It seems to me that the developers of Mafia 3 did not play the game because if they did they would know not to lock story missions behind so many repetitive side missions. Either they took the linearity complaints of Mafia 2 too seriously or decided to pad the game to increase length, whatever is the reason, Mafia 3 is a complete bore.
I enjoyed the first few hours, I’ll admit that. Robbing the federal reserve seems like fun and it was with our main protagonist Lincoln Clay, a burly African american and a US vet, mowing down cops like they were nothing.
As a big fan of Mafia 1 and being disappointed a lot by Mafia 2, I had high expectations for this game because of the setting. Clay comes home to New Bordeaux after serving in Vietnam and soon finds himself in trouble which ends in the death of the people he loves. Well, it’s time for revenge. That’s the whole premise of the game to take out Sal Marcano, a don, and everyone related to his business.
The world of Mafia 3 is huge and well realized, but if you go comparing it to the lively San Andreas of GTA V – you will be disappointed. The city is divided into many districts which you have to take over and hand over to your associates so that you will be well equipped to go after the main bad guy. Taking over each district takes time as you have to do certain objectives before you can take out the people who work for Sal Marcano.
Mafia 3 looks beautiful. The city looks great at night but the lighting seems kinda broken on PS4. It gets way too bright sometimes. There are a lot of NPCs and cars and that makes the city come to life, but it’s still not as complex as GTAV’s which raised the bar for open world games.
There is aliasing and some areas can be pretty dull looking. However, going through areas like French Ward makes me appreciate the work put into this game. I don’t really have a lot of complaints about the visuals but there’s a little micro-stuttering while playing which can be really annoying. The frame rate is fine and holds up well.
The main story seems interesting even though the plot is quite simple. However, the pacing is incredibly poor as I’ve mentioned before you have to do tons of repetitive side missions to unlock the main story missions. It can sap the energy out of you because they are so similar.
The writing is quite good and the characters are quite believable. However, the character models don’t look quite good but that’s only because we’ve come to expect so much more in 2016.
The main thing I enjoyed was the gameplay. The combat can be deliciously fun at times. Blowing away people with shotguns never gets old although there are only two slots for weapons which I found really absurd. Oftentimes you may have to pick up the guns dropped from the people you killed. The stealth is quite bad, not because the mechanics are poor, but because the AI is utterly stupid.
You can kill everyone in the room with a knife if you hide near a door or a cover and whistle. They just don’t realize and will come at you like lambs to slaughter. In fact, I have captured an image from my gameplay which shows how bad it can be. If you go run and gun and play aggressively you will be quite satisfied with the game. Lincoln Clay does not have a lot of health and can be taken down with 2 nicely placed shotgun shots. It makes combat intense. You have to take cover and pick your enemies well.
I think the game is a massive downgrade from Mafia 1 and 2 because you don’t have a lot of options in the game. You do earn cash but you can only spend it on weapons and stuff which makes no sense. Why can’t we buy houses, vehicles and other things? Dying will make you lose a lot of money but you can stash it just to be safe.
The main reason for playing Mafia 3 is its story, but to get to it, you have to drone away doing side missions and unlock each area. I mean, that could be fun for people who only want to kill, but I felt so tired after a certain point that I just could not continue. Mafia 2 is leagues better in comparison. I just do not understand why they did not make a linear game with 10-15 hours of gameplay allowing people to enjoy the story.
The game feels like a very poor GTA clone which is quite sad because of the brand it represents. However, if you enjoy killing racists, despicable people, and bad guys, this is the game for you, provided you can handle the grind.