Released in 2016, Mafia III is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows. Promising a similar experience to the highly successful Mafia franchise, it however doesn’t have the best reputation especially compared to the other two. So is Mafia III worth buying?
Mafia III is a mediocre game that doesn’t quite live up to the hype of the amazing Mafia or even Mafia II. Atmospherically it is enjoyable and has a great storyline, but the gameplay is boring and overall a bit of a disappointment.
Let’s go through and review this game and highlight its mechanics, storyline and other aspects to determine whether it is a good or bad game.
Is Mafia 3 a Good Game?
Mafia III follows the extremely successful Mafia series that took the gaming world by storm upon release in 2002. Mafia III is the third installment set in New Bordeaux, a fictional area resembling New Orleans.
There is not much linking it to the original game, apart from the fact that the protagonist is wronged by the mafia and is seeking revenge.
It is another third person, open world action-adventure game that boasts a map larger than both Mafia and Mafia II combined. Development was centered around replicating many of the successful aspects of Mafia.
Most of the time is spent using gunplay, driving vehicles but there are also stealth aspects. The game is heavily narrative driven as you follow Lincoln Clay on his quest for revenge, using interrogation and other investigations on NPCs to work out your next steps.
It has also received three separate DLC episodes, named Faster, Baby!, Stones Unturned, and Sign of the Times.
On release it received mixed reviews, with the gameplay mechanics being criticized as too repetitive but the story, characters and themes were generally praised.
The game has been singled out for bad mechanics and technical execution, although some software updates have helped with this, particularly the PC version was locked to 30 FPS but this has since been removed.
The Nemesis system that saw so much success in the Lord of the Rings games makes an appearance.
The soundtrack features many well-known songs from the 1960s, with some original work by Jesse Harlin and Jim Bonney fitting in perfectly. The atmosphere of the original Mafia game was what sold it to so many, and this third installment does a great job as well.
The assassination parts you can do while engaing in stealth parts are well-developed, although players of the Assassin’s Creed franchise may notice some similarities.
Mafia III also contains buildings and areas full of bad guys that you can constantly clear out and practice multiple ways of attacking, similar to the Batman games or the Outposts in Far Cry.
Is Mafia 3 Story Good?
The story is definitely one of the best aspects of the game. The voice acting is very well done, and conversations seem natural and organic.
Clay’s demeanour changes drastically after the murder of his family, and he turns into a being of pure white hot rage, drawing on his Vietnam experience to make life hell for anyone he determines is an enemy.
The game involves a mechanic where you take over the districts run by the mob and install your own guys in there to run them, and this feeling of dismantling all the districts run by your enemies adds to the feeling of complete humiliation and destruction of your adversaries.
The way the story is told is brilliant, as key characters are introduced via them discussing the events of the game as they’re being interviewed for a documentary.
The use of archive footage from the Vietnam war, or newsreels of police brutality.
During some missions you’ll also be shown a cutscene to elaborate further on a particular character you’re after, or to remind you of key aspects of the overall story.
It can be easy to get lost in a new story with all these new characters, and Mafia III does a great job of using these moments to remind you of the key pieces of information.
Conclusion: Is Mafia III Worth Playing?
Mafia III is not a bad game but is not quite what is to be expected from the developers of the amazing Mafia and the slightly less impressive Mafia II.
While making a new and revolutionary game isn’t easy, Mafia III feels like it is copying too much from other games, with aspects like the Nemesis system feeling almost identical.
The game doesn’t immerse you in the early 19th century Mafia tropes that made the first two games feel so authentic and real, but Mafia III’s locations, story and pacing are definitely its best parts.
Whether they outweigh the cons of the game is subjective, but for me it’s not quite enough.