Release Date: Sep 25, 2020
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Hangar 13
Genre: Action-adventure game
Platforms: PlayStation 4 · Microsoft Windows · Xbox One
Links to Purchase
Xbox One: https://amzn.to/3bFE2gh
"Review Code Provided By 2K Studios"
The Mafia series has been running since 2002 with the initial Mafia game for PS2, Xbox, and Windows, continuing onwards there was a follow up with Mafia II in 2010 that released on PS3, Xbox 360, and Windows and then the most recent entry of Mafia III in 2016. Here we are in 2020 with the Mafia: Trilogy which gives you the definitive editions of Mafia (fully remade from the ground up), Mafia II: Definitive Edition (a remaster of the 2010 game), and Mafia III: Definitive Edition (which is just the original release with all the DLC) available on PS4, Xbox One, and STEAM with Mafia: Definitive Edition being made available in September 2020. In this review I will be covering Mafia II and III given that Mafia is not available for me to review at this time; with that being said let’s find out if Mafia: Trilogy is worth your time.
The Mafia Trilogy covers three crime dramas that cover the span of several decades from the perspectives of 3 different protagonists that both directly and indirectly are connected to one another with their stories intertwining at points as each character struggles with trying to just make it in life and ultimately getting dragged into extreme scenarios of crime, murder, love, betrayal, and more.
The Mafia games play out in an open world style format that invites those who wish to explore; the game does allow you to focus solely on the story keeping you from feeling like the game drags or pulls you away from the main campaign. You’ll have your primary missions but also your side missions (Mafia III) allowing you to pick and choose what you will tackle next. In Mafia II, the game has a much slower pace to itself allowing you to become very fixated on it delivering to you one of the most narratively impressive stories in gaming and not be side tracked by side missions of which it doesn’t have any and was often criticized for back in it’s original release. When it comes to driving through the streets of the fictional Chicago, it’s literally just to get you from point A to point B and that’s it.
The gunplay in the Mafia II DE is showing it’s age a bit with how it isn’t as snappy as your modern third person cover based shooters are. Precise aiming feels a little slow and more difficult than it should be and all of your guns feel somewhat underpowered with skirmishes feeling like they should have more pow than they do and the fist fights are not very strategic with you having to just wait your turn to attack.
Mafia III fixed all of these issues and is all the better for it. The gunplay is significantly tighter with precision shooting being a focuses of the gunplay. Skirmishes feel as intense and exhilarating as they should with the melee sections being downright awesome.
The graphics of the Definitive Editions look incredible at times and not so much at other points; with Mafia II the game looks a lot better in comparison to the the 2010 original release with a lot of asset upgrades to allow it to run up to 4K with a lot more details in the characters yet one of the strangest issues I’ve run into is the pop in of textures and objects which kept occurring when I was driving around the city. The in game models of the characters look good for being up-resolutions of with many characters having additional details to their faces, hair, clothing, and more while other NPCs look roughly the same as they did in the 2010 original release.
If you played Mafia III then there’s nothing to add to it as it looks just as good as it did when it launched in 2016.
Mafia: Definitive Edition is the one game that got the complete make over from the ground up and looks every bit as good if not better than Mafia III with very detailed character models and environments along with phenomenal lighting effects.
The voice acting in these games are top knotch and are so well performed that it often feels like you’re watching an episode of The Sopranos with how everyone sounds like a tried and true gangster. Weapons sound clear and loud if not a bit too clear with cars sound as they should properly.
The game retains it’s licensed music from it’s original release that effectively help make this a true time period piece of art that immerses you into the era and as time passes on in the game , so does the music as well.
All in all nothing bad at all here.
As mentioned above in regards to Mafia II is the pop in of textures and then you have to contend with the wildly inconsistent framerate and occasional slowdown on top of this you have to deal with how the vehicles handle as it is a challenge when it comes to driving around as cars are often unresponsive and sluggish feeling.
The checkpointing system is a bit dodgy in Mafia II DE as is the reality of the open world just being a place you go from point A to B but ultimately that along with the slightly sluggish gameplay and driving are the only real downsides to Mafia II DE.
If you are looking for an open world action series with one of the best narrative works of fiction in gaming, amazingly realized characters that have larger than life energy, a voice cast that makes you forget that you’re playing a game and not watching an Oscar worthy movie, and to top it off with having the trilogy all together in a single package; then Mafia Trilogy is a game YOU NEED in your collection!