UPDATE 02/11/2016: Since writing this review, the Mafia 3 facebook page has revealed that they plan to release a mix of paid and free DLC containing various outfits for Lincoln as well as more vehicle customisation and races to unlock more vehicles. Also planned so far 3 story DLCs
Mafia 3 has a great storyline and sound track, brilliant setting and does a very good job of recreating a 1960s New Orleans. A move to a fully open world platform is welcomed but the game does let itself down in some areas, mainly repetitive missions needed to take over territories and lack of things to do outside of the missions other than exploring and completing a few activities that help earn the loyalty of your underbosses. It’s a good game but it doesn’t really feel like it brings anything new to me. It uses the Mafia name, however, I feel it misses the mark when it comes to the series and isn’t really a true Mafia game.
The storyline and setting this time around is great as always. It’s set in New Bordeaux, Hangar 13’s fictional recreation of late 1960s New Orleans and they have done a very good job in catching the atmosphere and vibrancy of the city. You play as Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam War veteran, who returns home to find his adopted family in trouble and is double crossed by Sal Marcano, the head of the mob in New Bordeaux. After surviving the murder of his family at the hands of Sal, Lincoln sets out to destroy Marcano from the ground upwards and claiming the city for his own and recruiting the help of his 3 underbosses who Sal decided to cross, one of which is Vito from Mafia 2. There are a lot of smaller missions that are required to weaken a lieutenants hold on a part of the city and lure him out. It’s these missions that get very repetitive. Each territory has the same objective, cause damage to lure out 2 key workers and kill them in order to lure out the underboss in charge of that territory
The game on PC looks great from some angles but from others it feels kind of like a bit of a downgrade compared to Mafia 2. The cut scenes look amazing especially when combined with the motion capture which is used both in and out of cut scenes. The game appears to run smoothly and improvements have been made in way of the PC version receiving a patch to unlock the frame rate, something which really should have been in the game from the start. The game also has a brilliant soundtrack capturing a lot of the hit tracks from the 60s as well as adding to the immersion of the game making you feel even more like you are in the 60s. The weapons sounds are an improvement and generally make most of the weapons sound satisfying to use.
Hangar 13 has gone fully open world with Mafia 3 unlike the previous 2 games. Although you could roam around between objectives in Mafia 2, it wasn’t fully open world as the game usually pushed you towards the next objective with a few opportunities in between to explore. The fact that Mafia 3 is fully open world gives you an opportunity to explore the beautifully recreated city however there is not much to do outside of missions. Even the original Mafia, which wasn’t open world, gave you a separate ‘Free Ride Extreme’ game mode which basically opened up the city to free roam, gave you a house with a large garage and mini games to earn money, rewards and vehicles. In Mafia 2 there were a few things you could do outside of the missions such as visiting shops, buying clothes, eating in fast food joints and collecting cars. All of this has no bearing on the game at all but helped add a bit of immersion and realism. This sort of thing has been taken out in Mafia 3; you can’t customise Lincoln’s appearance and you can’t collect cars or customise them properly at various mechanics. Instead, you unlock them and there’s no garage to store cars, as far as I can see. Once you unlock Burke, you essentially just spawn in a car using his underboss ability and have the car instantly delivered to your current location. Another element that has been removed by Hangar 13 is the system involving crime and vehicle crime. The game states that if you are seen committing traffic offences by a police officer then they will chase you down; just like the first two games. In the first if you run a red light or are saw speeding the police will try and pull you over, they will give you a ticket and send you on your way. The next time they will try and arrest you and anything more serious, they will just try and kill you. This is the same for Mafia 2. Mafia 3 claims this but I have flown past police cars at 100mph and ran numerous red lights all in view of the police and nothing has happened. The only thing that has seemed to work is having a crash, in which case they will just try and kill you. If you are seen committing a crime by a citizen, then they will run and phone the police in which you have to outrun them and then they will give up. Again, this is different from Mafia 2 where they would give a description of the car you are in or what you look like and you’d have to change your clothes or modify your car in order from them to stop looking for you – a feature that I miss.
Mafia 3 has full controller support on PC but this does seem to be sluggish in my opinion; however, the simple layout and controls make it nice and easy to play. The AI does seem to be dumbed down a bit as there are a lot of repetitive movements from enemies, they’re also predictable, slow and quite easy to kill. The game also incorporates a stealth aspect similar to what you see in games such as Uncharted, this is nothing special or new and doesn’t really do anything to improve on what other games have done. It seems to be a simple gimmicky-like sneak on a target; as long as you are not in their field of view they won’t see you and then basically stab them as loudly as possible in a lethal takedown. There is a way to stealth kill non-lethally and is toggled on or off in the game settings. The driving mechanics also feel like a bit of a downgrade. Driving feels like a bit of an arcade game along with the vehicle sounds but turning on Simulated driving mode in the options can improve this if you fancy more of a challenge and the added ability to now shoot from your vehicle, although using an auto lock-on system, is welcomed.
Although the game has a great story, setting and atmosphere, it doesn’t give me the same feeling of wanting more like the first two did, mainly because of how repetitive it is. If the repetitive missions needed to take over territory were taken out I think It would be great but unfortunately they are here to stay and that ruins it for me. All in all, Mafia 3 is a good game, it’s not the best and for me it doesn’t really bring anything majorly new to the series. It keeps the great story telling style that Mafia games are known for, but in my opinion, it isn’t really a Mafia game.
This is my first review in a very long time and on a new site so any feedback is appreciated