Alaistair J Dsouza
The previous instalment of the Mafia franchise (Mafia 2) was a success and got many things right, right from gameplay to story and character development. This has left developers with a huge task at hand with the latest instalment.
Make way for Mafia 3 set in New Bordeaux, a fictionalised version of New Orleans, 1668. It was a time in America after the Vietnam War where racism was still very much present and out in the open. To sum it up the game centres around the story of one Lincoln Clay and his personal quest of revenge/vengeance against those that did him wrong. So Clay recently returns home after the war and is looking to take some time off and return to some familiar faces. He’s not here to stay but before he gets a chance to tell his adoptive father that he has other plans. He gets involved in a gang related incident and then it’s pretty much downhill from there. But here’s where the ingenuity comes into play, Clay’s story is told in a rather interesting fashion, right from reliving his life to the narration of events by key members associated with him. In one scene we are shown a kind of a legal/court hearing in which an associate of Clays was being questioned about their involvement in the past events during the year 1968 to 1969.
One easy way to describe Mafia 3 is something that looks like the grand theft auto (GTA) series and sadly GTA has become somewhat of a curse for games of the similar genre. As Lincoln, players can travel in the vast one world of New Bordeaux, picking up missions and other objectives along the way, there are some missions that need to be completed for the player to process in the story but the rest of the missions are usually optional and will have little impact on the player. Once players are done with the initial tutorial the real game begins with an angry Lincoln slowly undermining his enemies by attacking their illegal businesses and ultimately making them his own and running the same via his underbosses that pay him a cut of the profits. Assigning captured businesses to under bosses is filled with rewards and a higher payout amount to the player. Rewards range from the ability to call in additional thugs to help one during a tight situation to a mobile armoury service that allows Lincoln to gear up better for an upcoming battle or mission. The game is played in the third person style and combat is quite engaging and feels good, the shift between melee style combat to guns is also quite fluid. There’s traditional fire at the hip stance and a more accurate aiming down the sights for more accurate shots against targets. Upon taking damage the player has two options, either use the medkit (adrenaline shot as it’s known in the game) or take cover and wait till the damage is healed. Medkits are scattered across the world and Lincoln can carry a limited amount at a time, also the case with other consumables like grenades, distraction objects and molotov cocktails. There’s two ways to go about taking out an enemy either do it silently or just shoot the fellow. Certain missions favour the ones taking the silent route but to the impatient guns ablazing is just fine.
Visuals are decent enough. Some textures seemed recycled and low resolution but fingers crossed that an update will address and fix the same.
Sound and music in the game is fantastic, the 1960s has been a good set of years for music and that’s been made pretty clear with the inclusion of Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Rolling Stones to name a few. The ambient sounds, the satisfying rumble of the American muscle cars to the well written and acted dialogs and cut scenes all fit hand in glove creating an atmosphere for Mafia 3.
In conclusion Mafia 3, for all the things it did, got real repetitive quite fast. Missions would follow the same pattern. There is no clear difference in rewards between taking a stealthy approach or just going die hard over everyone, well besides the measly cash bonus payout. Performing missions like destroying cargo or taking out some key member of the enemy’s organisation was awesome to do the first time, wasn’t that much fun at about the tenth time. Don’t be surprised if multiple missions have the same location.
I’d give this game a pat on the back for trying something but a score of 4.5/10
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