Definitive edition, says Haden Blackman – Technology News, Firstpost

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"Games have come a long way since 2002[whenoriginal[whentheoriginal[quandoooriginal[whentheoriginalMafia game released]. The mechanisms that seemed useful at the time tend to look awkward and awkward now, "says Haden Blackman, president and creative director of video game developer Hangar 13:" So when we started working on Mafia: Definitive Edition, we knew that while we needed to work hard to preserve the tone and history of the original, we also needed to substantially revise the gameplay. "

Hangar 13 – a division of 2K Games, whose debut game was in 2016 Mafia III – already had a busy 2020 with the launch of the & # 39; definitive editions & # 39; in Mafia II and III. Now, the developer of Novato, California, is preparing for the launch of the initial remake of the original Mafia which hit stores in 2002. One week after the next title gameplay revelation and with the September 25 release date, just around the corner, Tech2 he sought out video game writer and designer Blackman by email for his thoughts.

First, why players – both those who played the original and those who didn't – must be excited Mafia: Definitive Edition?

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"To be honest, I think the answer is the same for both types of players," explains Blackman, "the central narrative and all the supporting characters were at the heart of the original experience, and are still the element that we feel will be most attractive to today's fans. I think the new fans will be extremely surprised at how well the story of [protagonist] Tommy Angelo stands firm, while returning fans will be happy with how immersive and cinematic the presentation has become ".

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Haden Blackman in an image provided by 2K Games

While Mafia II: Definitive Edition (the original released in 2010) and Mafia III: Definitive Edition (the original released in 2016) were remasters in a more conventional sense – a little paint here, a little polish there and a stack of DLC, the long-awaited Mafia: Definitive Edition it is a very different animal. "We re-recorded the orchestral score, we reconstructed the [fictional] city ​​of Lost Sky from scratch, invested heavily in capturing facial movements and capturing images, and did a lot of work to capture the tone of the original, all to support Tommy's story in the most attractive way possible, "says Hangar 13 chief , adding that, to bring the 2002 game kicking and screaming in 2020, "both driving and shooting mechanics were modeled on the work we did in [the original version of] Mafia III. "

This time around, the gameplay was designed around Tommy and his own abilities, as opposed to the other way around – which, unfortunately, tends to be the way in this type of game; for example, the From others long action, adventure and crime franchise that is not Saints Row: a Grand Theft Auto. GTA it is excellent, no doubt, but it has its flaws. In addition to having little to differentiate game styles in various editions, a striking example is its fifth installment, where in addition to a unique special ability each and some cosmetic differences, the gameplay of the three protagonists seems extremely similar.

Simply put: "We wanted the gameplay to reflect who Tommy is as a character."

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Blackman adds "Mafia IIILincoln Clay's protagonist is a trained soldier. Tommy Angelo, on the other hand, is a taxi driver when we first met him. So we wanted the fight to be a little more deadly, as if Tommy was a little less prepared for the violence he encounters. Players will need to use the cover carefully and make every shot count if they want to be successful. "

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Fans of the 2002 iteration (developed by Illusion Softworks – now Czech 2K) identified the story as one of the most compelling aspects of the original experience, as the two sequences are often compared very unfavorably to the Mafia on this basis. This is not lost on the head of Hangar 13, who says that, despite all the changes elsewhere, "the central narrative remains unchanged".

"Tommy's journey from taxi driver to hardened criminal still has all the main stories that made the original experience so exciting," he continues. "That said, we were able to smooth the transitions between certain scenes to create a more natural flow for the story". history and a greater sense of general cohesion. We also added new dialogues and even new scenes for certain supporting characters. For example, Tommy's love interest in Sarah serves as an important motivating factor for him throughout history, so we wanted to make sure she looked like a real three-dimensional character. "

All of this is good and good, but there certainly must have been some restrictions or limitations that the team faced when trying to rebuild an 18-year-old game. And in this case, the limitations were imposed by the city of Lost Sky. "[It was], believe it or not, actually a positive constraint. As I mentioned, we rebuilt the entire city from the beginning, but we used the original Lost Heaven as a model. Starting with such a solid foundation allowed us to focus on editing and improving the city, instead of building something entirely from scratch. This is what allowed us, for example, to widen the streets to make driving around the city a little more fun and to make the existing landmarks more visible and interesting ", points out Blackman.

But Mafia veterans need not worry. "Fans who come back will still recognize the city, but it will look more detailed and alive than before," he says.

A world & # 39; detailed & # 39; and & # 39; alive & # 39; it will be music for players who have grown tired of open world games that provide acres and acres of nothing to explore, just so they can claim the greatest world or the longest playing time. But what is Blackman's view of the ideal formula for open world games: & # 39; Less is more & # 39; or & # 39; the bigger, the better & # 39 ;? "I think it ultimately depends on the type of experience that developers are trying to create. Clearly, there is room for all types of games, so it’s just a matter of choosing an approach that best meets your creative goals," he responds more diplomatically before explaining "To Mafia, our main goal is to tell a rich and compelling story that has a deliberate pace. So we focused on pulling players consistently along a path and keeping them invested and involved in Tommy's story through gameplay and scenes. "

Reading between the lines, this gives the impression of a narrow and focused experience, devoid of the pitfalls (endless things to collect, random extensions of nothingness and meaningless interactions from NPCs) of modern games. But whether it really happens that way has yet to be seen. Fortunately, there is not much time until the Mafia: Definitive Edition is available for PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One. And next generation consoles, I heard you ask. "We have nothing to announce [about PS5 and Xbox Series X] at the moment, but of course we want as many fans as possible to play our games, "Blackman offers only in an enigmatic way.

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