Mafia Definitive Edition Review – Test of the great Mafia 1 remake

With the new Mafia 1 Remake, Hangar13 has refreshed a classical of the gangster game genre. How good is the Mafia Definitive Edition?

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] q
Mafia Definitive Edition Review
Testing the great Mafia 1 Remake

In this Mafia Definitive Edition Review, I show you everything you need to know about the Mafia 1 remake from 2020 for PC, Xbox, and PS4. I show you how good it turned out and if I had fun in the Mafia Gangster epic. Is the mix of shooter, chase sequences, sneak & thrash gameplay, and movie-like cutscenes working well?


German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Video:

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Mafia Definitive Edition Review – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Mafia Definitive Edition Review, I’ll show you what the game is about, how good the remake has become, and in the end, there is also a rating from me. But most of all I want to give you all the information you need to decide for yourself if the game could be fun for you.

I got a free trial sample from the publisher, my thanks for that. But I always rate all games with the thought in mind, how would I feel if I had paid the full price.

Mafia 1 Remake – Background

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 01 Background - Hintergrund
Mafia Definitive Edition Review
Background

I probably don’t need to introduce the Mafia series. It started in 2002 with just “Mafia”, which laid the foundation for this series and became a classic. It offered very good graphics for that time, an enormously extensive open world in a big city, chic car rides, and an exciting story. All this formed a very special mix, which for many years became a template for the whole genre of Open-World Gangster Games.

Even if it partly contained elements of Grand Theft Auto 3 itself, it certainly had an influence on GTA 4 and 5 in terms of storytelling in this kind of game. Here, both have probably learned from each other. And besides the successors Mafia 2 and 3, there were also other games that were strongly inspired by Mafia, such as the wonderful Sleeping Dogs or Watchdogs by Ubisoft.

Mafia 1 Remake – Mafia Definitive Edition 2020

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 02 Mafia 1 Remake - Mafia Definitive Edition 2020
Mafia Definitive Edition Test
Mafia 1 Remake – Mafia Definitive Edition 2020

The Mafia Definitive Edition is now a complete remake of the original game from 2002. 18 years after the first release, the original developer studio Illusion Softworks is no longer available. It was bought up by 2k over the years and some parts and developers from back then have been absorbed into the current developer hangar 13. But the original studio boss Daniel Vavra is no longer there. According to Twitter, he was also not so enthusiastic about the remake. But probably mainly because he also would have liked to earn some more money with it.

For the new interpretation, the already quite good graphic engine of Mafia 3 was used as a basis and it was improved again. And the level designers did a fantastic job in creating a completely new world with these technically much better tools of the new engine. Everything has been completely redesigned and rebuilt from scratch using modern techniques.

Many parts of the design were based very much on the original. Fans of the original version will recognize many places but also gameplay experiences and movie scenes. But Hangar 13 has not only reworked some aging gameplay mechanics, the animations, graphics, textures, and sound. It has also modernized some of the story sections, which in their opinion were rather unclear or illogical.

Here the minds are slightly divided. Some criticize that Hangar 13 did not stick to the original by 100%. But from my point of view, I have to say that the Mafia Definitive Edition is a wonderful remake. There are only a few outstanding remakes in my eyes. Very often such revamps fail because of old-fashioned mechanics, which are still no fun today just because of new textures alone. And here they avoided this mistake and created an all-around modern reinterpretation of the original, which not only looks extremely much better but is also simply a totally round and fun to play experience.

Video-Recommendation – Mafia 1 Remake Let’s Play (German voice-over)

Here you find my Mafia 1 Remake – Mafia Definitve Edition Gameplay Let’s Play

Mafia 1 Remake Review – Game Type

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 03 Game Type - Spieltyp
Mafia Definitive Edition Review
Game Type

Similar to the GTA Story Mode, Mafia offers a big city and some surrounding countryside that is free to drive around. However, the city here is not like in GTA a source of dozens of different small side jobs and random events with a few stories in between.

In Mafia, there are no side jobs. Random events and also stores, interactive NPCs, and similar things are not to be found here. Here the city is much more a coulisse for a kind of interactive movie in which we ourselves play the main hero or rather the villains. We spend the game time driving around and shooting, fighting, and sometimes sneaking. Very often in film scenes or in conversations while driving, the complex and very well written story of a mafia family is told, which is fighting with a competing family for the city.

Gameplay – Characters and Story

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 04 Characters and Story - Charaktere und Geschichte
Mafia Definitive Edition Review
Characters and Story

In Mafia Definitive Edition we play Thomas Angelo, also called Tommy. The game works with flashbacks. Because at the beginning we find ourselves in a conversation with a police detective, where we reveal ourselves, so to speak. We tell him all the information from our years of a career as a gangster and mafioso, hoping that he will protect us as a key witness and above all bring our wife and daughter to safety.

These episode-like flashbacks start when we were a clean-cut cab driver in Lost Heaven. By chance, we run into the gangsters Pauli and Sam, who hijack our cab on the run and force us to drive them to safety through an exciting chase and shootout. For this, the hostile Morello Mafia family later demolishes our cab. We begin to think about revenge and join the Salieri family for this.

So we gradually get deeper and deeper into the spiral of brutal violence, unscrupulous crime, and merciless war against the rival Morello family. The mobsters Pauli and Sam become our friends, almost our brothers and our Don is our boss and the father of our family. Over the years the conflict escalates more and more and the crimes and the fights become increasingly severe and violent.

After some years, but wait, we don’t spoil that here. I can only recommend everyone to enjoy the story itself because it is really enormously good and exciting.

Mafia Definitive Edition Test – Tech, Graphics, Sound, Gfx, Sfx, Engine

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 05 Tech, Graphics, Sound, Gfx, Sfx, Engine - Technik, Grafik, Sound
Mafia Definitive Edition Test
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Gfx, Sfx, Engine

But let’s get to the technical improvement of the Mafia Definitive Edition. Actually, technically almost nothing has remained as it was. The remake brings a new, modern graphics engine, completely new sound and voice over, numerous new vehicle models, and driving physics and new shooter mechanics such as a cover system or improved sneaking.

And all this has been rebuilt on a technical level that is truly phenomenal. Hangar 13 got some scolding for Mafia 3 because it looked good, but it had some choppy gameplay. Some features in Mafia 3 were rather unfinished at release and didn’t work that well. But you don’t notice any of these flaws in the Mafia 1 remake.

The graphics are of extremely high quality and run surprisingly well even on mid-range systems. My aging, slightly overclocked Radeon RX580, which works on about the same level as an Nvidia RTX 2060, can display the Mafia Definitive Edition in 1440p smoothly. The distant vision is good, the reflections are enormously chic even without RTX and also the driving is fluid and fun.

The shooter elements work very well. And the modernizations compared to the original all fit into the game very well for my taste. The driving physics of the cars are very appropriate for the fact that these 1920s and 1930s cars are often driven over cobblestone roads.

And if you find any elements too easy, too difficult, too realistic, or the cops too picky, the Mafia 1 remake offers very extensive options menus. There you can set the level of difficulty, the simulation of the cars, the police reaction between easy and hard or to “original like 2002” at any time during the game.

The whole background noise of the city, the radio recordings, the driving noises, and also the shooting noises I found all in all always fitting and very atmospheric.

The new voice-overs of the figures are very successful for my taste. In the numerous film sequences, there is always a suitable atmosphere. Some may complain that the original was narrated by an actor from the famous Hollywood Mafia epic Good Fellas or his dubbing artist. I think that’s a bit of hair-splitting, but I’m sure that’s where tastes diverge.

The German translation is more or less error-free, both in pronunciation and in subtitles and in-game texts. Here I noticed only in one or two places in the whole game tiny errors, but that is negligible. In total, the Mafia Definitive Edition is dubbed in seven languages and offers 14 different languages in transcription.

Mafia Definitive Edition – Mafia 1 Remake Gameplay Screenshots

Mafia 1 Definitive Edition – Review – Opinion and Conclusion

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 06 Opinion and Conclusion - Meinung und Fazit
Mafia Definitive Edition Review – Mafia 1 Remake
Opinion and Conclusion

Mafia was already a good game in 2002, it is still one of the gangster games classics. It just got a bit old and aged. And at least for my taste, such old games are not really playable anymore. Some people like this retro ambiance, muddy textures, angular faces, choppy controls, and things like that. But I for my part, have been happy year after year that the technology has improved, and playing such old games is usually not such a nice experience for me.

So I was even happier that Mafia gets this remake. But I’m always rather skeptical about remakes and remastered versions. As mentioned before, there are often really bad “remasters”. Either hardly anything is improved and the gameplay and the handling remain old-fashioned and crooked and then the game is no fun and looks more like a caricature of itself. Here I can think of the Commandos Remaster as a negative example, one of the worst remaster versions of the last years.

Or else they might create a completely different game that has not much to do with the original. Here I’m thinking about the Final Fantasy 7 remake, which will certainly be an enormously good game when all chapters are out at some point, but which has very little in common with the original. But I haven’t played it myself yet, maybe I imagine it to be worse than it is.

But the Mafia Definitive Edition is a great experience. I haven’t had so much fun in a game for a long time. And even though I played through all the GTA parts, Watchdogs 1 and 2, Sleeping Dogs, and all Mafia parts completely and loved them, the Mafia 1 remake has been the most exciting and captivating experience out of this whole group for me so far.

On the negative side, it must be mentioned that in Hangar 13’s reinterpretation of Mafia 1, just like in the original, the huge city only serves as a backdrop. It is simply almost not used at all. The game offers nice rides through the city, but apart from the story, everything is empty and hollow. That’s why I don’t want to call Mafia 1 an Open World game at all.

Because here the city is only a means to an end to house an epic story. All pedestrians and passers-by are just bystanders. Almost all buildings, with a few exceptions where the story happens, are just staffage to drive past. There are a few collectible items, but not too many and kindly they are also shown on the map when you get close to them.

This may be a shortcoming on the one hand. But on the other hand, it also has the advantage that you are not distracted from the real action by hundreds of side activities, map-covering towers, irrelevant mini-quests, or boring exploration and collecting tasks as in many other Open World titles.

Often this only stretches and lengthens a shallow story unnecessarily. The dynamics of the story lose pressure in the end and are often pushed into the background. In Mafia 1, the story retains its massive pressure, like in an action movie, it goes blow by blow, the tension usually remains very high. And you don’t face the problem that at some point you have forgotten what the main story was about because of all the side tasks.

Otherwise, I have to say that for about 10 to 15 hours of playing time, the title is a bit expensive for my taste. But the price here is probably also based on the high production level and the quality of the work done. Because all in all, the Mafia 1 remake offers the best experience in a single-player game for a very long time in my opinion.

Mafia Definitive Edition Test – Rating

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 07 Rating - Wertung
Mafia Definitive Edition Review
Rating

Summing all this up, I can only say that every fan of Mafia, GTA, Watchdogs, Sleeping Dogs, or movies around the gangster and mafia theme, should definitely take a closer look here. Also, fans of the first part can experience the classic in a great reinterpretation without wistfully wishing back the original.

The Mafia Definitive Edition offers an all-around exciting adventure in the Mafia milieu, which is full of suspense, surprises, and drama and presents this in unexpectedly high quality. The graphics, sound, and gameplay as well as the overall quality of the game are all on a very high level throughout.

I would like to use 90 % as the base score. This is slightly affected by the somewhat high price of 40 $/€ for about 10h of playing time so that I would like to deduct 5 %. This brings me to a final rating of 85% for the Mafia Definitive Edition.

If you get the game with a discount or later in the sale cheaper, the rating rises again.

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes [Deutsch-German, many subtitles] 07 Rating - Wertung - with numbers
Mafia Definitive Edition Test
Rating – with numbers

Mafia Definitive Edition

Zap from ZapZockt.de

Mafia Definitive Edition Review - Test des tollen Mafia 1 Remakes
With the new Mafia 1 remake, Hangar13 has refreshed a classical of the gangster game genre. How good is the Mafia Definitive Edition?
In this Mafia Definitive Edition Review, I show you everything you need to know about the Mafia 1 remake from 2020 for PC, Xbox, and PS4. I show you how good it turned out and if I had fun in the Mafia Gangster epic. Is the mix of shooter, chase sequences, sneak & thrash gameplay, and movie-like cutscenes working well?
Graphics
Voice over
general sound
Gameplay – Sneaking, Shooting, Bashing, Drinving
Game Design overall
Quality and flawlessness
Price-performance ratio

Rating

Summing all this up, I can only say that every fan of Mafia, GTA, Watchdogs, Sleeping Dogs or movies around the gangster and mafia theme, should definitely take a closer look here. Also fans of the first part can experience the classic in a great reinterpretation without wistfully wishing back the original.
The Mafia Definitive Edition offers an all around exciting adventure in the Mafia milieu, which is full of suspense, surprises and drama and presents this in an unexpectedly high quality. The graphics, sound and gameplay as well as the overall quality of the game are all on a very high level throughout.
I would like to use 90 % as the base score. This is slightly affected by the somewhat high price of 40 $/€ for about 10h of playing time, so that I would like to deduct 5 %. This brings me to a final rating of 85% for the Mafia Definitive Edition.
If you get the game with a discount or later in the sale cheaper, the rating rises again.

4.3

Mafia 1 Remake Test – Outro:

Talking about discounts, below you will find a link to my partner site Gamesplanet, where you can already buy the game with a 10% startup discount. I get a small commission from Gamesplanet, so you can save some money and support my work at the same time. Thanks a lot in advance if you consider this.

How do you like this Mafia 1 remake? Are you tied up by exciting gangster stories, wild chases, and shootings or do you miss the surroundings and the side tasks in this open-world? Write to me your opinion in the comments, I would like to discuss with you about it.

Some episodes of Mafia 1 Lets Play are already available on my YouTube channel, if you want to check it out a little more.

More gaming news and game review can be found on the YouTube channel or here on https://zapzockt.de – Subscribing and giving a thumbs up is free, so please consider doing both. I’d also appreciate it if you’d share the review with your friends. Then I wish you a great day, have a good time, ciao ciao, your Zap

Buy Mafia Definitive Edition cheaper at Gamesplanet * (Steam):

Oder
Buy Mafia Definitve Edition at Epic Games *
Buy Mafia Trilogy at Epic Games *

Buy Mafia at Amazon *

Mafia Definitve Edition Steam-Page

Mafia Website

Video-Recommendation – Mafia 1 Remake Let’s Play (German voice-over)

Here you find my Mafia 1 Remake – Mafia Definitve Edition Gameplay Let’s Play

Disclaimer:

* We have marked all affiliate links on this page with a star. These are affiliate links and/or advertisements – For every purchase through any of these links you get a discount and I get a small commission from the retailer, so you can support the channel and also save money.

Reading – recommendations:

A lot of detailed games news and information about games and gaming can always be found here at ZapZockt.de

There are also many game reviews that might interest you, and if you don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to the newsletter. As a Google News reader, you can also go there and read the latest articles.

Shopping – Tip:

Advertising / Affiliate Link
Games can often be bought cheaper. You can do this legally, reliably, and safely at my partner site Gamesplanet. This game, all DLCs, many more tactics, strategy, and other titles are available there and almost always much cheaper than at Steam, Uplay, Epic, or other shops.

Steam Keys günstig kaufen - Buy steam keys cheap - Game keys Spiele Keys
Buy games cheap

For every purchase, via this link, I receive a small commission. So you get games cheaper and at the same time support my work, my thanks in advance for that.

Social Media:


Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

You may also like...

scroll to top - nach oben