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Mafia: Definitive Edition remake officially announced for August

A real pretty remake of Mafia is coming on August 28, 2K announced today. After accidentally blowing the surprise last week, they’ve now made Mafia: Definitive Edition official. As well as remaking the 2002 wiseguy ’em up, they’ve given the less-good 2010 sequel Mafia II a less-dramatic remastering, which is due to launch today as a free update. And Mafia III is getting its DLC thrown in for free. Together, they call this Mafia: Trilogy.

Mafia’s a good’un, a third-person drive-o-shooter about a taxi driver who semi-accidentally falls in with the mob in the 1930s. It’s a solid bit of mobbing. Comparisons to GTA are a bit weird because while it does offer a good slice of virtuacity to drive, run, and shoot around, it’s not really much trying to be a sandbox to play in. That’s not a knock against it, mind. Also, as someone who sometimes likes to follow traffic laws in games, I find it unreasonably pleasing that you do get fined for speeding.

The game being 18 years old now, it’s needed the most work. 2K’s announcement says Mafia has been “rebuilt from the ground up” by Hangar 13 as “a faithful but expanded 4K- and HDR-ready remake that not only makes dramatic improvements to the original’s visuals and gameplay, but also builds upon its award-winning narrative and adds new features like motorcycles and collectibles to the 1930s city of Lost Heaven.” Oh good, collectibles? I wonder how much they’ve fiddled with it all. Mafia was not a good shooter, so I’m not especially attached to that side.

Mafia: Definitive Edition will hit Steam on August 28th, then the Epic Games Store “at a later date.” It will be sold separately or come as part of the Mafia: Trilogy collection. Yeah, not surprising this one will cost you money.

Mafia II has been remastered rather than remade, with what 2K call “greatly improved visuals and audio”, including reworked facial animations. And the DLC is included too, natch. Neatly, if you already own Mafia II on Steam, you’ll also get the Def Ed for free as a separate game (so the ‘Classic’ version is still playable). That should be live on Steam now, though it isn’t quite yet as I write.

John’s Mafia II review back in the day was not thrilled, saying that while it’s “an extraordinary game in many ways” with a lovely city, decent violence, and some good acting, ultimately it’s “an emotionally dead, frequently boring game, mostly spent slowly driving.” Yeap.

Lastly, Mafia III only being four years old, the only change it’s getting in the move to a Definitive Edition is having the DLC bundled in. And like Mafia II, folks who own it on Steam are getting upgraded to the Def Ed for free. That one is already live.

John’s Mafia III review was just as disappointed. “Astonishing amounts of work have gone into this, to creating such a vast detailed city, writing an apparently infinite story, building something on such scale,” he said. “And then this has been dramatically let down by the dreadful AI, a woeful inability to edit, and the mindnumbing monotony of its identical missions.”

Hangar 13 are the folks who took over Mafia for the third game. The first was created by Illusion Softworks, who had become 2K Czech by the time of the sequel, then in 2014 were essentially closed, though officially the remnants were rolled into Hangar 13.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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