Mafia III Review
Mafia III is the debut title of Take-Two owned, Hangar 13, and it has some lofty expectations to meet. The title had a huge amount of hype behind it, and we at COGConnected were very impressed last month when we had some hands-on time with the game. Now armed with the full version of the game, where we witness a brilliant opening sequence, does the game hold up under prolonged exposure? Read on.
The story is told in two different manners, a documentary-esque style which takes place in the relative future, as well as the usual gameplay story. You take on the role of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran returning home to New Orleans and the only family he has known, the local black mob. After a series of events ending with a betrayal by the city’s Italian mob, it is up to Lincoln Clay to exact some sweet, sweet revenge. The story is presented in an excellent manner, and really draws the player into the game. The game also depicts the time period’s racism to the point where a disclaimer was provided to player’s before the game begins.
“Although the missions are repetitive, the gameplay itself is amazingly fun.”
Mafia III takes place in an open-world with some typical gameplay nuances such as stealing cars (albeit with some refreshing apologies by the main character), random encounters with rival gangs, and story missions that move the plot along. The missions can appear to be pretty similar, with the usual go to A, kill B, and go to C style of missions. Although the missions are repetitive, the gameplay itself is amazingly fun. Missions can be undertaken through the use of stealth, weapons, and a variety of tactics that include, but are not limited to shotguns, rifles, calling for backup, and molotov cocktails. It should be noted that Lincoln carries with him a large knife that leads to some very satisfying stealth kills.
Despite some great gameplay, Mafia III is not without its faults. Most notably, the driving can be very challenging at times (at least for this reviewer). The cars from the time period are difficult to handle and the camera seems to have a mind of its own when you turn. Also, the game has its fair share of glitches. Some of the ones I encountered included phantom stealth kills where Lincoln stabs the air and having a target I was chasing falling through the ground and out of reach. Lastly, the game has some weird physics when driving, such as being able to drive underneath a large truck as if it was nothing.
With regards to the AI, some great moments were ruined by some very simple AI. For example, enemies would at times all charge at me from the same direction, leading to some easy kills. Another issue I had with the AI was the very common Molotov cocktail throw with an object in the way, leading to some serious self-inflicted burns on the enemy. Lastly, innocent bystanders lose their minds when the action breaks out. For example, a fight that broke out in a busy building concluded, but bystanders were still running around screaming, despite being meters from an exit.
The game looks fantastic. Within cutscenes as well as in gameplay, the game looks smooth and runs well. The lighting in the game looks great, but only at times. At other times, especially at sunset, the sun gets way too bright and distracts from almost everything in front of you. Another issue with the lighting occurs beneath clouds, where walking down the street can result in the illusion that the sky is going from mid-day to midnight in a matter of seconds. The only other issue with graphics are the pop-ins that weren’t exactly deal breakers but merely small annoyances.
Whether it be the voice acting, music, or sound effects, Mafia III’s audio is on point. The voice acting in is great, with accents, manners of speaking, and lip syncing that really bring the player in. The music, as far as I know, is appropriate for the era and consists of some great music from back in the day. As for the sound effects, they seem realistic and blend into the game very well, whether they be gunfire noise, explosions, or police chatter.
All in all, Mafia III is a good game. While there are some glaring issues with regards to glitches and game crashes, they do not take too much away from the experience. Some of these issues can be addressed with post-release patches, and we hope that the story expansions provide more mission variety. That being said, Mafia III’s compelling story and combat really shine through, and it is simply a fun game.
**Mafia III was reviewed on the PS4, a code was provided**
• Exciting, brutal combat
• Engaging narrative
• At times, wonderful graphics
• Audio bliss
• Various minor glitches
• Pop-in assets
• Dumbfounded AI
• Lack of mission variety