A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mafia: Definitive Edition is an action/adventure game available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and Windows based PCs. The game's a remake of the original 2006 Mafia game and is available as a standalone purchase or as part of the Mafia Trilogy package, which also contains the "Definitive Edition" of Mafia II and Mafia III. Players take on the role of a gangster in 1930s America during the height of the Prohibition Era. In both story and free roam modes, players commit a variety of crimes, including but not limited to bootlegging, extortion, assault, and murder. The game contains scenes of graphic and brutal violence in both gameplay and in cinematic cutscenes. Drinking, smoking, and drug use are also shown and referenced regularly.
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What's it about?
MAFIA: DEFINITIVE EDITION is a remake of the original 2002 hit action/adventure game, Mafia. With new graphics, new voiceovers, and an expanded story and gameplay, the game spotlights the power and brutality of the mafia crime enterprises during the height of the Great Depression and the American Prohibition. Players take on the role of Tommy Angelo, a poor but hard-working cabbie who finds himself dragged into the middle of a turf war between two crime families. Leaving his old life behind, Tommy joins with the Salieri family and quickly rises through the ranks, carrying out the orders of Don Salieri and expanding the family's criminal enterprises. While mob life might be Tommy's ticket to a better life, what's he to do when the price gets too high? And more importantly, what happens when the mob comes to collect? This game can be purchased alone, or as part of the Mafia Trilogy package, which includes the definitive editions of Mafia II and Mafia III as well.
Is it any good?
It's been eighteen years since gamers first experienced the Prohibition era criminal empire of the original Mafia game. With two sequels under its belt and two generations of consoles having come to pass, Mafia: Definitive Edition returns with a long overdue revisit to the fictional city of Lost Heaven. It delivers with sharp visuals, new voiceovers, and a few new tricks and gameplay elements. The result is a city that's more alive and characters that are more engaging than ever. As vibrant as the bump in quality is, it also makes the violence feel much more brutal. There's no sugarcoating things here. This is a world rife with bootleggers and button men, where gamblers and prostitutes are more common than businessmen and housewives, and where mafia kingpins give "mob rule" whole different meaning. It's a fantastic noir setting with an equally fantastic story that stands the test of time. But the same can't always be said for the gameplay.
Mafia: Definitive Edition has been rebuilt from the ground up, but that doesn't mean things haven't be recycled from the past. For starters, the game's engine borrows heavily from Mafia III. While this makes it less stiff than the original, it's still using a four-year-old system that wasn't exactly groundbreaking even at the time. It gets the job done though, allowing players more interaction with the environment. Combat feels a little sluggish, but somehow still fits the sort of gritty, street level violence. Driving through the city, whether in slick classic cars or the newly added motorcycles, can be a touch finicky. While players can go crazy flying through the streets in Free Roam, trying to play it safe to not draw undue attention can be a pain in Story mode. While there's no doubt that certain portions of the remake can feel a bit dated, especially by current standards, Mafia: Definitive Edition still manages to feel like a fresh take on a classic game that plays to its nostalgia without getting smothered by it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Mafia: Definitive Edition affected by the fact that this is based on violence that happened in real life? How does the real-world violence of the Prohibition compare to the fictional representation shown in Mafia: Definitive Edition? How can more realistic portrayals of violence affect gamers compared to more exaggerated or cartoonish portrayals?
How did the Prohibition era of the United States first come to pass? What effect did the Prohibition have on the people of the time, and what led to its repeal? What sort of lasting effects did the Prohibition have on the country?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: September 25, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, History, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
- Last updated: April 2, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.