Back in 2010 when Mafia II was first released it was met with rather mixed reviews. It had a tremendous gangster story, but as a game, most felt it never really excelled at anything it tried. In August of 2020, the original Mafia game would get a substantial remake, Mafia II earlier in 2020 would get this halfhearted “Definitive Edition!
How to Download Mafia II: Definitive Edition
To download the game from Steam, click on the download button at the end of this review.
The Game Review
Let me start by talking about what Mafia II: Definitive Edition does right and that is the story. This game has a great story, actually, the whole Mafia saga does and this one will have you hooked right from the start. Our main character, Vito goes from street crook to solider and ultimately to a gangster.
While the story is filled with pretty much every 1940s-1950s gangster cliché you could imagine, it pulls it off incredibly well. The main character models have had a bit of work done on them and it shows. The voice acting was great in 2010 and it still stands up as great in 2020. By far the main reason you want to play Mafia II: Definitive Edition is for this incredible story.
The problem is the story is held together by a game that is not all that great. The original Mafia was a fairly linear game and it worked. With Mafia II they went the open-world route. This fictional take on New York is great, but for an open world, it is a bit on the small side. To be fair, the size of the city is not the issue.
The world they have created here feels rather empty. The few side bits of content that the game does have are not all that exciting. I get what they were going for and open-world games were the norm by this point. However., I honestly feel that Mafia II would have been a far better game had they made it more linear and not tried to be another open-world game
I played the game on a standard PlayStation 4 and it struggled from the moment I fired it up. Without a doubt, the biggest problem that Mafia II: Definitive Edition has is that it is not made very well. You would expect a remaster to be better than the original, but that is not the case here at all. The framerate will often drop to the teens! Pop-in happens all the time and the camera is far too close to your character.
The game also has many strange bugs that happen far too often. The most annoying thing is being told to connect to your 2K account and if you don’t this message can appear the whole time you play! The whole game feels like it was thrown together very quickly so that they could have it available a few months before Mafia: Definitive Edition was released in August.
I would not say that this game flat-out sucks. I hand on heart love the story and at around 12 hours it is the perfect length. The thing is, to get through the story, you have to actually play the game and this feels like a very half-hearted “definitive edition”. The original game in 2010 was far from perfect, but this is somehow not even as good as that!
- The story is great
- There are many interesting characters
- The voice acting is superb
- I loved the snow-covered streets
- It includes the DLC
- The whole game is a bit of a mess to play
- Some of the worst frame rate issues I have seen in a game this generation!