Mafia 2: Definitive Edition DEALS
Another open world sandbox game? Fuggedaboutit! Mafia 2 has arrived on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC with a large graphical overhaul, but is the new and updated version worth playing?
Originally launched in 2010, Mafia 2 tells the story of Vito Scaletta. A Sicilian immigrant bought to the United States with his family. He starts off the story with his bumbling friend from school – Joe, shortly after, Vito gets arrested after a burglary gone wrong and finds himself being enlisted in World War 2, he returns from the conflict and slips into mob life in 1940’s era Empire Bay.
If you’re a fan of gangster cinema, you’ll know what comes next but Mafia 2’s original voice work and commitment is commendable, as it is very apt of the time period it is set in. Vito is a likeable character, albeit slightly bland, but his best friend Joe is a bit of a loose cannon, and leans slightly on the annoying scale, but the story is still compelling to get lost within, making players want to know what happens next.
The story follows the rise and fall of the pair, and from the offset, it is pretty clear to see where the story is going to go. Some of the back and forth cutscenes feel like they’re slightly trying too hard, with mob slang thrown into as many sentences as possible during some exchanges. The performances and portrayals of the characters do save some of the issues within the script itself, so it makes the overall whole package just about okay to deal with.
The feel of the city is a very pleasant experience, it feels alive in comparison with the 2010 version as there seems to be so much more activity going on. There are more pedestrians and they seemingly have active personalities that react to your actions. Every vehicle feels different, and the shops have more details that seem more full of life.
The graphical overhaul masks the game’s age entirely. There’s still some texture pop-in, and some of the graphics can seem rather murky. Although some changes (such as character skin and features) are fantastic, some elements like the car design just feel like they’re been slapped with an Instagram filter, with a rather jarring affect.
I started this article by saying it was an open world sandbox game, but it’s not actually really the case. Vito can roam much of Empire Bay at any given point in the game’s story, there aren’t a great deal of side quests or added content found on the city’s streets. The game has the skin of a sprawling sandbox, but is actually rather linear, so if you’re thinking about picking up this game and playing it your way, it could put you off. However, the fact that this game isn’t just another sandbox might be why I like it.
The cut scenes are a rather tricky beast, as the new textures and lighting make faces look more lifelike, much of their animation has remained untouched. For scenes where it is only two characters, it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference, but in instances where characters physically interact, like a hug or throwing a punch, Mafia 2 tends to show its age.
The cutscenes aren’t the only aspects that show Mafia 2’s age, the shooting feels slightly weak and wooden, and really does lacking a sense of feedback when pulling the trigger. The combat is the same, getting into a one on one fight you will dance around in a circle with your opponent until one of you knocks the other one down. This fighting style really feels aged and brought up to date with a remaster, it really does look quite ugly in comparison.
Another issue I have with the game is that the AI is fucking terrible. If I was reading this review out loud, I would say it all weary and tired like; it’s fucking terrible. Frequently the AI won’t do what is expected of them, and their pathfinding gets all confused. During certain missions where you have to follow a support character around you have the wait for their pathfinding to kick in and they figure out where they’re going. A lot of the time, support characters and enemies will attempt to shoot their guns but you’ll find them unloading clips into a wall, it goes without saying that this really breaks the immersion of the experience.
Mafia 2’s main story will take you around a dozen hours, but the Definitive Edition also includes three expansion packs. The Betrayal of Jimmy and Jimmy’s Vendetta switch things to a more arcade, challenge-based setup, that feels really strange with everything else – feels more like The Warriors game. Joe’s Adventures help fill in the gaps in his story and is worth putting the time in.
Mafia 2: Definitive Edition
It is worth playing through Mafia 2 again if you’ve played through it before as the game is still playable and still very enjoyable, if you look past the issues the title comes with. A good remaster but not perfect due to being slightly rough around the edges.
- Still holds up and is extremely enjoyable
- Great alive city feeling
- Complete package with DLC
- Dreadful AI
- Weak gunplay
- Inconsistent Graphics
- Graphics 0
- Gameplay 0
- Narrative 0
- Audio 0
- Technical 0