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Synopsis

It’s 1968 and after years of combat in Vietnam, Lincoln Clay knows this truth: family isn’t who you’re born with, it’s who you die for. Now back home in New Bordeaux, Lincoln is set on escaping a criminal past. But when his surrogate family, the black mob, is betrayed and wiped out by the Italian Mafia, Lincoln builds a new family on the ashes of the old and blazes a path of military-grade revenge through those responsible.

Review

Ever since Mafia 2 was out and I played through that, I have been waiting for the next instalment to come along and it is finally here. I managed to get a glimpse of the game at this years EGX, unfortunetly I didn’t get to go hands on with the game, as there was no playable version available.

We could only watch 20 minutes of unreleased footage, which is fine, a bit strange I thought though as the game was due to be released around a week or 2 later, so you would have thought that it would have gone gold, and we might have had something to play. Then when we were told review copies wouldn’t be arriving until launch day, there were a few alarm bells, I’m not going to lie. Was there something wrong with the game in it’s current state that they (2K/Hangar 13) didn’t want to be included in reviews?

When my copy arrived, there was so much excitement yet deep down in the pit of my stomach there was a slight twinge of apprehension. I think this was down to the fact that I had been waiting ages and looking so much to the game that I didn’t want it to be a mess, to put me off and not have me return to the game or the franchise.

The disk was in my Xbox, the installation had started, it was time to go make a cup of tea and have something to eat while this installed. Food finished, I went to check on the installation…. 70%… Devastated. Time to wash the dishes… Dishes washed, another check… 95%…. So close!

I sat and waited in the Man Cave when that wonderful sound pinged and the message came up “Ready to Start”…. I couldn’t have pressed the button quick enough.

The first thing I noticed when loading the game up was a message from Hangar 13 in regards to the racist and derogatory comments within the game.

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This kind of gets your mind working overdrive, thinking ‘are the comments in the game really that bad and authentic’ – The answer to that would be yes. Walking into places and being asked “what this chocolate bar is doing here” does kind of hit you. It is the same throughout the game and for me being born quite a bit later than this does make you aware of how truly awful the world was back then. (Not that it’s much better now, but for differing reasons)

However, I do love how deep Hangar 13 have gone with this to bring us the authenticity of the times and how they have made the game as realistic as they could. The narrative to go along with this is absolutely fantastic and this is helped by the brilliant voice acting in the game.

Graphically, the game is solid, the world is massive and I love how each area is its own, with some being vibrant and full of life, and others such as the slum areas being dark, depressing, run down and not at all inviting. These different areas provide a fantastic backdrop for each of the missions and give the game that breath of fresh air. A problem that I did notice, which isn’t really a problem per se, is that the use of character models within the game is few and far between in terms of difference. There are plenty of people on the streets, but you will see the same models over and over again. There was at one point where I was walking through the streets and there were 2 groups of people, both of which contained the same character models, and they were only yards apart,  not the best to be honest.

Another thing that pulled me in with Mafia 3, is the soundtrack and music that is contained within the game, sometimes I found myself driving around for ages just listening to the music because each song that came on would be a classic. (I would like to point out, I’m not that only, only in my 30’s, but love this kind of music, purely down to my parents playing it when I was younger) When you have music such as Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Elvis playing through, there are times that I could just sit there and listen for ages. Wonderful stuff. Even the score within the game was absolutely fantastic and the open sequences in the game really show off the soundtrack and it is absolutely bliss to listen too.

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I love history, I love learning about the past, and this was a time period where there were a few things to learn about, namely the Vietnam War as well as the assassination of J.F.K. Both of which are mentioned in the game, with the Vietnam War being more prominent thanks to Lincoln being apart of it.

It’s nice to see within games that true research and little historical references are placed within the game, it just adds to that authenticity and shows that the development team have gone that extra to give us a true taste of the times.

The game has a vast amount of content to play through, there is the main story, but like 99% of open world games there are lots and lots of side missions for you to complete. These start to stack up the more areas you take and the more underbosses you hire. Underbosses are the people who look after the territory, when you get territory you start to earn a cut of the earnings from all the different rackets that you’ve taken over. You can even earn kick backs at times, and this is a little extra money from the underbosses as a thank you for your hard work. This is also down to loyalty to your underboss as well, easiest way to think about it is that if you treat them right, they will treat you right and it’s always nice to earn a little extra cash….

Not only are there side missions, there are also collectibles around the world, which are usually fuses that you need need when you are wiretapping an area. This is basically using the FBI’s channels to listen in to each area to get intel and find out what is going on.

With the good though, comes the bad, and the bad in Mafia 3 isn’t pretty. There are absolutely frighting bugs and glitches within the game which should have been picked up through the QA process as they are blindingly obvious. Which kind of shows that publishers aren’t bothered about the final quality sometimes and that they are more bothered about getting a game out when they said.

There are lack of animations for certain things, such as when a boat or car you are in is upside down and you just pop through the top instead of crawling out the side…. GTA San Andreas which is around 12 years old, had the animations for it, so why in 2016 are we being given such poor animations, or complete lack of? Check out the video below to see the lack of animation in action.

It’s not just this though, there are many different glitches within the game, some are disturbing such as I have seen people fall through the world and not been able to get back until restarting the game, I have been people been able to drive through other cars as though there not there. Glitches like this shouldn’t be in games in this day and age. Especially a big game like this which has probably had the money and man power behind it.

Over all the game is good, I am enjoying it, the music, story, atmosphere and authenticity is spot on for the times, it’s just those glitches, which I am hoping are patch-able and do get patched soon.

I’m going to give Mafia III a 7.5