Mafia III - Hangar 13 and 2K Czech
Reviewed on Xbox One
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC
Mafia III, a game die hard fans of the Mafia franchise have been waiting ever so patiently to get their hands on since the end of the second game's life cycle almost a mere 7 years ago released on all current generation platforms on Friday, October the 7th. You play as the protagonist, Lincoln Clay, which is a seasoned Vietnam war veteran that was taken in by a family that runs some of the rackets for the black mob. When you return from the war, the main mob boss for the fictional town of New Bordeaux which is a take on the real life town of New Orleans decides to execute your family and essentially you as well. Problem with that being that the bullet used to execute you bounces off your temple instead of killing you, so when you wake up you’re essentially a force to be reckoned with wanting nothing but absolute genocide to the people that murdered your family. Seeing as amazing of a plot as this is for a video game, most people had some very high expectations for the title, the sadly fell short.
Throughout the game, you are sent to take out lieutenants, each lieutenant is tied to maintaining certain rackets for a district, so once you take out all of their rackets you will drag them out which eventually brings an end to the Italian mob as a whole. Just as I described it, that is literally all you do throughout the game, which gets stale very fast. What makes matters even worse is the AI. Sure they can be smart at points during actual shootouts but if you take the stealth approach, they almost appear to have severe disabilities. Combined with the whistling mechanic you can pretty much take out every guard for every mission with extreme ease. It’s more repetitive and almost half baked then your average match of Call of Duty Zombies if you are just grinding through rounds with your friends.
There are three underbosses that you meet within the length of the story, one very familiar boss just so happened to be the protagonist in Mafia II, Vito Scaletta. Other two bosses, are ties within the story with the haitian and irish mob both Thomas Burke and Cassandra. Once you collect a district from a lieutenant you then distribute it to one of your underbosses, with that being said if you don’t assign them carefully you will wind up having to kill them as they become not so fond of you. Scaletta’s role in Mafia III was one of the very few amazing parts, from the fact that if you reach loyalty levels (which happens by giving them a certain amount of districts) you find out more about the ending of Mafia II which a lot of fans have been baffled by for years.
Another disappointing factor in the game is the lack of fast travel based system, making it a pain to drive from one end of the enormous, yet empty, open world to the other along with the small lighting issues you would experience at sunrise and night time. When sunrise would hit, the game would get so terribly lit that you would think you were standing on the surface of the planet Mercury. At night it got so dark, that you couldn't see a damn thing, regardless of the brightness settings making it a hassle to play.
One of the two things that save Mafia III for being a decent game, is the excellent Mo-cap performances and cinematic experience that is given with the cutscenes it almost feels like a late 90’s brutal action flick. If you want to save yourself sixty dollars though and still want the experience, you probably could get it from a jumbled together YouTube video that contains all of the cutscenes. Secondly, it's beautiful and huge soundtrack that contained hundreds of licensed authentic songs from the late sixties providing the feeling that you actually are in the time period, that and the insane amount of racism since Lincoln Clay is in fact a black man in that time.
Save yourself a few bucks and either watch the YouTube video I mentioned or catch it on sale at like Black Friday or some other time that it’s around $30 because it feels like Hangar 13 half assed this game beyond belief and that they should have waited a little while longer on the release to fix some of the small stuff and maybe even make an actually linear story.