Mafia: Definitive Edition is a 2020 action-adventure video game, developed by Hangar 13 and published by 2K Games. A remake of the 2002 video game Mafia, it is the fourth main installment in the Mafia series. Set within the fictional city of Lost Heaven (based on Chicago) during the 1930s, the story follows the rise and fall of taxi driver-turned-mobster Tommy Angelo within the Salieri crime family. Alongside the story mode, players can also explore the city in an open world mode, which features side missions and the ability to find secrets at their own leisure. The remake brought with it several improvements to the original’s story and gameplay, including a rebuilt setting, enhanced mission dynamics, and the introduction of motorcycles to the series. In addition, developers formed a brand new voice cast for the characters, and created an original score for the remake.
The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 25 September 2020, both individually and as part of the Mafia: Trilogy pack, which also includes remastered versions of the second and third games. Upon release, it received generally favorable reviews from critics, with praise for revitalizing the story, performances, and graphics, yet faced some criticism over its animations.
Conceived as a full remake of the original, Mafia: Definitive Edition was built from the ground up with new assets and an expanded story, although missions and arcs from the original game are carried over. As with the 2002 game, players control Tommy Angelo throughout the game’s single-player campaign, and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. New to the remake is the introduction of motorcycles, a first in the series. Mafia: Definitive Edition‘s gameplay mechanics are based on those of Mafia III. A ‘Classic Difficulty’ setting is also included, serving as the game’s hardest difficulty setting that changes some gameplay mechanics such as ammunition management and police response to crimes, bringing the game closer to the original 2002 game.
Outside the main story mode, a separate Free Ride mode is included “as a nod to the original game”, allowing the player to explore the city at their own leisure without any mandatory mission objectives. Unlike the original game, however, Free Ride and Free Ride Extreme are merged into one game mode, with the latter’s outlandish and over-the-top side missions incorporated into the main Free Ride segment as hidden secrets to be uncovered by the player.
A post-release update released in October 2020 added new activities in the game’s Free Ride mode, including taxi missions and a racing mode which takes place in the autodrome featured in the mission “Fair Play”. Also included in the update is the ability to play the game in black and white, labeled in the game’s settings menu as “Noir Mode” as a homage to film noir movies of the era, as well as various options allowing the player to show or hide parts of the game’s HUD.
On May 13, 2020, a remake of Mafia was announced by 2K Games titled Mafia: Definitive Edition, as a part of the Mafia: Trilogy — the other parts being a remaster of Mafia II and an update of Mafia III. Development was placed in the hands of Hangar 13, who opted to expand on the original story and gameplay, and create a brand new, original score. To ensure the game would be suitable for the latest generation of consoles and systems – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows – Hangar 13 rebuilt the game with an updated game engine taken from Mafia III.
As part of the rebuild, the entire setting of the original game was redesigned. The development team focused on restyling the city to match those of the United States around the 1920s and 1930s following World War I, improving on the atmosphere and aesthetic designs of the city’s various districts. One example of this was redesigning the original setting’s district of Chinatown to feature more recognisable buildings and decorations. Other improvements focused on modifying the street layouts to coincide with the smoother driving mechanics implemented into the game, including smoother corners and intersections, as well as relocating several buildings and landmarks to new sites and adding in shortcuts and alleys, in order to help with the remaking of the original game’s missions – Hanger 13 specifically altered how players traversed between objectives by using specialized data-mapping to view the driving patterns of players in the original game, assessing how to best change this for the remake.
The English-language soundtrack for the game was recorded with a different cast, with Italian-Australian actor Andrew Bongiorno lending his voice, likeness and motion capture performance to Tommy Angelo. Hangar 13 president Haden Blackman stated “since our cinematics rely heavily on motion capture data, it was essential that we have both voice and physical performances,” and they wanted to ensure that the actors not only “looked the part” but could also perform well on both motion capture and voice-over booths. Conversely, the Czech dub has most of the surviving cast from the 2002 game reprise their roles for the remake, namely Marek Vašut who returned to voice Tommy.
Select covers from period-accurate magazines and comics, including Black Mask, Super Science Stories, Dime Detective Magazine, and Terror Tales, along with fictional collectibles based on the Mafia mythos, such as the Gangsters Monthly comic series based on events that take place throughout the game and cigarette cards featuring likenesses of Mafia series characters and their backstories, were included as in-game collectibles hidden throughout the game world to be found by the player.