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Mafia III. © 2K Games

Mafia III is an action-adventure videogame published by 2K Games and developed by Hangar 13, released in 2016. It is the third game in the Mafia franchise and the first one to be produced by Hangar 13. The game will be available on Mac computers and devices powered by Microsoft Windows as well as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.

Key facts about Mafia III

  • Mafia III has its storyline revolving around the adventures of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam War veteran sat on a path for revenge.
  • Just like in the previous installments, players complete missions grouped in several major chapters, with increasingly high difficulty.
  • The Mafia III world is spectacular, a significant improvement compared to previous installments and sensitive issues such as dropping framerate were fixed.
  • The voice acting has improved greatly and lip-synching issues were resolved, while the soundtrack is a treat to the ears.
  • Mafia III’s single player campaign is slightly longer than the one of the prequel and there are several side quests that players can complete.

The Mafia III games

Mafia III doesn’t walk the less traveled paths and instead tries to improve the game mechanics that made Vito's Mafia II so good. Whenever players complete missions, they get to enjoy some great looking cut scenes that make the storyline more consistent and make it easy to relate to the characters. The more one plays, the more obvious it is that Lincoln is a highly complex person driven by more than revenge.

Completing missions is more than a mundane activity aimed at keeping players entertained and with each solved, they reveal a new facet of the protagonist’s character. The sandbox environment in Mafia III makes it possible for players to improvise, because they no longer have to worry about the long-term consequences. The upside is that the odds of getting stuck with a difficult checkpoint are slim to none, but the feeling of accomplishment is also diminished.

The Mafia III games encourage players to take a steep departure from the main quest and have a little fun by going off the traveled paths. Running from the police and causing mayhem would defeat the purpose of completing the game as fast as possible. On the other hand, these activities can be quite amusing as they present players with the chance to explore the huge world.

The available game mechanics also allow players to improvise more than in the previous installments and fistfights are an excellent diversion. Their lack of complexity can have a deterring effect on those who were hoping for advanced melee combat. At the same time gunfights are pretty intense especially when the hero is surrounded by waves of opponents. The missions are spread across the entire map, so players will have plenty of chances to take advantage of the sandbox environment as they head on to their targets

What is Mafia III

Mafia III is an open world action-adventure game continuing the legacy of the Mafia franchise and having Lincoln Clay as the main character. 2K Games published the game in the second half of 2016 and it is was an important milestone for Hangar 13. This is the first Mafia game produced by the video game developer and it promotes a handful of concepts that are completely new to the fans of the franchise

Screenshot of Mafia III. © 2K Games
Screenshot of Mafia III. © 2K Games

Gameplay of Mafia III

Mafia III is played in a third person view and players will discover the New Orleans of 1969 from this perspective. As Lincoln Clay makes his way through the city, trying to avenge his friends and kill some of the most dangerous mobsters, he uses a diverse arsenal. Revolvers and shotguns are used routinely to kill opponents, but most often players need to make use of the environment to survive the attack.

The cover system is a significant improvement from the previous installment in the franchise and players can duck behind various objects. Taking shelter is essential in most firefights and the gameplay of Mafia III also encourages players to sneak up on their targets. Stealth is a central game mechanic in this action-adventure videogame and many missions can be performed covertly. Players have the option of alternating strategies or can take their chances with a frontal assault and come out guns blazing.

A mix of melee and range combat

Some opponents can be killed with your bare hands and there are plenty of ways to start fistfights and escalate them to fully blown gunfights. Lincoln is hell-bent on killing mobsters, but quite often he uses violence against other non-playable characters to extract information. Players are also supposed to decide about leaving their victims alive after extracting the valuable data or put a bullet in their brains.

The Mafia III gameplay allows for a great degree of freedom, with players having the option of acting alone or assigning lieutenants. Cassandra, Burke and Vito Scaletta are the three trustworthy sidekicks and they can be dispatched to overrun various locations. The latter was the protagonist of the previous installment but in this game players can only assume the role of Lincoln Clay.

Driving is an important part of Mafia III and players end up spending a lot of time behind the wheels when completing missions. The fictional city of New Orleans is pretty big and it can take a while to drive from one part of the town to the opposite one. Unlike other video games that feature nearly indestructible cars, this one requires a lot of attention because getting killed in a car accident is a distinct possibility.

Screenshot of Mafia III. © 2K Games
Screenshot of Mafia III. © 2K Games

Plot of Mafia III

2K Games and the game developers chose not to reveal too much information about the plot of Mafia III and invite players to wait for the official release. What we know is that we play the role of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran who returns home to discover a distressing truth. He finds it difficult to become a part of society and chooses to join The Black Mob, but this puts him in harm’s way.

When the Italian mob tries to kill him he starts his very own criminal organization and with the help of Cassandra, Burke and Vito Scaletta tries to exact revenge. The result is an all out war that lights up the entire city of New Orleans and also draws the attention of law enforcement agencies.

Development of Mafia III

The first rumors about Mafia III surfaced in the second half of 2012, but the official information only emerged in early 2014. Hangar 13 was the game studio chosen to work on the videogame published by 2K Games despite its lack of experience with the franchise. Haden Blackman leads the team after previously working for LucasArts and the game was formally revealed in 2015 at Gamescom.

When Mafia III was released in 2016, it was made available on Microsoft and OS powered computers as well as Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game uses the Simplygon graphics software, which is supposed to bring to life the New Orleans city of 1968. Various landmarks such as the Superdome Stadium and Canal St. are missing, but many more  feature in the game.

Screenshot of Mafia III. © 2K Games
Screenshot of Mafia III. © 2K Games

Where can I download Mafia III?

Mafia III is not yet available for download, but fans of the franchise should be able to download it from 2K games official website. Hanger 13 is also going to provide a link and even today players can preorder the game if they want to have it as soon as it is officially released.

What are others saying about Mafia III?

When Mafia III was officially announced, everyone wondered whether the new software developers were capable of coming up with a worthy successor. The franchise has developed a cult following and the second installment was celebrated as a significant improvement. However, the numerous issues that plagued the game needed to be addressed and most of them seem to be fixed in the latest installment.

Critical reviews highlight the advancements made in terms of graphics, while raising some questions regarding the somewhat shallow storyline. The teaser trailers exercise a special fascination among players with better than expected animations, great looking characters and a stunning environment.

Mafia III tournaments

Mafia III is essentially a single player game, so once players complete the main storyline they won’t be able to put their skills to the test in the multiplayer arena. There will be no Mafia III tournaments, but players have the option of choosing other 2K Games titles that will keep them at the edge of their seats. NBA 2K16, Battleborn, XCOM 2 and Madden NFL 16 are a couple of worthy examples.

My rating of Mafia III

I’ve played both the original videogame and the sequel and if past performance is an indicator for future results, Mafia III should be a giant leap forward. The graphics were clearly improved and the same can be said about the animations, while the storyline remains the biggest mystery. Hanger 13 is at its first attempt at developing a game for the franchise, but the key members are immensely experienced. That’s why I’m confident that Mafia III will meet the high expectations and will deserve a rating of at least 8.5/10.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Score
8.5
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