Mafia 2 Definitive Edition is a-ok

Opinion, Video Games

Day 3 of the Write A Stupid Thing Every Day, or W.A.S.T.E.D, quarantine challenge that I’ve imposed on myself.

By: William Chandler

I heard some hullabaloo on the web recently about how people are angry with the quality of the Mafia 2: Definitive Edition. I’ve yet to run into any of the bugginess or performance issues that I see people talking about in the first few hours with the game, but I do agree with the general sentiment that more could have been done to bring the game closer to modern standards. While my resolution of 2560×1440 now appears to be fully supported, a lot of the textures show their age when displayed with such crispness. At the end of the day, however, I’m just happy that it runs better than my previous tango with the original version, because Mafia 2 is absolutely a game worth playing in 2020.

In terms of late 2000s GTA-style open world games, Mafia 2 stands among the best of the best purely based on the quality of the story and character writing. The story attempts, and mostly succeeds, with its best rendition of well-trodden and sometimes tropey ground, particularly if you’re familiar with obvious inspirations like Goodfellas and the Godfather Part 2. However, where it deviates from that formula is in its devotion to showing more of the mundane, low-level aspects of crime life, helping the story punch far above its weight. In a film, the main character working their way up from distrusted underling to mafia heavy-hitter would be relegated to a few scenes or a montage but Mafia 2 presents the grunt work in all its glory. Roughly half of the game, in fact.

Gameplay wise, it is markedly better than its peers in terms of shooting. Controls are snappy and responsive, and the cover system ,while somewhat sticky, is not finicky and allows for cover to be taken and left by the single press of the A button on a controller. Driving may be up to taste but i think anyone who appreciates a heavier driving model will dig it.

But honestly, the best part of Mafia 2 is getting to live out that crime family fantasy I’ve always had as someone who obsessed over The Godfather as a kid.