I enjoyed playing through the first two Mafia games and so far I’m enjoying my time with Mafia 3. It’s not without fault but the game has plenty going for it from what I have seen so far. I’m hoping to have a full review up sometime in the next week, time permitting but I thought it may be useful to provide my initial impressions of the game first.
The first thing that should be mentioned is that currently the PC version is unfortunately locked to 30 FPS. The developers are aware and are already testing a patch to give options for 60FPS and an unlocked frame rate option. It’s bizarre that this was even an issue as they must have known it would get the PC communities back up. In any case if all goes well with testing it should be rolled out this weekend.
In todays world disclaimers are everywhere but I’ve never (that I can immediately recall) had a warning about the nature of a games content before I’ve started playing. Mafia 3 opens with a disclaimer about the use of racism saying that whilst it doesn’t reflect their beliefs they felt it was important to include it to depict some attitudes of the time . There’s many reasons they might have decided to include it and in a way it’s sad that they thought it necessary but what ever the reasons it certainly stood out.
Moving on to the game itself Mafia 3 moves away from the traditional 1920’s/30’s Italian mob settings we are accustomed to and takes us to the late 60’s, 1968 in fact. The Music immediately puts you right into the era and it has the be said that the use of the music in the game is outstanding. Mafia 3 features one of the best soundtracks of any game in my humble opinion.
The game world is impressive and immersive. It may not have the finish of a GTA game but the sound, the lighting and the architecture of the buildings all look impressive and true to the period and the setting. Mafia 3 takes place in the city of New Bordeaux, a fictional reimagining of New Orleans, you play as Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam War veteran returning to his home town which is bursting with racial tension and post-war politics.
The way in which the story is delivered to the gamer is very good. Initially you take part in a more linear story as the game introduces itself to you with more mechanics opening up to you as you progress. The way in which cinematics are delivered during the game is enjoyable and engrossing even with the lengthier ones. The animations are very impressive and remind me of scenes in L.A Noir.The Voice acting is also key to achieving this immersion and it must be said the acting here is extremely well done.
The character movement feels a bit sluggish and I do find myself wishing for the higher frame rate that the PC version will eventually deliver (I’m enjoying the Xbox One version of Mafia 3) but its a minor niggle that isn’t too noticeable once the action starts. Driving around the streets of New Bordeaux feels a little clumsy and not one of the games finer points which for an open world game is a tad disappointing.
Open world games are I’d imagine pretty demanding for developers and the odd glitch and graphical artifacting can be forgiven but Mafia 3 looks pretty polished. Shadows move across the ground as clouds pass in front of the sun and although the transition from night to morning felt a bit ‘Truman Show(ish)’ it’s all rather well done.
I’m still early on in the game and the open world is feeling a bit empty in terms of things to do but I imagine and hope more will become available to me as I progress. So far then I am enjoying my time with the game and I am glad that I decided to purchase it. I was a bit concerned about playing through two story focused games like Gears of War 4 and Mafia 3, at the same time but Mafia 3 has a strong enough story and game mechanics to hold my interest.
Mafia 3 is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.