“Mafia: Definitive Edition” review

Images captured on PS4

Images captured on PS4

Jonathan Melancon, Features Reporter

Can you imagine if “Goodfellas,” “The Untouchables,” and “The Godfather” made a video game? “Mafia” takes the elements of any syndicate blockbuster and immerses players into a world of organized crime in the 1930s. Can it make you an offer you can’t refuse?

“Mafia: Definitive Edition” is an action-adventure game published by 2K Games. It is a remake of the 2002 video game: “Mafia. It was released for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 25, 2020. The game is set in the fictional city of Lost Heaven; a city inspired by Chicago in the 1930s.  The story follows the rise and fall of Tommy Angelo, a taxi-driver-turned-mobster within the Salieri crime family. As a remake, the game improves the original’s gameplay, remaking the entire setting, enhancing mission dynamics and utilising a new voice cast.

Story: Welcome to the Family

Images captured on PS4

The story takes place during the Great Depression. Struggling taxi driver Tommy Angelo is forced by two members of the Salieri crime family into helping them escape an ambush by a rival family criminal syndicate. Even though he is paid for the assistance, Tommy loses his job and cab the following day when the rival family targets him for helping the two members escape. Asking for Don Salieri’s help, Tommy gets revenge on his attackers, before agreeing to join Salieri’s operation.  His jobs include assisting with the operations of Salieri’s rackets across Lost Heaven, overseen by his right-hand man Frank Colletti. He befriends the two members Sam and Paulie, during their jobs, while earning Salieri’s respect for thwarting attempts by the Morello family to interfere in his business.


Images captured on PS4

“Mafia: Definitive Edition” is a full remake that was built from the ground up with new assets and an expanded story, although missions and arcs from the original game are carried over. As with the 2002 game, players control Tommy Angelo throughout the game’s single-player campaign. New to the remake is the introduction of motorcycles, a first in the series. 

The gameplay mechanics were adopted from 2K Games’  “Mafia III.” A “Classic Difficulty” setting is also included, serving as the game’s hardest difficulty setting that changes some gameplay mechanics such as ammunition management and police response to crimes, bringing the game closer to the original 2002 game.

“Free Ride” mode is included, allowing the player to explore the city on their own without any objectives. The original game did not allow players to free-roam around Lost Heaven.


Images captured on PS4

Usually remakes don’t have a lot of attention to detail because a formula was laid out from the original,  but “Mafia: Definitive Edition” shatters those expectations.  The screenshots above are actual gameplay. The Unreal Engine is always amazing when it comes to bringing out the best physics visual appeal of most games. 

Lighting and reflection are major components that separate this remake from its original. The game isn’t free-roam, so the time-of-day depends on the story. Overall, the lighting shows off the beauty of a time where we would usually see things in black and white.


Images captured on PS4

“Mafia: Definitive Edition” shaped up to be more than just a simple remake of the 2002 original. Fans of organized crime movies and shows might enjoy the story, even though it may feel familiar. The gameplay animations leave room for improvement, however a decent combat, driving, and shooting mechanics overshadows the flaws. It arguably wastes the potential of its entirely overhauled world by not crafting a few new ways to utilise more of it, but it’s still a successful rejuvenation one of the best stories in the series. “Mafia: Definitive Edition” certainly stands on equal grounds with its predecessors. It felt weird to watch anything exhibiting organized crime without greats like Marlon Brando, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino; however, the game presented the same feelings anyone would get from the theaters.




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