Mafia: Definitive Edition

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Mafia: Definitive Edition Game Poster Image
Parents recommend
Mob rules succeed in this remake of the noir classic.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game's primarily a portal into the criminal underground of the Prohibition era. The story's one of survival, a warped sense of loyalty, and ultimately facing the consequences of one's decisions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although Tommy seems to be a good person at his core, but he's far from a "good guy". After becoming a loyal member of the Salieri crime family, Tommy takes part in or commits numerous crimes, including drug trafficking, robbery, extortion, and murder (to name just a few).

Ease of Play

Mafia: Definitive Edition plays surprisingly well, especially considering the game was originally released nearly two decades ago. Players can follow the main story or switch to Free Ride mode and cause all kinds of criminal chaos. The controls do show a bit of age, with a slower pace than many current games of the genre.

Violence

Violence isn't only central to the gameplay, but the story features regular scenes of graphic and brutal violence, including a close shot of a character getting shot in the head, a character getting shot in the chest with a sawed off shotgun, and other characters getting executed in cold blood.

Sex

While there's no nudity, there are still some strong sexual themes in certain parts of the game. One part of the story in particular takes place in a brothel, with lingerie clad prostitutes trying to engage the player's interests.

Language

There's frequent use of profanity in its dialogue, including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more.

Consumerism

The game is a remake of the original Mafia game released back in 2002, complete with updated visuals, new voiceovers, new gameplay, and more. It's also the last of the "Definitive Edition" releases for the series, with all three titles available (Mafia II and Mafia III) now separately or as part of a newly released "Mafia Trilogy" collection.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bootleg alcohol, illegal speakeasies, and drug trafficking were all parts of the mafia's criminal enterprises during the Prohibition era. This is all ingrained into the game as well, with smoking, drinking, and drugs regularly used or referenced.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written by1ReviewGuy October 1, 2020

Commonsense-media over exaggerates everything.

I’ll give you a quick synopsis of all parental categories and then a quick summary.

Violence : No gore, there’s some melee violence, and a very little amount... Continue reading
Adult Written byNitibur January 29, 2021
Teen, 14 years old Written byBigmac123456 January 25, 2021

Good for kids who are into mafia history

It’s a good game but has some prostitution but no nudity is shown. I think kids 10 and up should be able to play this.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLeonvol January 25, 2021

This game Is amazing

I Really Really like this game It is such a good mafia game with the fantastic story But I have one single problem with this game,,, THE RACE mission it was soo... Continue reading

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?

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