It’s been 10 years since we last walked the streets of empire bay as Vito Scaletta. Mafia 2 (by 2k games and 2k Czech) was a game like no other I had played before. Yes there were similarities between it and GTA, however the game felt it’s own. There was something about the game that kept me coming back for more giving me something different each playthrough. It’s a game I have to get out and play every Christmas as the opening section of the game gets me in the holiday mood (being set around Christmas). The portion of the game set in prison brings a Shawshank Redemption/prison break vibe that isn’t really present in games until ‘A way out’. Finally the last portion of the game after you leave prison feels like it’s plucked right out of the Godfather and Goodfellas.
Yes, this game is a personal favourite of mine. When I heard of the release of Mafia 3, I was excited to be getting another game just like it. However, after playing Mafia 3, glitches and bugs aside, it didn’t have the same appeal to me as it’s predecessor.
For years I have been hoping for a remaster. I still own my original Xbox 360 copy and while I know the game is backwards compatible, I still wanted to experience Empire bay again but on a next gen level.
So when news broke out of the blue of the original Mafia game being remade this had me intrigued. What intrigued me even more was that it would be part of a trilogy release containing the remaster of the first game and definitive editions (HD Updates) of Mafia 2 and 3. Hanger 13 a studio under Take Two Interactive’s label was in charge of remastering the game and DT3 limited was in charge of remastering the artwork.
After playing the definitive edition of Mafia 2 on PlayStation 4, I have to say, my opinions are mixed.
It is still the Mafia 2 that I fell in love with. The definitive edition includes all the DLC including all the campaign expansions: The betrayal of Jimmy, Jimmy’s Vendetta and Joe’s adventures. This is good as I would have expected as much from a definitive edition. That being said though, that’s all that this game really has going for it. I was expecting a graphics and texture upgrade that would really set it apart from the original release, like with the Tomb Raider Definitive edition for example. However, the game does feature an array of texture enhancements (like being to see footprints in the snow) and improvements to characters faces (especially in the eyes) which makes a slight noticeable improvement on the original. It runs on PS4 at a target of 30 frames per second, which is an improvement on the original 20 frames per second that my Xbox 360 copy ran on. However, I have experienced some frame drops in cutscenes and while driving. Which is a shame as it takes away from the immersion.
Another issue I have with this ‘Definitive edition’ is with the sound. I honestly do not understand what happened here. Upon starting the game and viewing the opening cut scenes and gameplay the sound is appalling. It honestly sounds like someone playing the original game with the speakers turned up and recording it on a phone, because the sound peaks terribly. There are audio pops all over the place. It was only after being able to get into the pause menu and adjusting the sound settings from 100% on music/sound fx and voice to 50% on music/sound fx and 70% on voice that I found the sound remotely like the original.
Gameplay is exactly how it was before. No editions or cut content has made it back into the game. All unlockable and collectable magazines are in the same locations as they were in the original edition of this game.
It really is unfortunate that Mafia 2 hasn’t received the HD update that I believe it deserved. If you own the original game on steam they are offering to upgrade the game to the definitive edition for free. Console wise though yes it’s worth it for the PS4 once you look past all the issues to be able to play this classic again. But if you own an Xbox one, the original Xbox 360 game is backwards compatible, and that game doesn’t have the issues that the definitive edition does.
In all Mafia 2 Definitive Edition brings back the Definitive Mafia game, allowing you to replay that amazing story once more with all the dlc to dive into. However that aside there is nothing more (par some graphical enhancements) that sets this game apart from its original incarnation. It gets a 6 out of 10.
Mafia 2 Definitive Edition is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox one and Pc for £24.99 and will be a part of the Mafia Trilogy edition.
Mafia 2 Definitive Edition was reviewed on the PlayStation 4
You can purchase Mafia 2 Definite Edition here on the PSN Store
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Mafia 2: Definitive Edition
Remastered in HD, live the life of a gangster during the Golden-era of organized crime. War hero Vito Scaletta becomes entangled with the mob in hopes of paying his father’s debts. Alongside his buddy Joe, Vito works to prove himself, climbing the family ladder with crimes of larger reward, status and consequence.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 24.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut