Mafia games have always been a mixed bag. Either the story worked, or it didn’t. Either the open world worked, or it didn’t. The games have always been enjoyable if not middling and derivative. And yes, Mafia III continues this trend.As with the previous two games the influence of the Grand Theft Auto franchise isn’t lost. Even to the Rockstar style fast weapon select wheel. Certainly players of Rockstar’s games like GTA V and Red Dead Redemption will feel perfectly at home here.
For Mafia III it’s the open world itself that is the big let down. New Bordeaux is a gamefied take on 1968 era New Orleans. It’s a big city that’s open to explore but completely devoid of life. Coming from GTA V and Watch Dogs the lack of pedestrian interaction, side quests and random events is a little disappointing.
This is a linear game, with a linear story, set in an open world. The only real function of the open world (apart from driving between story mission points) is to allow a small amount of player choice in the order mid game missions are completed in.
You play Clay Lincoln, a black Vietnam War veteran out to wreck revenge on the New Orleans mob for the death of his parents. On the way you employ the help of three big crime underlings each responsible for a particular area of vice (sex, drugs, contraband). There’s nine districts to take over on your way to the grand finally and you assign management of each district to an underling.
Favour one underling above the others and you risk mutiny so you pretty much just evenly distribute three districts each as you go. Not a particularly deep of troublesome mechanic.
Ultimately this is a game of driving to a new location and entering in to some pretty standard cover and fire game play. Rinse and repeat to the end with various levels of difficulty. As I said it’s more a linear story, told in chapters and narrated by your priest, and that is what you’re playing for.
And I enjoyed it. Graphically I thought the game was top notch. Much as been said about the lighting, to dark in buildings and blinding when you go outside. But I found, at least on my PS4, it didn’t trouble me. I got what the developers where trying to achieve with a low, hot, deep south summer sun.
Not the greatest open world you’ll ever experience, but an enjoyable enough romp for one play through.