Mafia III review
Mafia III is all about getting even after nearly getting killed and being the sole survivor when an ambush happened on family and friends.
The city New Bordeaux in the late 60’s is one big hot mess of chaos. Between the mafia and the rednecks, some haitians are also butting in trying to get some of the cake. I mean coke. Each of these groups has a different set of code of conduct and how to earn their money. The protagonist in this game is Lincoln Clay, and he will make you torn between liking him, feeling sad for him to simple plain disgust for how cold hearted he can be.
Lincoln is a Vietnam war veteran and as players we meet him as he arrive back at his hometown being greeted by a good friend of his, Giorgi. Before we know it, shits is in the can and you are in the middle of robbing the the god damn american Fort Knox, in this reality called Louisiana Federal Reserve. You manage to rob what you came for and you even manage to escape.
Then everything is going down the shitter, literally. Giorgi and his dad has been planning on dethrone the black mobs godfather, which just happens to be Lincolns father. By some miracle, Lincoln doesn’t die (uh, big spoiler here) but he does sees all of his family and friends getting killed. He wakes up later at Father James’ house, a friend of the family – with lots of reasons for retaliation.
The gameplay in Mafia III feels great off the bat. Then it stops, unfortunately. The game is too much about overtaking enemy turf by killing and interrogating enemy men, no matter what kind of racket or what kind of family they belong to. This game would had been so much better if a few people had gotten a list of possible rackets and asked to come up with different ideas on how to overtake the racket. Instead all you get is a building with a handful men on guard and maybe a boss you need to kill or interrogate to overtake the racket or possible district.
Other than that, you drive from place to place, and there really isn’t much other than the overtakes to do – not even races. However, word is that one of the coming DLC’s will offer this feature. You get a variety of weapons and upgrades for both those weapons, but also your cars and traits for Lincoln. All upgrades are being unlocked depending on who you are best friends with. This brings us to who you want to approach the overtaking of the city with – the haitians, italians or perhaps the irish? Of course there’s the option to have them all by your side.
You can go in guns blazing and overtake somewhat easy, especially if you’re good shot by nature, but I am not, so I mostly used the stealth approach to the rackets. Sometime I was even able to sneak in and do the damage, just to sneak or run out of the building and disappear in the dark while leaving the mischievous men all none the wiser. Car chases is present, and they are actually fun – until the cops or the gunners hit your tires with their bullets, and put your car out of omission. However, the auto-aim while driving helps a lot, as you can even choose the target (enemy, tire, engine, fuel tank) and just shoot whenever the arrow turns green, which means you now can make a hit. During police chase, shooting out tires seems to be most effective.
While the game is beautiful, the bullshots (look it up, it’s a thing), really did raise expectations too much – at least for me. While the game looks just fine – it’s close enough to how GTA V looks, that I won’t be complaining about how the game really looks, the game looks did just not justify the released screenshots and artwork from before the games’ release. On top of this, the game suffers from shaders not working properly, most notably chrome surfaces. I experienced this throughout the game, and that effectively ruins the look of the game.
Between the shaders going of and the game crashing for me (annoying but not gamebreaking – happened a handful times throughout the story I played and the game saves often), I really enjoyed the art direction for the look of the game and that they kept the same artstyle throughout the game between gameplay and cutscenes. However, some cutscenes were presented as being a tv broadcast during a court case.
The story writing, the character voiceovers and their interactions are quite solid and I love the game for it. This game would have absolutely been GOTY contender for me if it haven’t been this repetitive in the gameplay department. There’s simply not enough variation in the game. The bugs (a few sidemissions glitched out for me, game crashing and shaders issue as mentioned) does drag the score down some more. I wish 2K would have had postponed the release by a month, ironed out the bugs and released the PC version with a 60fps setting. I was playing on Xbox One, and a console should really not have a game crashing like this.
Miss; Bugs. BUGS! Seriously, 2K? Game crashing, shaders not working properly, and game crashing – on console no less!
Need; More variation. The game felt tedious before being half way through the story.