Video game remakes have become something of a recent trend in the industry. Whether it’s one of the litany of last generation games receiving touched up remasters for the current generation or beloved classics being completely remade for a modern audience, these nostalgic callbacks have proven immensely popular. Hangar 13’s Mafia: Definitive Edition is one of the most recent examples, and provides an excellent example as to how a remake can not only update an older game, but also expand upon it in logical ways.

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Mafia: Definitive Edition | 2K Games

The Mafia series has been through quite a few changes in its almost twenty year old existence. The very first game, Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, released back in 2002 and immediately aimed to provide a grounded, relatable tale as opposed to other contemporary titles like Grand Theft Auto 3, which acted as a playground for players to cause chaos. As a series, it has never quite reached the heights of popularity shared by similar franchises, but the series remains well liked and respected nonetheless. …

Recently, I’ve been having a great deal of fun driving like a lunatic in Forza Horizon 3, Playground Games’ 2016 open-world racer. The game is set in a heavily fictionalised version of Australia, where one has enough time to go on a round trip through Byron Bay, the Outback, then up to the Gold Coast on their lunch break, and where Victoria’s famous Twelve Apostles are somehow nestled somewhere on the border between New South Wales and Queensland. Somehow, the locals disregard the road rules more than they do in real life.

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Forza Horizon 3 | Microsoft Studios

Geographical weirdness aside, the game is an absolute blast to play. Cars have a definite weight to them that means you can’t just mindlessly take turns at full throttle, forcing you to keep focused every step of the way. I practically grew up not just on arcade racers like Need for Speed and Burnout, but also sims like Gran Turismo. Though I don’t play racing games as religiously these days as I did back in my childhood, the genre still holds a place in my heart. Rare is it to find a game that can scratch both the sim and arcade racer itch simultaneously, but Horizon 3 pulls it off with ease. The Horizon series quickly established itself as a more accessible racer than its big brother, Forza Motorsport, upon the original’s release in 2012. However, the game still features a hugely in-depth vehicle customisation and tuning feature, most of the details of which go over my head, which can easily keep any sim fan hooked as they tweak their favourite cars for whatever the wilds Down Under can throw at them. …


Matt Birkin

Twenty something British guy living in Australia. I write about video games and whatever else may take my fancy.

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