic in all respects. In the old game the direction choices were sketchy, there were gaps in dialogue, several dead spots here and there. Here, on the contrary, everything is perfectly filled, analyzed, deepened. 

Hangar 13 took the script written by Illusion and made it into a kind of romance where the psychology of the characters, starting with Tommy, is more nitida. Even the variations on the theme of events. The American studio took the creative license to make intelligent and functional changes here and there to the script, while maintaining it anyway unchanged the identity of the story Basic. The fact is that the latter row wonderfully, like a film that never gets boring. We warn you: while you are playing it will be better to turn off the light and alternate the pad with the popcorn, to enjoy the cutscenes. 

The review continues with the highlights of Mafia: Definitive Edition gameplay. 

Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

Two souls - Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogame and cinematography

In these first few reviews we saw it, Mafia: Definitive Edition, it is rather faithful to the original. This fidelity is evident in the setting of the campaign. This follows in detail that of the model title. 20 chapters there were before and 20 are now. Not only that: the names of the various sections into which the story is divided are the same as the now dated counterparts.

The general approach, therefore, is linear: we are faced with a single-player sectioned into parts to be played sequentially. On the contrary, what is not linear and predictable is the very content of the various missions that the Don will assign to you. The strength of the original, the variety, is taken up here and excellently exalted. There is really no need to be bored in the ten hours that the campaign offers you. 

The title, from a gameplay point of view, has two souls, each of which deserves a specific discussion. Tommy's criminal career is split between Shooting on foot and flying in classic cars. The gunfight it will vary from time to time depending on the weapon, with different reload times, aiming modes and accuracy.

The viewfinder in many situations is not at the highest precision and the system targeting in general is not the best in circulation even if able to give various satisfactions. The coverage system is excellent and responsive which will allow an alternation between attack and lean defense. Also there stealth mode it was picked up by the third chapter and as a whole it is decent.

The exchanges are definitely disappointing body to body. Here, inexplicably, the game becomes very approximate by proposing a disarming attack and dodge system in its banality

THEother face of the game is what you will experience aboard vintage custom-built cars. The driving system is the real highlight of this Definitive Edition. In the 4-wheel sector, the game surpasses the results seen in many other open worlds by a good span. The realism with which Hangar 13 has been able to characterize the behavior of each car is commendable. Each car has a different type of acceleration, physics and road holding and on screen you will be able to distinguish it clearly.

It is no coincidence that road races (especially those aboard racing single-seaters) are the highest points touched by the production of Hangar 13. Every surface you dart on will give you a specific feedback via vibration of the pad, almost anticipating what we will see on the much talked about DualSense of PS5.

Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

Shyness - Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

You may have already noticed, this review is about dualismi, of something that is in opposition to something else. We are not referring by this only to the one discounted between Salieri and Morello. In this case we want to say that also the same game structure in question is suspended between two different poles. On the one hand the linearity campaign sequences mission after mission. On the other handopenworld where the title is set. Beware of this last point though.

In this sense, in fact, la Definitive Edition she is conservative and a little retro. Once you have completed all the missions of the Tommy Angelo story, you will simply remain, by way of post-game, the "Go for a walk“, Other content left as a legacy from the first game. Here Hangar 13, in essence, offers us extra pimples. First of all, the collection of various collectibles scattered around Lost Heaven. There will be then timed races and missions entrusted by a mysterious contact of Tommy. We are essentially faced with something much more modest compared to the standard content offer of the current open worlds. 

So don't expect a flood of activities available immersed in the pleasant atmosphere of the 30s. We are talking about 4 or 5 hours of extra content definitely. In this Hangar 13 she has therefore proved a bit shy. Here too we wanted to show ourselves faithful to the original when perhaps it would have been appropriate to do the same courageous choices done script stage. 

Mafia: Definitive Edition thus remains suspended between a manifest linear approach and a freer one sketchy and retro. In this, therefore, the game will not only take you into the historical past but also into the videogame one. 

Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

Sunday outing - Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogame and cinematography

We said in the first paragraph of this review on Mafia: Definitive Edition that, in principle, a good game aimed at the mature audience will tend to offer, among other things, realistic graphics. That of Mafia: Definitive Edition is without a doubt. The title definitely raises the bar compared to the third chapter of the saga. Before proceeding further, we specify right away that we have had the opportunity to try the title on PC setting the various settings to the maximum and the whole thing was quite fluid without particular frame drops. Lost Heaven is now a metropolis that wants to appear real in its many facets.

The streets, buildings and corners of the city are enlivened by many details and components that probably reproduce the tangible reality of the prohibitionist era. Street lamps, neon signs, comfortable sofas, rotary telephones, there is everything to project you back to the distant 30s. The texture used are in principle of good level. Occasionally, however, it happens some undertone. THE reflections on surfaces and lights in general they are managed well. Especially at night they will give great credibility to the general atmosphere. Exceptional, even here, the construction of cars which appear quite photorealistic and full of detail.

Good realization of the characters that thanks to excellent acting interpretations and motion capture are definitely expressive and characterized by a credible facial expression. All new faces approved of the various Tommy, Norman, Don Salieri, Sam, Paulie and Sarah. Occasionally, however, in scenes full of public, when they are not in the foreground, the surrounding characters tend to have features that are a bit stereotyped and anonymous. Also there campaign surrounding the chaotic Lost Heaven it is not among the most successful points of production. In fact, this appears a bit bare and not up to the height of the metropolis.

The audio component deserves further discussion. On board your custom-built cars you will have at your disposal 2 radio stations (choice to be framed in a plausible key). They both broadcast jazz music of unspeakable value. The richness of the sound of this Definitive Edition will accompany you between one raid and another, creating a pleasant contrast between the gravity of the situations in which you will be stuck from time to time and the musical atmosphere to be Sunday outing Retro.  Lastly, the Spanish dubbing, undoubtedly at the height of the original although the interpreters have changed.

Let's now sum up for this review of Mafia: Definitive Edition.

Review Mafia Definitive Edition: videogames and cinematography

The find

Mafia: Definitive Edition takes you back, after 18 years, to the full American prohibitionist past and the videogame one. Hangar 13 put on gloves and picked up theoriginal as if he were a very fragile person historical artifact. The study has weighed in a painstaking way every single aspect of the original by carefully evaluating every possibility of intervention. The restoration that came out of it, undoubtedly enhances the ancient find. It makes us appreciate it in an enticing visual component unedited and takes the timid step taken by Illusion Softwork many years ago: join video game and film

However, Hangar 13, seized almost by awe of the original, does not take the plunge and does not transform it into a open world in all respects. The production thus remains suspended in an eternal and fascinating dualism between linearity and substantial free approach. The American software house provides you, however, the perfect opportunity to get close (if you have not already done so) to one of the most fascinating stories that the videogame medium has told over the years. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this Mafia: Definitive Edition review. The game debuted on September 25 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Stay tuned to techigames for all the news and curiosities from the world of gaming and beyond.

8 Family, power, respect

Points in favor

  • Video game and film overlap thanks to the quality of the story
  • The guidance system will leave you amazed
  • Varied and fun missions
  • Orchestrated soundtrack
  • Atmosphere of the original revived and improved

Points against

  • The post-game is a bit perplexing
  • Disappointing hand-to-hand combat
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