We sit down with Xbox Game Studios’ World’s Edge and Melbourne developer Tantalus to discuss the creation of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.
The Making of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition
Where we fall in love with the turn-based RPG combat and new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga.
Yakuza Goes Full RPG In The Brilliant Yakuza: Like a Dragon
NBA 2K21 is the best basketball game around... but it's also the only one.
NBA 2K21 Review
We spent four hours with a ray-traced enabled build of Watch Dogs: Legion and were again, floored by its recruitment system. And realistic reflections.
Watch Dogs: Legion - We Go Hands-On With RTX On
Mafia: Definitive Edition
Mafia: Definitive Edition

Genre: Action
Developer: Hangar 13
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date:
25th September 2020
Friday, 25 September 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:21am 25/09/20 | 5 Comments
As fans of the original, and as a game we fondly remember playing back when it first made its debut - in the year 2002 - we've been looking forward to the Mafia: Definitive Edition release for some time. A built from the ground-up remake that looks stunning and doesn't disappoint.

A snippet.
Mafia: Definitive Edition feels more like a Director’s Cut than cinematic remake. One of the good ones too, like Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now Redux and not some weird alternate universe jam where aliens show up like in James Cameron’s extended version of The Abyss. That statement is a fairly loaded one, and a little ambiguous-slash-misleading.

The simple fact is that as time goes on visual fidelity seen across videogame assets, effects, lighting, and other cinematic presentation-y goodness keeps getting better. To the point where faithful built-from-the-ground-up remakes, ala Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 and now Hangar 13’s Mafia: Definitive Edition, can feel like Director’s Cuts. In the sense that they present that original vision in a more, well, definitive and detailed light. Technology is catching up to the Lucas-like vision of their creators, but in a good way.

Our Full Mafia: Definitive Edition Review
Thursday, 27 August 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:15am 27/08/20 | 0 Comments
Captured from the Mafia: Definitive Edition preview build, where we had access to six missions all up -- included the infamous race. Which you can see in all it's glory if you skip to the end.

As a cinematic mob epic our gameplay is presented in cinematic UltraWide.



For more on Mafia: Definitive Edition:

Our full hands-on preview impressions
Our exclusive interview with the head of Hangar 13, Haden Blackman
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:05am 27/08/20 | 0 Comments
Ahead of its full release we spend a few hours with Tommy, Paulie, and the rest of the Salieri crew and channel our inner Wise Guy in this built-from-the-ground-up Mafia remake. Which not only gives the 2002 original a fresh coat of paint, but puts it in the Witness Protection program in terms of new look and feel. But still, same old Tommy.

A snippet from our preview where we played the first five chapters of Mafia: Definitive Edition, a bonus mission out in the county, and that infamous race car sequence.
As a modern yet entirely faithful recreation of the original, amid the new and impressive visuals, facial animation, and expanded dialogue and cinematic sequences, lies a structure that will feel familiar. The opening scene recreates the one found in the original, the moment Tommy decides to side with the feds and ‘get out’. From there you flash back to what is essentially the game’s first mission, Tommy helping a couple of Salieri’s boys escape a few thugs after they stumble onto his cab. How that plays out is almost exactly like it did back in the day. A car chase full of twists and turns and using roadworks to cause a few crashes.

Our Full Mafia: Definitive Edition Preview
Thursday, 23 July 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:53pm 23/07/20 | 0 Comments
When we got that first teaser for Mafia: Definitive Edition from developer Hangar 13 and 2K, our jaws dropped at just how stunning it looked. And how far we've come visually since 2002. Since that teaser we then got an expanded trailer, and an awesome gameplay deep-dive just the other day. But with all of that cinematic beauty when he had the chance to sit down and chat to Hangar 13 president and chief creative officer Haden Blackman, we knew we had ask about one thing.

The infamous racing mission.

Of course we talked about a lot of things, from technology to creating a cinematic experience to how missions and combat were approached - but, like for a lot of you, this was probably the most pressing subject of all. So, here's exactly how the racing mission will work in Mafia: Definitive Edition when it's out September 25 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
“It was almost like a badge of honour when you made it through,” Haden tells me when the discussion naturally shifts to the infamous racing sequence from the original. Where, as Tommy, players were forced to compete in an almost Formula One-style race in a do-or-die mission without much in the way of warning, or training. The sequence is remembered by many for just how difficult it was to complete, how unwieldy the race car was to control, and how it felt like a brief videogame detour into madness.

“The short answer is yes [it will be challenging] because I think it's part of the charm of the original,” Haden confirms. “It's a very polarising mission, and for some people the difficulty of that mission is what makes it great. For others they want to put their controller through the monitor. We knew that going into it and we tried to replicate it for players in the ‘classic’ settings.”

“It's a very polarising mission, and for some people the difficulty of that mission is what makes it great. For others they want to put their controller through the monitor."

“A lot of the challenge comes from the fact that racing those types of vehicles is hard,” Haden continues. “It’s counterintuitive because you don't ever want to open the throttle and simply go as fast as you can, because that sets you up for disaster when a turn comes up. Trying to teach the player how to kind of feather the gas is a challenge. We're still tuning the big race, and I guarantee we'll be working on it until the day we ship.”

For those wondering the sequence in Mafia: Definitive Edition will have an easy-mode, but even on the default settings it is being set-up as a mission the team at Hangar 13 expect the majority of players to fail a few times before making it through the finish line.

Our Full Mafia: Definitive Edition Interview
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:40pm 23/07/20 | 0 Comments
Recently we sat down with Hangar 13 president and chief creative officer Haden Blackman to talk about remaking the original Mafia with Mafia: Definitive Edition, the technological advancements that have come from the past 18 years, and how those lovable features from the original like obeying speed limits will be presented in 2020.


“The first thing we did was sit down and look at the original and then identify what we thought was the heart of the game,” Haden Blackman tells me. “That benefited from the fact that people on the team worked on the original, and we have several folks that have worked on all three Mafia games within Hangar 13. We knew we wanted to keep the narrative spine intact, stay true to the characters, and that it was a relatively linear, narrative-driven experience.”

That bit has been a Mafia talking point for decades. Although visually dated now, at the time the sheer detail in the city of Lost Heaven created the impression that it was a game akin to GTA. With Mafia: Definitive Edition that tradition will be kept alive thanks to the incredible detail seen across the environments and characters. Bringing to light just how far we’ve come in 18 years. And by we, we mean the talented team over at Hangar 13.

“Setting it in a world that felt rich and full of atmosphere and authentic to the time-period, which was a huge part of that game, was important,” Haden continues, adding the team were also aware that recreating moments and missions would lead to some of more out-there aspects of Mafia. “We've all fallen in love with games that might have been a little rough around the edges. The police system for example, is one thing that over time as we've evolved game design, may not create today. But it’s something that we can look back on fondly. In addition to capturing some of the big, memorable set pieces, we’ve also brought back a few of the quirks too.”

Our Full Mafia: Definitive Edition Interview