Review by MelodicVirus
Reviewed: 03/26/20 | Updated: 02/22/21
Born on the Bayou
Born on the Bayou
Mafia III is the sequel to the beloved action-adventure game Mafia II - which was released all the way back in 2010. But unlike the previous entry to the series Mafia III takes players on a ride to the swinging sixties, more specifically in the deep American South. So does this game live up to the hype, or is it another title we won't miss anytime soon?
Mafia III is set in New Bordeaux - a fictionalized city based on New Orleans - during the late 1960s, a time of racism and bigotry. And since you play as the mixed-race Vietnam war veteran Lincoln Clay you are to expect depictions of racism throughout the entirety of the game's length, but the game developers at Hangar 13 don't use this as an excuse for characters to shout out the n-word; in the richer, predominantly-white areas of the map NPCs may be uncomfortable and confront you and storeowners will threaten to call the police. And speaking of the police, they will shoot on sight if you are caught doing minor offenses such as trespassing or vehicle theft.
The lineup of vehicles is extensive, which is what we come to expect from the Mafia games. You can collect an assortment of vehicles such as muscle cars and trucks, and even boats (a new feature to the Mafia series).
The game's narrative is told like a documentary, often taking you back to modern era to see what has happened between then and now. The narrative's structure is unique, well-done and is welcome in future Mafia titles. The cutscenes look amazing, characters are expressive (significantly Lincoln Clay) and the voice acting also factors into what makes the cutscenes look and sound good.
Likewise to previous Mafia games, Mafia III has a superb licenced soundtrack of over 100 songs from the sixties that can be heard on the in-game radio stations - from famous artists such as CCR, Jefferson Airplane, Steppenwolf, the Rolling Stones, and much more. The soundtrack is one of the main factors that makes Mafia III a living, breathing world (even though it isn't).
All the positives aside, Mafia III doesn't have much to show as an open-world action-adventure game. The core gameplay consists of causing enough damage to a property in attempts to get a mob boss to come out so you can kill him - you have to do this in the 9 main districts of the game (excluding the Bayou). The overall gameplay is what you probably come to expect from games such as GTA or Saints Row.
One of the gameplay mechanics put in place in the Mafia games is the traffic system; if you run a red light or break the speed limit, the police will give chase. But this is a feature that Mafia III removes, although it still keeps the speedometer for no other reason than to look fancy I guess. Vehicles have a particular floatiness about them which just feels strange, its as if the cars have no weight dynamics like in previous games.
Although Mafia III's narrative structure is a positive point I mentioned, the overall storyline isn't. In my opinion, Mafia III is just a generic revenge story which is very predictable before it even gets into full-effect, the only thing I can really say about the story is that the choice you have to make near the end is interesting.
Mafia III has many game-breaking bugs and minor glitches, sometimes the graphics can go from looking good to drab and plain in an instant (the weird skybox physics have a lot to do with this), there is also the infamous mirror glitch which is yet to be fixed, and numerous instances where the game can just crash.
Furthermore, the open-world in Mafia III (like Mafia II) is empty and doesn't give the player much to do after they've completed the game - the most you can do is collect Playboy magazines and Album covers, as well as participate in races around the city. Maybe if Mafia III had activities akin to Grand Theft Auto, then this game would score much higher for me.
In conclusion Mafia III came out half-baked, with a unique narrative and some of the best cutscenes in gaming, it doesn't hold up when you consider how broken this game is after launch. This is why Mafia III scores a 3/5, if you're bored and looking for a good narrative then maybe pick it up but this is a game I wouldn't probably play anytime soon.
Product Release: Mafia III (EU, 10/07/16)
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