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Mafia III

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Mafia III
Mafia III Front Cover.jpg
This is probably the baddest game I've ever laid my eyes on, but you shouldn't have rushed it.
Protagonist(s): Lincoln Clay
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
macOS
Release: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
October 7, 2016
macOS
May 11, 2017
Definitive Edition
May 19, 2020
Developer(s): Hangar 13[1]
Publisher(s): 2K Games
Country: United States
Czech Republic
Series: Mafia
Predecessor: Mafia II

Mafia III is an action-adventure video game developed by Hangar 13 and published by 2K Games for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4Xbox One, and macOS. It is the third installment in the Mafia series. The game is set in 1968 in the city of New Bordeaux, a fictional recreation of New Orleans. The story revolves around Lincoln Clay, an orphan and Vietnam veteran, who is on a quest to build a new crime organization to confront the Italian mob. The game was released on October 7, 2016, and received a mixed critical response.

The game was later re-released as the Definitive Edition on May 19, 2020, which includes all of the game's DLC and some extras. It was also included as part of the Mafia: Trilogy bundle on September 25, 2020.

Plot

In 1968, Lincoln Clay returns to New Bordeaux from the Vietnam War, and he joined a gang, searching for people to call "family." When they are crossed and brutally killed by the Italian mob, Clay vows to get revenge on the Italian Mafia. Joining him are his lieutenants Cassandra, Burke, and Vito Scaletta.

Bad Qualities

  1. The story missions are very monotonous and sideline the main plot due to heavy padding, unlike the first two games which featured unique story-driven linear missions, The game heavily focuses on City Takeover-style missions, similar to those from Saints Row games. The game features nine districts in New Bordeaux which task players to take over them in order to progress through story. Each district mission is split into three missions. The first two missions involve taking over the both rackets in that district. Once both rackets are taken over the third mission will unlock to take out the leader who controls that district.
  2. Racket missions are extremely repetitive and very mandatory for unlocking next story missions. In order to take over the racket, player must damage racket's bussiness to lure out the boss of that racket. It usually involves stealing money, destroying objects, interrogating informants, assassinating enforcers etc. Once enough done, the player is able to kill/persuade the boss to take over the racket.
  3. With the extensive cutscenes, not only does this game try to be a movie, but also a narrative documentary, especially with cutscenes from an old Father James in a present day setting, and even retro film-like cutscenes involving John Donovan.
  4. The game abandons realism in favor of more action and arcade-oriented gameplay (police not stopping you for breaking traffic laws, perks and upgrade system, slow-motion ability, X-ray vision, able to endure high-speed crash while driving etc), which heavily contradicts what previous Mafia games were well-known for.
    • The slow motion driving and shooting abilities are nothing but shameless copycats of similar mechanics from Grand Theft Auto V. Plus they can easily be exploited due to how fast their bar refills.
  5. Just like in GTA V but to a much greater extent, the police AI is also bad compared to previous two games. The cops won't come after you if they see you speeding or driving through red lights unless you commit hit-and-run. You can no longer pay ticket fines or bribe the cops (Police Dispatcher perk doesn't count as that), as they will open fire without any hesitation on you if they catch you committing a crime even for the minor offenses (e.g. If the police see you crashing into person's car while driving, the cops will start shooting you instead of writing you a ticket fine or arresting you on the spot). Some may argue that police is so hostile due to being racist and Lincoln being black, but even with that in consideration, police AI is still poorly done.
  6. A lot of features from previous Mafia games have been removed. The player can no longer refuel cars at gas stations, drink at bars, eat food at restaurants or buy clothes at clothes stores despite them being featured on the map as places the player can interact with, they serve no other purpose other than robbing the place for the money and/or finding in-game collectibles which makes the world of New Bordeaux look shallow and dull.
  7. The stealth approach is broken due to enemy's stupid AI, as you can easily lure enemies into same place to kill them by simply whistling at them and no one will suspect that one of their buddies is missing. In the late game where you gain access to silenced weapons, it makes a stealth approach to gameplay even easier and less challenging.
  8. The enemy's AI at combat is no better than at stealth, sometimes they'll start blindly rushing at you instead of taking cover, and some even use a sniper rifle to shoot you when you're right next to them.
  9. This game's development was rushed for release in October, resulting in lots of game glitches and bugs, such as the infamous glitchy mirror bug or even the bushes with hitboxes.
  10. Horrible car physics. Car controls are awful, and no collision or realistic damage models whatsoever. Cars are made of plasticine as you can easily blow up them by simply shooting at the trunk. You and your allies can do drive-by shooting even when your car is flipped.
    • The cars can no longer be damaged with melee weapons.
    • There's even a lack of being able to damage the glass.
    • If you bail out of the car, you will land normally on the ground and not even roll on.
  11. The graphics and visuals, while not terrible, look drab and below 2016 standards. Even Mafia II looked better than this, and that game came out six years earlier.
    • The weather system is just dreadful. If you drive for 100-200 meters, the weather will instantly change (rain will suddenly fall.)
    • The skybox quality is comparable to that of an early 3D game from 1998.
    • There are lots of lacking animations, there is only one melee kill animation that is used throughout the entire game.
  12. Horrible spawn mechanics. Sometimes cars and pedestrians spawn underground or from the sky, especially in the PC version.
  13. The PC version was poorly optimized at launch, with a framerate cap of 30 frames per second and constant crashing.
  14. The gunplay is pretty poor, due to the way you hold the weapons. The weak gun sounds don't help either.
  15. The story, while decent, is filled with cliches and feels preachy at times such as Lincoln sparing Olivia just because she is a woman, despite all the terrible things she is responsible for, and dramatic focus switching heavily to racial and political problems, rather than to what tragedies crime life can lead to.
  16. Almost all characters (including Lincoln) sport heavily dislikable traits and sometimes even outright moronic logic, which makes it pretty hard to like them.
  17. It takes away from the traditional Italian image of the "mafia". It would've been better had it been the Russian, Polish, Irish, or Jewish mafias but the "mafia" here just seems to be overly exaggerated street thugs. Plus the mafia here are antagonists of the game.
  18. You lose a lot of money after you die.
  19. Unlike previous games, you can't replay missions or chapters. Instead, you have to make separate saves in game's save slots. It is especially problematic in cases like if you screw something up and one of your friends-underbosses goes against you.
  20. Also, unlike the previous game, you can't play DLCs separately. In order to play them, you have to pass through the significant part of the actual campaign, which will take a lot of time, not to mention how considerably boring and tedious the game is or if you already played through it. It can be argued that it's done so, since they provide jobs and things that can be useful, however there is already enough ways to earn money and things that can help in various ways, so tying DLCs to main campaign feels really unnecessary. And besides that, the jobs have their own problems. Weed growing job in "Faster, Baby!" is way too long and tedious. Restoration of Sammy's Bar in "Sign of the Times" is a nice addition, but it brings a question: why couldn't developers add it in the game without the need of DLC? Bounty Hunting job in "Stones Unturned" is fun, but really short and Dart Gun awarded for completing it is pretty useless.
  21. After you start a new game, you can't continue free roam of after the end of storyline. What's worse is that like its predecessor, there's not a lot to do in the city except drive around and cause trouble, in which the devs learned nothing about it.
  22. The mission objective is all over the screen as it is displayed in the top left corner, the center and the right bottom next to the minimap simultaneously. Although the former remains on the screen permanently until said objective is done.
  23. The betrayal scene doesn't even make any sense. Everyone in the bar, including Burke's son, gets killed, and Lincoln gets shot in the head, all just because Lincoln refused Marcano's offer. While there were cases of Italian crime families and other criminal organizations using brutal and sometimes even extreme methods and tactics, the betrayal of Lincoln and the others in the game seems to be too exaggerated for the sake of drama and revenge narrative.
  24. Poor subtitles. A transparent but fairly dark TV-style box is behind the words, the words are not always accurate, and sometimes the subtitles will appear too early before a character speaks.

Good Qualities

  1. The game touches the subject of racism and portrays it in the negative way well (as stated in the game intro), without making the game feel like a lecture towards the players.
  2. Fantastic soundtrack (especially on the WNBX radio station).
  3. Despite the problems stated above, the story is still pretty interesting.
  4. Good voice acting, such as from Lincoln and Vito Scaletta who makes a return from Mafia II and is voiced by the same voice actor as in the previous game.
  5. The collectibles are really interesting and varied, like being able to collect Play Boy mags.
  6. The car models look pretty good and do fit the time era in 1968.
  7. The game's DLCs, such as Faster Baby!, were pretty decent.
  8. It does a great job at reflecting what southern United States were like during 1968 in New Bordeaux (A fictional version of New Orleans).
  9. The weapon selection is nice and it also fits the time era in 1968.
  10. The game actually has many good and interesting ideas and concepts, though unfortunately, they are poorly realized.
  11. Most of the races are fairly fun.
  12. Just like the previous game, you can also customize cars if you delivered a car from the Car Delivery menu.
  13. Despite the poor graphics, the character models and cutscenes look great.
  14. Although the game was rushed, as mentioned in BQ #9, it eventually got some patches and the game is now a lot more playable and stable than before.

Reception

The game received mixed reviews from critics and the fans of the franchise, It holds a 68/100 on Metacritic for the PlayStation 4 with a 5.2/10 user score rating, while it scores a 67/100 rating for a Xbox One with a 4.8/10 rating, while it also scores a 62/100 for the PC version with a 3.6/10 rating. Angry Joe gave the game a 6/10 and later ranked it Number 7 on his Worst Games of 2016 list and said it as a prime example on how not to do a open-world game seriously.

Videos

References

  1. Additional work by 2K Czech, and ported to macOS by Aspyr.

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