Classic difficulty is the only way to play in Mafia: Definitive Edition. This is the uncompromising challenge that matches the original game. Each individual enemy can destroy you, and enemy toting tommy guns should be feared. It can be painful at times, but if you’ve played the original — you know that sometimes pain is pretty cool.
Classic difficulty makes health stations ridiculously important and careful gameplay absolutely required, just like in the original Mafia. You’ll die a lot, but there are some nice additions to this game — the new cover system (sometimes) helps you, and the shooting mechanics have been updated ever-so-slightly. Melee combat is a whole lot easier this time around, and cars operate more smoothly than before. Oh, and there are checkpoints.
In other ways, this game is even harder than before. So here are 10 quick tips to put you on the right track.
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#1: Grab Extra Weapons & Ammo From The Armory
After your mission briefing, you’ll often visit Vinnie’s workshop. There’s an armory door in his room where you can equip yourself with a different pistol, heavy weapon, ammo, or anything else. On Classic Difficulty, you need all the ammo you can get. It also helps to have a Shotgun or Rifle before the shooting starts — the bigger guns make life much easier.
#2: Use The Limiter To Avoid Speeding
Mafia: Definitive Edition is pretty hardcore when it comes to traffic laws. If you speed, you will get pulled over by the cops. If they flash their lights on 1-Star, just pull over and pay up — don’t bother duking it out and getting into a gunfight. To avoid getting picked up so often, just turn on the Speed Limiter.
This function, when activated, makes it so you can’t go over the current speed limit. Your car will hit top speed and won’t go any faster — it’s incredibly useful, just remember to turn if off when you’re chasing someone.
#3: Caught By The Cops? Look For A Long Road And Hit Max Speed
If you accidentally cause an accident, you might be in for more than a ticket. When you’re at 2+ Stars, it’s time to run because they’ll arrest you — or shoot you dead. The best way to escape is to find the longest straight-aways and just barrel straight ahead.
Cars in Mafia are pretty slow in general, but if you find a long road, they can reach top speed and easily outrun the cops. You can also find markers on the map showing places to hide to instantly escape.
#4: In Gunfights, Blast Enemies Rapidly To Keep Them Stunned
Your standard pistols only kill if you score a headshot, and most pistols aren’t very accurate. To kill enemies at close-range, or even long range, make sure to keep shooting. Any hit will briefly stun an enemy, making sure they don’t shoot you back while you’re unloading into them. This is really only necessary for pistols, but it’s so, so important. Don’t just shoot once! Keep shooting before they can recover.
#5: Heavy Weapons (Shotguns & Rifles) Stun Enemies Longer
The beauty of the Bolt-Action Rifle is that a single shot leaves an enemy completely exposed and stunned for a long time. A torso shot won’t kill instantly, but it will make them double-over in pain, giving you time to pop-off a second shot. The Shotgun is great for another offensive tactic — charging!
#6: Charge Into A Fight And Enemies Will Flee — And Miss When Shooting Wildly
If there’s a single enemy left, and you have a shotgun, the AI will force the bad guy to retreat. Moving closer, you can squirrel enemies out of cover just by getting close and forcing them to run. The shotgun isn’t accurate, but it’s a great fear tool. Enemies that blind-fire are surprisingly inaccurate. You can stand infront of a blind-firing enemies and they might never hit you.
This trick works for knives too. Sometimes it’s better to just charge in — wait until they reload, and go in for the knife kill. Sometimes it’s safer than trying to get a headshot.
#7: Search Each Area Thoroughly — Health Stations Are Scattered Everywhere
Health Stations are ridiculously important. Like in the original game, health stations are the only way to heal yourself between encounters. And on Classic, you’ll die fast. If you’re in cover, you can still take damage if you’re not careful. Between gunfights, always check the restrooms, hallways, and side-rooms for health stations. They’re all over the place, and the levels are often designed non-linearly. Check everywhere!
#8: You Still Recover A Small Amount Of Health — Hide And Recharge If You’re Near Death
Mafia: Definite Edition does include one modern saving grace. You’ll always recover a small sliver of health — about 10%. This is enough to save you if you’re driving a car and get into a minor crash, or if you get shot once with a pistol. Don’t even stay in cover! Just get out of there. Find tall cover and wait.
#9: Duck & Shoot — Sticking To Cover Isn’t Always Useful!
The original Mafia didn’t have cover mechanics, and sometimes you’ll want to ignore them too. You can duck always — just stay low and line-up your shots, weaving out of cover with your normal movement keys. Staying in cover can leave you more vulnerable and exposed than just staying out. Enemies are also molotov cocktail happy and throw one if you’re ever standing around too long. Be ready to retreat!
#10: Unless You Want The Trophy, Lower The Difficulty In The Big Race
Classic Difficulty is the best way to experience the original Mafia. It’s hard but not unbeatable — until you play one of the early missions where you’re forced to race. This infamous mission is somehow even more difficult than before. If you mess up even once you’ll lose the race. You might as well just give up.
That’s why you can change the difficulty at any time. This race plain sucks. Just lower the difficulty to complete it, then boost it back up for the later levels.
And that’s it! Is Classic unfair? Oh, you better believe it is. It’s also the most fun way to play. Normal makes this game just a little too hum-drum — Classic adds the danger you need. What’s a life of crime without the thrill?