2K and Hanger 13 have delivered the first post-release update for Mafia: Definitive Edition, which adds a few more bells and whistles to this remastered classic. The first game in the series that Hanger 13 brought back with Mafia 3, the original Mafia debuted in 2002. Built from the ground up with new assets and additions to the story, the game carries over updated gameplay from Mafia 3, but with an option to crank things back to the original for players who want an authentic (and more difficult) experience. The game released late in September to a mostly positive reception, although a few critics were unimpressed by the 2000s era mechanics that did make a return.

Mafia: Definitive Edition was released as the last part of a trilogy of remakes for the Mafia franchise, although the other two games simply got a few graphical improvements and the inclusion of all their DLC in one big package. The original Mafia's age and its licensed soundtrack necessitated a full remake. The developer behind the series, Hanger 13, has stated in the past that it's also working on a new intellectual property, likely aiming for the quickly approaching Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 sometime in the near future.

In the first post-release update for the remade Mafia: Definitive Edition, Hanger 13 has added a few enhancements and squashed a few bugs. The most flashy edition is Noir Mode, a visual filter that lets players go through the game in black and white like in detective movies of old. This can be turned on and off in the settings at any time and doesn't affect the game outside of cosmetics, but it's a nice inclusion that players may see more of in the future if this and Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time are any indication.

Other, more gameplay-focused additions include a few custom HUD options. Players can now switch objective markers and mini-map features on and off. Players can also switch off GPS directions if they want to try to explore the city of Lost Haven more freely. Speaking of, the game's Free Ride mode - an alternative option that lets players explore the open world outside the story - has new gameplay opportunities for certain vehicle types, including races. The developer has removed a few bugs that blacked out cutscenes, held back vehicles players were trying to unlock, and caused an assassination animation to misfire during a specific mission.

2020 has seen plenty of amazing new takes on older classics, and Mafia: Definitive Edition is no different. The original is tough to go back to, even if players loved it back in the day. Using all the knowledge and technology built up over two decades to make the original and its two sequels more playable for a new generation is a welcome endeavor. Video games are strange in that the passage of time locks them off in ways that older movies and TV don't suffer from. The realities of gaming hardware and the evolution of mechanics make remakes and remasters a necessity, and there are sure to be more hidden gems resurfacing in the years to come.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.