Mafia: Definitive Edition (Steam/PC)
My Thoughts & Impressions....
MAFIA (Original) = 02-14-2021:
I can remember buying the original Mafia (PC version), like it was yesterday. In a jewel case, all patched-up to its latest version at that time at WalMart's for around $10 (before tax); back in the days when PC games were often still bought at a retail level and not digitally. At its time, there did not feel like a ton of games were like this, back in the day. While this game wasn't truly open-world in full, as there wasn't many - heck, if any, side-missions/side-content in the main campaign - this game delivered the good on everything else.
With outstanding voice-acting, storytelling, narrative & writing, all while being also cinematic as can be, Mafia felt like something special. Mafia also felt purposely built to feel & be more of a realistic simulation than the GTA games (those were more arcade-y and action-y, back then). This all here led me & drew me into one of the great mafioso video-game experiences, feeling like we had found The Godfather of video games here.
This story & game of a cab driver, Tommy Angelo, who is trying to make a living in the 1930's somehow winds up involved helping out a gangster...and then eventually joining a (Mafioso) Family that are at war with other gangster & crime families is memorable as can be.
And now, we're back...with Mafia: Definitive Edition, a Remake of the original classic, which they've remade & moved over to a tweaked-up version Mafia 3 Engine.
MAFIA: DEFINITIVE EDITION = 02-14-2021:
I'm around 2.9 hours into this Remake, according to Steam. So far, I have to say this: I'm really impressed with this Remake.
By re-making this classic game on the Mafia 3 Engine, we also now have the combat & cover system from that game. So, a lot of the clunky-ness of trying to duck behind boxes & objects to try to hide & take cover behind from the original version of Mafia is gone here in the Remake. There's now a cover system here and the combat feels really good, just like it did in Mafia 3. There are also stealth mechanics in Mafia: Definitive here, which also is coming right from Mafia 3. The car mechanics, including the ram mechanics from Mafia 3, is also here.
Everything was fundamentally & mechanical really sound in Mafia 3 and seems to be here in Mafia 1: Definitive. Mafia 3 had issues of grind, repetition & UbiSoft open-world side-quests everywhere & collect-a-thons everywhere, getting often in the main of the excellently presented story, narrative, character development, and all of that game's ebb & flow - and so far, I haven't run into any of that in Mafia 1: Definitive. There are some collection items & things to find - yes, just like in Mafia 3 - here in Mafia 1: Definitive. But, this all doesn't feel really over-bearing & feel like it's everywhere around almost every step of the way and every corner, interrupting the flow of the story.
It seems like Hangar 13 has learned from the Mafia 3 problem and is also honoring the legacy of the original Mafia here, since just like the original Mafia game and also some of the Mafia 3 DLC's - it's sticking to great missions, story, narrative, and immersion. Mafia 3's Faster Baby DLC & Sign of the Times DLC, for example, which are all short and excellent, BTW - were all killer and no filler, just like how Mafia: Definitive here feel. Mafia: Definitive here is - well, at least so far - doing its best to be all killer & no filler, sticking to the excellence of its main story...and I hope it remains this way, too.
There are some other settings for the player also. While there are modernizations here - namely coming from Mafia 3's engine, gameplay, gunplay, combat, and mechanics here - there are extra settings here for those who loved the original game and its aim for realism & Simulation. I'm playing as Hangar 13 intended, on Medium and with the Normal settings, as they expect most new players to play the game as. There are other settings, for those who want to make the game more of a Simulation for it to be more realistic (like the old Mafia 1 game), where you will need to obey the law to stop at stop signs; stop at street lights; and drive the Speed Limit. I don't have all of those on, but for those who want to original game experience: there's settings there, for fans of the classic game that might've also wanted this to be also done in that game's more realistic style.
While this doesn't retain entirely the voice-actors and the music & radio stations from the original game; the tone feels at times a bit darker & meaner; and not as innocent; and Tommy doesn't seem as innocent as he was in the original title (especially in the very beginning) - what's here & also what's new, so far, are all still great. The voice-acting, the graphics, the music, and the game-world: this all sounds great and just looks great. Just like Mafia 3 and the original Mafia 1, this game just oozes with immersion, immersing the player right into the world & atmosphere of the game.
Everything looks and sounds great, on this engine and in this game. Textures everywhere are detailed, even if it feels like this game really might've needed more AA options available to it. I might need to try some forcing of other AA methods, as some things in the distance look a bit blurry, just like in Mafia 3. But up close, stuff looks great. It might not be the best technical-looking game - yep, just like Mafia 3 - but the textures and everything looks so fitting of the time period; and it feels like you could really live in this world.
Performance is definitely fine here, as the game's running smoothly at 1080p60fps at its maxed-out settings with no hitches, no slow-downs, nothing. I'm running this here on my new PC (from Dec. 2020), loaded with these specs: i7 10700KF; 16 GB RAM; 8GB RTX 3070; W10 x64. It's running smooth as butter & silk; and like an absolute dream here.
With all of this Mafia: Definitive talk and all of my thoughts here so far, I think I need to make my way back to Empire Bay.
MORE ON MAFIA: DEFINITIVE = 02-14-2021:
I'm some 6.9 hours so far into this awesome remake. Some more things worth noting, on this remake.
Via the NVidia Control Panel, I have cranked-up a few things: FXAA to 8x; AA set to Enhance the App; Image Sharpening to 1.00 with 0.17 on Film Grain; SuperSampling to 8x's. Texture Filtering on High Quality; Trilinear filtering with Trilinear optimization is On. No framerate loss, no hits, nothing. Still hitting 1080p60fps without an issue here; and the game in looks a lot clearer & sharper.
The infamous racing mission doesn't seem as difficult here as the original Mafia - well, at least at the difficulty that I have it on (i.e. what the game suggests by Default). The main missions have been awesome & memorable missions, even if they have been modernized in some ways and made a cinematic at times.
Also, there is an option when driving to skip the actual driving part. In the original game, there was a lot of driving, in which...nothing of much was really happening and you were just soaking in the atmosphere & traveling in the game-world. Options are always a great idea, so the option to skip this is appreciated, as some might not care about this stuff.
You can still do the driving part yourself, if you'd like. Though, the thing here in Mafia: Definitive is this: you (as Tommy) will be often riding with someone and get a lot of insight into the game-world, characters, story, plot, thoughts, details, and whatnot - well, at least with the first go around here - you actually might not want to skip these drives.
The drives from place-to-place actually here have a lot of voice-over work - yes, like what GTA games do a lot of - and will likely clue you in with something that you might want to know. Some might be wanting to get to the action & push the game ahead - but if you appreciate story, character, dialogue, and voice-acting, and/or you want to joy-ride around the game-world - you might not want to skip this stuff.
Since I've said & typed plenty here, I'll wrap this up. Can't wait to get back to this game and play some more of this awesome remake.