As a compelling story-driven campaign, Mafia 3 delivers but its open world and overall polish leaves a lot to be desired.
In an era where hopes for Grand Theft Auto 5 single-player DLC are unfulfilled, Mafia 3 felt like it would present the next best open world crime saga for players. Sure, there are several facets separating the two franchises but Hangar 13 seemed committed to the whole organized crime bit. How does it all ultimately pan out though now that Mafia 3 is available?
Mafia 3 is set in 1968 New Bordeaux, based on New Orleans of the same era. You play as Lincoln Clay, a former soldier returning from Vietnam to his fellow African American mob members. When said family is wiped out by the Italians, Clay takes it upon himself to wreak havoc. Given the time period, issues such as racism are commonplace. The developer doesn’t pull any punches when portraying Clay’s interactions with the world and it adds to the game’s atmosphere amazingly well. This extends to the story-telling and attention to detail in the world – the initial missions do a great job of pulling you into Clay’s character and caring about the terrible events that have befallen him.
Cover-based shooting, open world driving and vicious negotiations are a part and parcel of Clay’s business in Mafia 3. You’re essentially working to expand your criminal empire and that means dismantling the opposition’s operations. Clay can also hire underbosses that bring their own benefits, thus cutting them into the profits. Be careful though as your partners may become greedier over time and eventually turn on you if they feel like they’re not getting proper cuts.
In terms of driving, Mafia 3 is mostly on point but its cover shooting can be a little bland. Also, for the number of activities available, there’s a fair amount of repetition to the side missions. There isn’t much else to do but rush in, eliminate several enemies and move on to the next objective. The story missions do a great job of breaking up the monotony but you’ll have to complete a fair amount of open world content to progress. Though Hangar 13 has done its part to patch Mafia 3 since release, there are still a number of bugs and performance issues for PC users. Suffice to say, this isn’t the PC port that Grand Theft Auto 5 was and for all the attention to detail, it doesn’t look amazing either.
If an open world crime fest with a good story is what you’re looking for, then Mafia 3 will satisfy those urges. Just don’t walk in expecting too much, especially when the open world content doesn’t feel all that fresh over extended periods of time.
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