Game Review: Mafia III (Xbox One)


“Family isn’t who you’re born with, it’s who you die for.”

Mafia III is an action-adventure video game developed by Hangar 13. Set in 1968 in the city of New Bordeaux, New Orleans, the story revolves around Lincoln Clay, an orphan and Vietnam veteran, who is on a quest to build a new crime organization to confront the Italian mob. The game was released on October 7, 2016.

Mafia III is a third-person perspective game, in which players assume control of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam War veteran on a quest to seek revenge for his friends, who are murdered by a local mob. The game is set in 1968 New Bordeaux, a reimagined version of New Orleans, with the open world being larger than the Mafia and Mafia II maps combined.

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The map is made up of ten districts: Bayou Fantom, Delray Hollow, Barclay Mills, Frisco Fields, Pointe Verdun, Tickfaw Harbour, Southdowns, River Row, Downtown, and the French Ward. All of these districts can be taken over and handed to your lieutenants to be run as they see fit. Players can complete objectives using a variety of approaches. For example, players can use the weapons provided in the game, like shotguns and revolvers, to eliminate enemies, or even call up for assists from a few guys to help you out in combat.

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Alternatively, you can make use of stealth tactics throughout the entire mission. The core gameplay revolves around gunplay and all the standard additions that come with that, such as covering from gun fire and melee combat.  Players can also interrogate non-playable characters after defeating them in order to gain more information on their objectives, like scaring them while driving a car.

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For starters let me say that Mafia III is a good game, but it’s not a great game. Before playing Mafia III I really wanted to love this game, even after I’d finished I wanted to say nothing but good things but there’s just a lot of flaws that cannot be ignored. From physics issues to the sky (that’s literally half your landscape) being one of the worst I’ve ever seen to repetitive missions and gameplay. After doing basically the same mission 9 times it gets old quick.

On a positive note the story was captivating and the main characters goal was something you really wanted to get behind. But, naturally you’re going to want to fight against an oppressive, racist 60’s world. The part of the game that stunned me the most was certain NPC’s reactions to you whether you’re simply walking down the street or entering a store. Shopkeepers can follow you and tell you to leave whilst passersby will verbally abuse you and avoid you. As a white woman I’ve never experienced anything like this and cannot be anything other than empathetic so to have to play the game with these subtle every day interactions going on around you gave me a sense of perspective.

Lastly, from the moment I watched the first trailer I was intrigued to discover was what was Vito’s role? As enjoyable as Lincoln Clay’s revenge story is, I just really wanted to see Vito’s instead. Unfortunately his role was very dissatisfying and as much as I fangirled over seeing Vito as a silver fox I hope one day we get a game or even a DLC about his time after Joe was taken (there’s an explanation in the game but that too is so dissatisfying to me and feels very crammed in).

Overall, excellent visuals (especially in the cut scenes) and engrossing storyline but with its multiple problems I have to mark it down significantly.

Mafia III
  • 6/10
    The Final Score - 6/10
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