Last year, Mafia 2: Definitive Edition leaked online, and now the game is available. From Mafia 3 developer Hangar 13, Mafia 2: Definitive Edition attempts to update the original Mafia 2 for modern consoles, and while there are undeniable improvements, there are some things about the game that just aren’t. can really be fixed without a full-blown remake. .
Mafia 2: Definitive Edition is largely the same game that launched a decade ago, and thus much about it feels dated. This is most evident in its mission design, which consists of a lot of busy work, such as simply driving from point A to point B. There are long, boring stretches of Mafia 2: Definitive Edition where there is nothing to do but drive , and there are some design choices that make this process more tedious.
Unlike the Grand Theft Auto series that Mafia 2 emulates, driving isn’t particularly fun. In an effort to make the game more realistic, Mafia 2: Definitive Edition chokes players with things like destructible cars and police chasing them if they’re caught speeding. So not only do players often drive great distances, they have to do it carefully or else they find themselves hiding from the police or going out to fix smoking machines.
It doesn’t help that when Mafia 2 players reach their destination, many of the missions are less than exciting. The stealth missions in Mafia 2: Definitive Edition are tedious and uninspired, and there are some missions that require players to slowly follow NPCs around. Some of the missions revolve around melee, which isn’t all that exciting because hand-to-hand combat is so easy.
Mafia 2’s missions shine when things break out in battles. Mafia 2: Definitive Edition shootouts control like a dream with a mouse and keyboard setup, and every battle is a lot of fun. The gunplay might actually be one area where Mafia 2 tops its inspirations, with the game playing like a proper, cover-based third-person shooter as opposed to just having to shoot. Gamers more accustomed to modern standards for shooters may not be as impressed, but that’s where the majority remain.
Combat in Mafia 2: Definitive Edition is usually a blast, so it’s a shame that many of the missions are focused on other things. Along with the aforementioned slow driving segments and following NPCs, Mafia 2 also has players complete menial tasks like carrying crates, which may help the game feel more realistic, but doesn’t make it particularly entertaining.
On the one hand, it’s easy to see how Mafia 2’s attempt at realism hurts the game’s entertainment value. On the other hand, it does a great job of immersing players in its setting. Mafia 2: Definitive Edition is mainly set in the 1950s in the city of Empire Bay, which is an obvious imitation of New York City. The music, the cars, the voice acting, and the story all do a great job of bringing the game world to life, and while players may find driving tedious, the city is at least visually appealing. amazing.
Mafia 2: Definitive Edition is a definite visual upgrade from the original game, with improved character models and more environmental detail. Some things look a little stiff and dated, but otherwise, Hangar 13 has done a great job of updating the look so that it more closely resembles modern games. It’s also worth pointing out that the screen-tearing issues that were prevalent in the original release are nowhere to be found in the Definitive Edition. All that being said, Mafia 2: Definitive Edition on consoles has some pretty significant visual and technical issues, but we didn’t encounter anything like that during our time with the PC version.
Mafia 2: Definitive Edition on PC delivers on the visual upgrade promised by the “Definitive Edition” subtitle. Some of the gameplay problems couldn’t be helped without Hangar 13 making some drastic changes, but there are other aspects of the game that still hold up, most notably the story.
Mafia 2: Definitive Edition tells a classic period piece mob story. Players take on the role of Vito Scaletta, who becomes embroiled in Empire City’s organized crime after the mafia helps him escape his World War 2 military service. Conflict erupts between rival gangs, and Vito quickly finds himself in over his head. Mafia 2’s story was great when the game originally launched in 2010, and it’s just as engaging in Mafia 2: Definitive Edition.
Another way Mafia 2: Definitive Edition lives up to the name is the inclusion of all the post-launch DLC released for the original Mafia 2 back in the day. These include The Betrayal of Jimmy, Jimmy’s Vendetta, and Joe’s Adventures, all of which went a long way toward addressing some of the mission structure issues seen in the base Mafia 2 game.
Whereas the base game of Mafia 2: Definitive Edition was more of a linear experience than it was a true open world experience, The Betrayal of Jimmy and Jimmy’s Vendetta plays more like a typical open world action game. This removes some of the linearity from Mafia 2: Definitive Edition and gives players more freedom when it comes to progressing through all the content.
Joe’s Adventures, meanwhile, adds a little more flavor to the Mafia 2 story, allowing players to take on the role of Joe Barbaro to complete missions. Joe is a major character in the base game of Mafia 2, and while this DLC isn’t really to be missed, it still helps fill in some of the gaps in the main story.
Mafia 2: Definitive Edition is a decent purchase for anyone who hasn’t played the original (on PC, anyway). It’s a more complete package with very good graphics, but there are definitely aspects of the game that haven’t aged well. However, Mafia 2: Definitive Edition itself is really only one piece of a bigger picture. Later this summer, Hangar 13 will release a full Mafia 1 remake, which, along with Mafia 3: Definitive Edition, should make the Mafia Trilogy a more attractive prospect overall. .
Mafia 2: Definitive Edition is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Today Technology was provided a PC code for this review.