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Game of the Week – “Mafia: Definitive Edition” is an exciting gangster epic

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Berlin (dpa / tmn) – Anarchy, violence and brute satire: If you think of gangster games for consoles and PC, you probably think of the “Grand Theft Auto” series, one of the top dogs in the games world for years.

The fact that digital stories about criminals and crimes can be told in a completely different way was shown by the game “Mafia” as early as 2002. The game, developed by Illusion Softworks in the Czech Republic, became an insider tip with its story, which was well told for the time. And exactly this title is now back – as a completely renewed “Definitive Edition”.

Old drama in new splendor

Technically, the remake produced by the US studio Hangar 13 has hardly remained unturned: graphics, controls, cutscenes and even the voice output are completely new. The story of the game, however, has not changed – fortunately, because this is where the strengths of the Mafia epic lay and still lie.

Admittedly, the story is not particularly original. “Mafia” makes more than generous use of “The Godfather” and other film and book classics of the genre. The gangster drama is still exciting.

The focus of “Mafia” is Tommy Angelo, actually just a penniless taxi driver in Lost Heaven, a fictional US metropolis at the time of Prohibition, which is obviously modeled on Chicago. Tommy has nothing to do with organized crime. But then, rather by chance, he becomes an escape driver for Mafiosi and receives a job offer that he cannot refuse.

Drive, shoot, love

What follows is a serious, rather adult story of loyalty and friendship, corruption and betrayal, spread over several years. Tommy’s love and married life also play a role. That was revolutionary in 2002 and is still at least not common in the gaming world today.

The actual gameplay is far less revolutionary: Depending on the chapter, Tommy has to sneak, sometimes shoot, sometimes fight – and above all drive a lot, in races and chases or just from A to B. Important: Even if Lost Heaven looks like this , the city is not a real open game world. The next destination is always given, there are hardly any opportunities to move freely.

Usually that is not a problem either – the story is told too excitingly, too magnificently staged and, thanks to the new technology, never too old-fashioned. You hardly ever notice in the game that “Mafia” is at its core almost 20 years old.

“Mafia: Definitive Edition” by 2K Games is released for ages 18+ and is available for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4. The price is around 40 euros. For around 60 euros, the game is available as a “Mafia Trilogy” in a set with the two successors, which have also been revised, but only very carefully compared to the first part.

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