Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Hangar 13
Release Date: October 7, 2016
MSRP: USD 59.99, Php 2695.00 (Datablitz)

I’ve lost count on the hours I played with Mafia III. And surely, I’m pretty much enjoying the story so far. After the physical copy arrived from Take Two Interactive, I inserted the disc and played it while the patch was downloading. Prior to the patch, there were shadows flickering, the objective and chapter name at the upper left of the screen was a bit extended. A lot of issues were fixed after the immediate patch released by Hangar 13, but there were still some hiccups with the graphics.

Mafia III starts off with Vietnam War veteran, Lincoln Clay, in the 60s’ heist with the son of a mob boss. Skin differences and stereotyping were big issues in this year. There were scenes where Clay was thought of as a thief because of his skin color. Aside from racism, discrimination and socio-political issues the criminal organization was a big thing that time. They control the city, the businesses, and even political figures. Hangar 13 did portray the 60s’ impressively. The theme and atmosphere of New Bordeaux (the fictional city version of New Orleans) has portrayed the 60s vibe with its brown-ish yellow scenery pretty well and also the good ol’ classic cars – Cadillac and Daimler designs.

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Just a note to my readers, this is the first Mafia game I’ve played. I did my research on the previous installments to give me some insights of the gameplay mechanics and plot. The narrative of Mafia III is in the same world where the events happened in Mafia and Mafia 2. However, the story is not a direct sequel of the 2nd installment but in a whole new different year and plot– this means well for newcomers to the series, you won’t be bombed with the story that leaves you a lot of questions in the end.

The combat against the A.I experience is not as impressive that I thought it should be. Combat feels more like a chore than having it part as the whole experience. Yes, it’s “part” of it, but it’s not a moment that you would likely remember. Your enemies are stupid as they are. Mobs rushes to vigorously outflank you in the silliest way possible, no tactics or whatsoever. Or some of them just stay behind covers, peek, and shoot.

Aside from silly A.I programming, the driving and stealth are impressive than the combat aspect of the game. Driving is pretty smooth and you don’t have any issues on steering — *looks back at Watch Dogs*. And stealth is more utilized than what we can from other open-world games. You can either go with gunfights or just plainly stealth throughout your mission. What I like about Mafia III is the diversity on how you approach your missions. Make it full stealth or bullets firing from both ways, it’s your call, and you’ll love it.

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As for upgrades, it’s not that massive but enough to get you through your missions. There are Rackets, or let’s say illegal businesses, that you can take and assign your underbosses to run those operations. For successful takeovers, you’ll be able to unlock weapons, grenades, vehicle upgrades, and health improvements.

I’m still almost half way of the game and my progress has already made me decide to give it a first impression. Hopefully, the future patches can fix the graphical issues, it gets a bit annoying in the long run to see that there are still some of them present in the game. But so far, Mafia III’s story has kept me rolling and progress through for me to give out a full review within the week.