There is one thing that cannot be stressed enough, the original Mafia was one of the quintessential open-world games to have played. For it took the classical Grand Theft Auto formula and applied it to a painstakingly fleshed out world where players would live out the life of a mafioso. Vehicle handling was as realistic as possible for the time, and the game’s world went so far as to enforce driving laws and speed limits.
Exploration of Lost Heaven was an experience that only left players wanting more, so of course, Hanger 13 has to ruin the entire experience by interjecting “modern standards” into the experience. In talking with IGN, Chief Creative Officer Haden Blackman laid out their plans for the modernization of the experience.
“There weren’t giant plot holes that we had to shore up. The mission flow — the number of missions — we knew would hold up. The tone and central themes and setting — the Prohibition era — we knew that all those things were things that would hold up. Then, when we started looking at the next layer, that’s where we said we needed to take things up to modern standards. The way in which we tell the story, the quality of the cinematics, the representation of certain characters.”
Of course, that statement is vague and could mean many different things, but Blackman goes on to clarify he specifically means Tommy’s wife Sarah will now play a more crucial role in the central narrative.
Those hoping the core experience will stay the same, despite the interjection of modern intersectional politics, Blackman confirms that will not be the case. The option will remain to experience the original driving rules, but the system will function similar to Mafia 3; to cater to new fans.
“We’re trying to cater to new fans but also let the existing fans know that we knew that that was important to them.”
“So we wanted to continue that and make sure that we had gameplay sequences that felt true to the original, but also have underlying mechanics that were really solid. So we brought in a lot of the cover shooting mechanics from Mafia 3 and polished those even further.”
At the conclusion of the interview, Blackman confirms the game will continue to run on the Mafia 3 engine. Thus players can likely expert numerous game-breaking bugs and poor vehicle handling that plagued Mafia 3 to appear in the butchering of Mafia: Definitive Edition.