Against the backdrop of American Prohibition, the Mafia is proliferating. Perhaps the reader will hear in his head some musical notes composed by Nino Rota: a waltz that evokes the Francis Ford Coppola tape and the severe and serious gesture of Marlon Brando, and that has become in our collective imagination the indelible symbol of the Italian-American mafia, crime, corruption, but also loyalty, the importance of family. And of racial identity and immigration, if we hurry.
With them, the regular player may think of Tommy Angelo, the Salieri family, the city of Lost Heaven and the betrayals, gang wars, changes of sides and bloody skirmishes that have led the young protagonist to sit in front of a policeman in a Pub. A surprise conversation: Angelo seeks protection, and only the law can offer protection to a criminal with a death sentence on his head.
So it began Mafia in 2002, when it was first released, and so it begins Mafia: Definitive Edition, a re-launch, not only of the original game, but of the entire trilogy, whose last foray into our consoles and PCs was in 2017, from the hands of Hangar 13. And although this latest installment, Mafia III, did not have the reception of the first nor the approval of the critics, thanks to optimization problems and bugs varied, Hangar 13 is in charge of signing, also, a remake of the original title that corrects the errors of the third installment and redeems the team.
A remake that comes with humility: at first glance, at the time of re-releases, remasters, remakes and other publicity stunts to sell the same game several times on different consoles, the subtitle of “definitive edition” could make us think of the nth port to current consoles (as has been the case, for example, of Mafia II). But nothing further. With all the letters, Mafia It’s been remade, and the result is an open-world title, a classic but compelling narrative, and a roster of characters that, like a whopping eighteen years ago, win the heart of the player. A quick glance at its trailer will suffice to see that, graphically, everything has been redone. And what it exposes is an incontestable technical section, which moves with ease on a Playstation 4 (the version we are analyzing) and leaves little to chance. A product that feels cared for, treated with delicacy, knowing what is at stake: spoiling what was already a round game.
And he comes out of the goal that is imposed.
The story of Mafia He has us accompany Tommy Angelo since the night when, being a simple taxi driver, two gangsters implicate him in a chase. From that moment, Angelo abandons the legal route and becomes part of the Salieri family organization, at war with the Morello, climbing from a simple thug to the highest echelons of the organization. We begin at the knot of the Great Depression, Prohibition, and the game progresses in the lives of the protagonists, taking time to expose the changes in these, the learning, but also the change in American society, the end of the prohibition, the evolution of criminal families … A script exercise that cannot but be praised, and whose comparison with The Godfather It is not trivial: in ambition and essence, it is measured with the mythical tape, only from another medium.
These virtues already made great in his day Mafia original, then developed by Illusion Softwares, and although it may not be the first title that comes to mind when we talk about great successes (and in the field of the “criminal life simulator” I am afraid that everything is lagging behind. saga GTA), a second installment was also remarkable and the already well-known third episode. Therefore, the narrative, the setting, the characters, all this has been maintained in this remake And it’s still just as remarkable. Everything that surrounds this purely “literary” part has been notably supported by a blockbuster visual and sound section; the voices of the actors very up to the task (it also comes to us with a good dubbing into Spanish) and, in general, a set-up that makes Mafia: Definitive Edition in the best way to approach the tremendous game directed in its original release by Petr Vochozka and Daniel Vávra.
Of course, he continues to hurt from some manias that the saga has been dragging: that the world is a set, more than a live stage, that the cinematographic experience reduces depth to the playable section or that it is easy to fall into the repetition of missions, where most of the time we will be little more than a messenger or an executor. Problems of focusing development on open worlds that, although they allow themselves to be explored, cannot avoid being seen through papier-mâché when we find all the doors closed except those that we must open. A hallway with a sense of freedom that cannot be spared Mafia: Definitive Edition.
Now, despite some minor flaws, this remake He promised a lot and he manages to deliver it. Hangar 13 seems to have overcome the controversy of the launch of Mafia III, take advantage of this remake to launch the trilogy in a pack and lay the foundations of what could be a good way to continue the saga. For this, we have been able to exchange some impressions with Alex Cox, who holds the position of Associate Director in the study, and that when asked about the reasons behind this remake He replied that “after some research, we were surprised to discover that the majority of fans of Mafia he hadn’t played the first game. They had joined us in Mafia II or Mafia III and for them the first title was like a legend, a game they had heard of but had not played. This gave us some opportunities. First, be able to introduce Mafia to a whole generation of gamers. Second, we could offer all three sets of Mafia together for the first time in the Mafia Trilogy“.
Question: Is it more rewarding to work in a remake or in a completely new game?
Answer: I don’t think a remake is more or less rewarding than a totally new game, but it presents different challenges. As a developer of a remake You can’t just take into account your own ambitions, but also the expectations of nostalgic fans. You have to keep your ego out and show respect for the creative intentions of the original developers. Players can be disappointed if you change too much or too little. The entire Hanger 13 team are big fans of Mafia, so this remake was a chance to celebrate a game and a franchise that we all have a great connection to.
Q: What are the influences of the game? ¿The Godfather? The Untouchables of Eliot Ness?
A: Yes, Mafia is heavily influenced by classic gangster movies like The Padrinoo One of ours. Our goal is to allow players to take control of the main character in their favorite mafia movie. In addition to the action and driving scenes, we have placed special emphasis on storytelling and character interpretation to create an authentic cinematic experience.
Q: During the development of the title have you been able to make any fixes or changes to any aspect of the original game that have been especially successful?
A: The biggest fix we’ve made over the original has been to update the gameplay. Many aspects of the original have not aged well after the 18 years that the original was released. Mafia original. When we re-made the game we completely revised its mechanics, more specifically by introducing a new, more modern coverage system. Players of 2020 will find in this sense that Mafia It works like a game developed from scratch, it is not the original game with better graphics.
We have also expanded the importance of some characters that were not well developed in the original. We have added new scenes that give them more depth, develop their personalities, motivations and the importance they have for our protagonist, Tommy. The most notable is Sarah, Tommy’s love interest. In the original game she only appeared during one mission. In the remake We have created a series of new encounters between the two characters that are interspersed with the story, so that now the players can accompany them in their relationship from the first flirtation to their married life.
Q: Mafia III it was not as well received as its predecessors. Has this influenced the launch of the remake and the trilogy?
A: The main objective of remake of Mafia was that this new adherence to the saga maintained the same narrative standards as all previous titles. Mafia III set the bar very high in this regard. We were very fortunate to inherit the graphics engine from Mafia III, which gave us a great starting point. He remake features influences from every previous game in the saga, notably the historical Prohibition period in the original, the linear narrative of cinematics from Mafia II and the amazing gameplay of Mafia III. I think that he remake has been so well received by fans of the series because it combines these good elements, while staying true to the original.
Q: What future awaits the saga?
A: So far we have focused on how fans, new and old, have enjoyed Mafia: Definitive Edition. We’re delighted with the feedback we’ve gotten since launch, and because of this we’re excited that our community will be enjoying the first post-launch content (available October 7) that adds new features that are free to all players. Among them, the Noir Mode, a visual option to play Mafia with a black and white tone vintage, complemented with new grain effects that accentuate the aesthetics of the Prohibition Age in which the game takes place.
Available for a few weeks now and, as stated by their team, having received a good reception from the public, Mafia: Definitive Edition is an example of good remake, about how a team loves a game and manages to give it a second life so that we, the players, can also give it a second chance. Old values for new times, an update of what is already good and that now, thanks to the care with which Hangar 13 has treated this launch, is better. An opportunity for someone else’s own.