One of the most beloved games of the last console generation, Mafia 2, was renowned for delivering a brilliant story, an innovative and immersive open-world, and dynamic gameplay that could only be rivalled by the Grand Theft Auto series. But while a new remastered release gives fans an opportunity to relive the classic mob-adventure, how does the game hold up 10 years later?
Mafia 2 Definitive Edition doesn’t aim to upgrade or evolve any of its decade-old systems, but rather opts for a straight cosmetic makeover. The character models look a bit crisper, there are some added details to the facial animations and particle effects in the game, but overall, these touch-ups are admittedly so small that it doesn’t feel any different from the original release. On top of that, the game still struggles with some visual inconsistencies despite the new update. Some jittery and awkward animations are still apparent, whereby the character’s heads move like stiff action figures rather than the type of slick and streamlined movements you’ll see in modern games.
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However, while awkward to look at, these things are easily overlooked. Thankfully, the core and undeniably brilliant gameplay remains, full of thrilling car chases, gunfights, heists, and moody action-packed cutscenes. This re-release is a clear reminder of how good of a game Mafia 2 was, and furthermore, still is today.
On top of the great gameplay, you still get Mafia 2‘s period-accurate licensed music and era-specific details, which still outshine other historically-set games released today. Oozing with authenticity and atmosphere, there’s just something about hearing haunting updates on World War II while driving around Empire Bay, listening to hits from 1940s, or eavesdropping on two NPCs discussing black and white television that is incredibly immersive, and this attention to detail is something even modern games overlook.
There’s no denying that the gaming industry has made huge leaps in recent years, and Mafia 2‘s older gameplay mechanics do stand out. However, the game has aged well (even George Clooney would be proud), and there’s something charming and still impressive about the way it was designed. If you somehow still own the original, there’s not too much new to see here; but for those who’ve never played Mafia 2, it’s worth diving back in time, if of course you’re happy to turn a blind-eye to the technical hiccups.
Mafia 2 Definitive Edition is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
- Great story
- Amazing voice acting
- Interesting missions
- Music and setting is perfect
- Visual inconsistencies
- World feels a little empty