For eighteen years, I’ve been unable to escape a stubborn earworm: the smooth jazz of Django Reinhardt’s Cavalerie, from the car radio in Mafia. I had thought that I might be able to shake it loose by returning to the city of Lost Heaven in Mafia: Definitive Edition, the remake which launched this morning, but I’ve now read that song didn’t make it in. If I play Def Ed without first exorcising Cavalerie, will I shut the door and have it stuck in my head forever? A serious concern for the remake of a pretty decent game.
Made by Illusion Softworks (who went on to become 2K Czech, then were dismantled), Mafia originally came out in 2002. It’s the tale of Tommy Angelo, a cab driver who gets drawn into the mob in 1930 then discovers it’s not all fun and fashion.
Hangar 13 have given it the old remakearoo in modern fancyvision, along with a few tweaks to make it play a bit less like a shooter from 2002. Though I hear cars still handle like whales, which is great news to me as a fan of period-appropriate tootling, even if those cowards at 2K have made gearboxes automatic by default. They’ve tweaked a few other parts in Mafia Def Ed (I cheated and watched the expanded ending on YouTube, which seems worse to me?) but it is still largely a game now old enough to buy beer, for good and bad.
Another bad thing: I’ve seen quite a few players complaining about stuttering framerates and other technical issues. Hangar 13 have said they are “planning to update the game with additional HUD customization options and some other cool stuff in the coming weeks” so hopefully fixes are in the pipeline too.
Mafia: Definitive Edition is available on Steam and the Epic Games Store for £35/€40/$40. Or it’s £50 for the ‘Mafia Trilogy’ bundle with that plus Mafia 2 and 3, both of which have all their DLC included for everyone these days. It’s also on Xbone and PS4.
John Walker returned to the original earlier this year and still liked a lot – Tommy’s arc, the timejumps, the march of history and technology, the ending – though he did think it was now “a chore” to actually play.
But really, no Cavalerie on the soundtrack. I am both disappointed by its absence and terrified by the possibility that hearing whatever replaces it will lock the door on my ear and Django will be twangling around my head for all my days.