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Divinity: Original Sin Collector’s Edition

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Mafia III

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 24 - 2016

Step back into a troubled past.

Hangar 13 and 2K’s Mafia III takes players to the open world setting of New Bordeaux and builds a suitably lengthy tale of revenge and violence.


Set in the late 1960s, the player will take on the role of Lincoln Clay, a young African American with a troubled past, who has recently returned from the Vietnam war. Reconnecting with his adopted family, the opening portion of the game will see Lincoln lose almost everything he cared about, including nearly his own life, which will then set him up for the long journey or revenge against those who wronged him. So far as stories go, it is a fairly standard revenge tale, which is raised above par by the superb characters and interesting setting.

However, it really doesn’t matter how good the story is, as most people are just talking about the game’s depiction of racism as it existed in this time period. The developers should be applauded for taking on such a difficult subject with such success, as the game really does depict the vile way of thinking from this time in American history. There are plenty of times, through both the narrative and even the environment, where I felt uneasy and disgusted, and provoking such a reaction is surely the success that the developers were aiming for. In practice, aside from the more blatant expressions of racism from the excellent cast of supporting characters, the racism is expressed through the likes of radio messages and blatant segregation within the city, where different areas will react very differently to Lincoln’s presence. While in a predominantly black area, Lincoln will be greeted and able to roam freely, head into the more white areas and Lincoln will have to deal with passers-by glaring at him, stores that refuse to allow access to black folks, and even the police paying more interest. In fact, the police will respond quickly to crime in the white areas, while simply don’t seem that bothered with crime in the black areas of the map. It’s quite disturbing, but done so well.


However, it is difficult to say the same for the gameplay in Mafia III. New Bordeaux is a gloriously colourful open world for the player to explore, but outside of the core game missions there is very little to do. There are plenty of places to explore, but the purpose of this exploring is only to find the collectibles that are hidden around the town, all of which have no effect on the gameplay. That leaves the core missions, which have a rinse and repeat feel about them. Lincoln’s path to vengeance involves causing chaos with a given area enough to force a confrontation with that area’s boss.

Kill off members of other gangs, break up their crime rings, destroy their product and take over their rackets. Assign one of your lieutenants, all of which are excellent supporting cast members, to run the rackets until the area’s boss makes and appearance. At this point, things get a little more interesting as the encounter feels much more scripted. Defeat the boss, assign the entire area to one of your lieutenants and then begin again. The mission structure is repetitive and lacking in variety, but fortunately it is held together by both the excellent narrative and the wonderful supporting cast.

Encounters are not as open to interpretation as some open world games, but players are free for the most part to go in shooting or take a more stealthy approach. The gunplay has a solid cover mechanic which works well for the most part, and the different weapons feel satisfying to use. There is a simple melee option as well, and players are free to sneak up behind enemies and take them down in spectacular fashion. These take downs are made easier thanks to the relative stupidity of the games’ AI at times. It has to be said that the AI really isn’t the smartest, often completely blind and deaf to the players approach. During gunfights, the AI sometimes display even common sense, whereas other times seem quite proficient at forcing Lincoln from cover to certain death. It really is a mixed bag.


The city of New Bordeaux, which is based on the real world city of New Orleans, is a wonderfully varied playground in which to play. There are some incredible buildings in the city, which players will come to recognize as they cruise past in one of the many vehicles that can be used in the game. The driving is solid and enjoyable, although again the AI is questionable, which can make for some very interesting journeys across the city. And there will be a lot of traveling in Mafia III as there is no quick travel option, so players will be making their own way to and from objectives.

Visually, the game doesn’t feel as polished as it could have been. Textures can be quite muddy at times, and pop in due to a short draw distance is quite common. The exception here is the wonderful cut scenes, often told in a documentary style, which are really impressive and compliment the great narrative. Another highlight of the game is the soundtrack. The voice acting is nothing short of stellar, with the voice actors breathing life into the already complex characters of the game, and the developers have really put a lot of thought into the incredible collection of classic songs that play throughout the game.

On the flip side, Mafia III has its fair share of glitches and bugs. Lighting issues seem quite commonplace, especially when the sun is rising or falling, and there are strange little random anomalies throughout. Thankfully, game crashes are quite rare, but still happen. Despite the obvious issues, Mafia III is still well worth playing.


Mafia III is incredibly impressive in so many ways, yet let down in others. The narrative, the setting, the soundtrack and the characters are all amongst the most interesting to be found in videogames, while the mission structure and overall gameplay is repetitive and dull. It is a shame that the game is let down in this way, but overall Mafia III is still well worth playing.




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