Mafia III: PS4 Review
Released by 2K Games
Already one of 2K Games' biggest titles, Mafia 3's 1960s set America is a veritable powder-keg of a game.
The third person shooter sees you taking control of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam war veteran who's after revenge for his murdered mates. Put in the context of New Bordeaux in 1968 where racism is rife and violence is never far from the arsenal, this semi-sort of Goodfellas tale gives you the chance to explore 10 different regions and work across several differing sandbox storylines.
Pitting you against fellow Haitian mobs and other would-be hoodlums, Clay has to work his way to the top, and using stealth and occasional brute force, it's a long road to get there.
What Hangar 13 and 2K Games have done with Mafia III is relatively astounding, even if there are elements which feel repetitive in the story missions.
The game oozes with atmosphere, and the era of the time. From the use of Jimi Hendrix's All Along The WatchTower at the start through to the less savoury elements, the game's embracing of the period makes this Grand Theft Auto South style game feel authentic and occasionally uncomfortable.
Coupled with a great script, some documentary style edges and some good solid voice acting, Mafia III's higher elements work better than the moments that feel familiar and retread old mission ground. Robbing, murdering - they're all part of the various missions scattered around the sandbox world and pushed around the different regions for you to perform. And they all form a purpose too, as you gain control of regions and take charge of lieutenants to carry out your desires and keep you stocked up with weapons.
While the game has glitches here and there (I spent some time riding around New Bordeaux's areas half melded into another car after trying unsuccessfully to drive over it), there's a lot to be said for the scope of Mafia III and the ugly reality it embraces.
There's a strength to the reality of Mafia III and it makes a gameplay experience feel more grounded than the likes of GTA - its commitment to recreation deserves great praise, and its solid core mechanics demonstrate it's understandable why it's been so popular.
For a sandbox game to sink your time into, Mafia III makes an offer you'd be foolish to refuse.