Mafia: Definitive Edition’s “Classic” Difficulty is For True Gangsters Only
Most open-world games don’t tend to be particularly difficult, but the original Mafia was definitely an exception. The rules governing the game’s world were more grounded than something like Grand Theft Auto, with the police getting on your case for the slightest infraction. Developer Hangar 13 is toning that challenge down for Mafia: Definitive Edition, but they’re still looking out for old-school fans with “Classic” difficulty. While Classic difficulty won’t be quite as tough as the original Mafia, it will offer a more old-school feel, with relentless cops, fewer driving assists, and other early-2000s vintage touches.
Classic Difficulty is more demanding anytime you're behind the wheel of a car or riding one of the newly added motorcycles. The driving assists available on other difficulty settings are weaker or disabled completely in some cases, and while GPS navigation will still be available on the minimap, you won't see any in-world navigation signs popping up on street corners and such to show you the way. Missed your turn and contemplating a dangerous maneuver to get back on track towards your destination? Be warned that Classic Difficulty cops are far less forgiving of such infractions than their counterparts on other difficulty settings.
When playing on Medium difficulty, the police will generally ignore crimes where no one gets hurt. If you run a red light or hit a stationary vehicle, they’ll turn a blind eye, but aim a gun at a pedestrian and they’ll want to have a word. On Classic, however, no offense is too small. Drive even a little over the speed limit and you’ll need to pull over and pay a fine to stop the situation from escalating. Neglect to pull over and you'll find that Lost Heaven PD officers are unrelenting in their pursuit and will resort to setting up roadblocks just as they did in the original game. Encountering a roadblock while fleeing from the police doesn't necessarily mean that you have to stop, of course, but you should know that on Classic Difficulty your vehicles aren't as durable as on other difficulty settings.
When you're on foot, hopefully not as a result of your vehicle sustaining too much damage, Classic Difficulty enemies are ready to punish your every misstep. Compared to their counterparts on other difficulty settings, they're more aggressive, deal more damage, and are better at avoiding your attacks. Oh, and they won't show up on your minimap, so while looking for opportunities to emerge from cover and shoot you also need to keep an eye out for anyone trying to flank your position. Pay close attention to your ammo too, because on Classic Difficulty—just as in the original game—reloading your gun means you forfeit any bullets left in the clip.
The melee combat system that incorporates takedowns as well as weapons like bats and knives affords you some new options to deal with enemies in certain situations. But any damage you sustain in a fight will be harder to recover from because, on Classic Difficulty, first aid kits restore less health, and your health will only regenerate automatically up to 20%.
Sounds intense! I mainly play open-world games to screw around and explore, so I probably won’t be playing Mafia: Definitive Edition on Classic difficulty, but it’s nice to know the option’s there.
You can buy Mafia: Trilogy now on PC (via Steam), Xbox One, and PS4, which will get you immediate access to Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition. Mafia: Definitive Edition will be available on September 25 alongside a physical edition of Mafia: Trilogy. All three games can also be purchased individually. Mafia: DE will cost you $40, Mafia II and Mafia III will set you back $30, while Mafia: Trilogy is $60, obviously representing by far the best deal.