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Game Review – Mafia 3: Is This Really Next Gen?

I was hyped as shit for Mafia 3. I loved the second one, and although I didn’t play the first I had high hopes for the third entry. Trailers debuted, gameplay was promoted, then finally the game was released. I borrowed a mates Xbox One, waited for the game download to finish, waiting for the fucking day 1 patch to download and loaded the game up.

Before I get into the actual game, let me rant for a sec. Fuck day 1 patches. I understand their point, and I’d rather wait a little bit longer to play a game if it means the thing works, but developers shouldn’t rely on them in order to meet release targets. I’d rather they delay the game a few weeks in order to make sure it all works as 1.0. With regard to Mafia 3, the day 1 patch clocked in at a smidge over 2GB for the Xbox One version. This is too big. A day 1 patch should be a handful of megabytes, not what used to be full-game-sized. If you’re fixing a few off textures, or unlocking a framerate, why the hell is it so big? Seems more like they’re sewing together some properly broken parts of the game, huh?

Anyway, the game. Immediately I knew this wasn’t going to be the experience I was waiting for. The intro took way too long although it provided the valuable backstory a game such as Mafia 3 needs, the constant ‘pause the game to learn how to do the thing’ screens were infuriating, the text on aforementioned screens was too small, and the story didn’t catch me in the slightest. The graphics looked dated, like the game was made for PS3/Xbox 360 then ported to the newer breed and while the controls worked, they felt a little bit clunky.

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Mafia 3 is set in ’60s southern USA, and racism is alive and well. You play Lincoln Clay, a mixed-race man living in New Bordeaux – a.k.a New Orleans – on a revenge mission to take down the establishment. I won’t go too far into the story because, quite simply, I didn’t get very far through. I lost interest rapidly after the eighth tooltip and although the game immediately gave me Lincoln’s muscle car as what felt like a form of apology to hoon around in, it wasn’t really enough. It does great drifts and burnouts though. The camera shuddering and getting closer to the ass-end of the car as I braked hard for a sharp corner got old very fast. It’s function is clearly “WHOA YOU’RE REALLY STOPPING NOW BRAAAACCEEE” but it’s just unnecessary.

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I will say the guns felt great. Despite the clunky controls (and my shameless cranking of the aim assist) shooting people felt really good (don’t look into that). The sounds were great and the bodies reacted well. Speaking of sounds, the soundtrack is also fantastic, filled with period classics.

Overall, it’s a game I would only recommend trying if you can get it for free, or discounted. Don’t pay too much for it.

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