Mafia III – The World of New Bordeaux
Elements of the Gameplay like Driving and Shooting
The anticipation is over, with the latest release to the Mafia franchise finally making its debut, the corrupt and vivid structure of a less ideal society and the introduction to a new set of characters is striking in its ability to cause the player to connect to the world of New Bordeaux. Through the script and struggles found within the game most notably through the historical unnerving themes of racism and the protagonists suffering, not only from being in the war but from losing what makes him humanistic; Mafia III pushes to showcase something to gamers that results in a title that is grimy and fresh. This modernistic and fresh take on a 1968 setting is furthered through the unveiling of characters that take the main stage throughout the games story, along with the involvement of old favorites such as Vito Scaletta, the game pushes to develop a plot that coasts along smoothly with Lincoln Clay and his ruthless agenda to gain revenge to its fullest extent.
Flashing back and forth smoothly from present time commentary which makes itself known in a documentary based format and, past events where you of course play through the story section, Hangar 13’s capacity to create this experience that is as original as it is violent marks one that reaches a high level, even if it does have pieces that could be adjusted. Overall, it highlights what happens when you take an already scarred man, and rip everything else from his clutching hands, leaving him alone with just his anger and a shattered view of reality. Fundamentally it gives players a havoc riddled experience involving gun shots, silent take downs and frequent feedings of victims bodies to savage gators, removing the essence of what it means to sugar coat something, and instead creating this raw and bold title.
Touching on topics such as Rackets, brilliant New Orleans architecture and the remaining effects of the Vietnam War shown through episodes of Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder, Mafia III defies being categorized as a flat title, this is due to the fact that there are so many things which have been absorbed into it. Whether you’re sitting back being transported to the 60’s from the curated track that lulls through the radio speakers in cars or, stabbing your foes to make your way to the Big Boss, there’s always something to engage in. But this is where there could be an amount of improvement, due to the fact that side objectives can begin to get repetitive, in Lincolns attempt to rule New Orleans. The set ups are different but the premise remains the same, you do the damage, destroy their assets and in the end decide who gains control of that establishment, leaving the door open for other things that could have been added to create that open world interactivity.
Other areas to touch on where these factors of improvement were also evident involve specific bugs that generate during gameplay and even things such as game asset textures that seem to have been rushed in an attempt to finish the game. An example of this is, a few times an enemy foe would refuse to die, spawning immediately after being killed, and no matter how many times he was shot, he stood right back up, cursing the whole way, creating a bug in the mission which made it impossible to complete. Another bug was spotted during a rainy day in Mafia III, the rain seemed to blur the models of trees, the clouds floating by and even created a scattered pixel effect around the edges of other elements present. The textures I’m referring to were prominent on assets like trash piles, while there were a few of the crafted models laying on top, the rest of the trash was simply a texture which you could see was thrown onto a flat polygon surface, with nothing else being placed on top of it to make it look more natural.
When switching from bugs to refer to the games AI and how it interacts with the environment, the system was interesting, but there wasn’t a gradual development in the difficulty or how aggressive they were. Each section of the game, was ruthless if you happened to accidentally alert the enemy or surrounding sentries, but if played smart making usage of cover and stealth approaches, things pretty much unfolded the same way each time. The combat itself though is lethal, filled with blood smearing across the floor and walls, with Lincoln being able to flex his neck cracking skills, something that the war no doubt had an impact on in his path to becoming who he is throughout the game.
But stepping away from the critiques, these distinct things that have been pointed out aren’t enough to waste away the game and that’s certainly not what I’m stating, that is was a bad game, because it wasn’t not in the slightest. It itself shines through and Hanger 13 have added a solid addition to the Mafia III franchise, it’s powerful, filled with vigor and the way it was written is golden. The way the developer harnessed their storytelling technique causes all of the other parts of the game to blend in together, doing well to make it feel as though you are immersed in a 60’s New Orleans – a place that bustles with crime, racism and even locations which showcase how important the location is to the historical notes, those cemeteries, Mardi Gras events and bayous.
The way you interact with your crew mates has an important impact, and the hard work Lincoln Clay puts in to destroy those who sees as the enemy is returned in the story as influenced direction. If you assign certain things to Cassandra over Vito, or Vito over Cassandra etc, you receive these alternate paths in the story, those which embed that importance back into what you are actually deciding, and when you as the player matter, to me this only aids the quality levels of a game.
Mafia III was long awaited for, and as I’ve stated although there are these things that we can point out as “could have been better” that shouldn’t shadow over the entire experience and the story that the developer has allowed us as gamers to diving into head first. I don’t know about you, but put together a mixture of alligators, ruthless gameplay and a location that could be deemed as nothing short of mezmerising, and I’ll be a well entertained and happy camper.