Mafia 3 Review

Macintosh PlayStation 4 Windows Xbox One

Mafia 3 takes action in New Bordeaux, Louisiana, where you play as Lincoln Clay who returns from Vietnam in 1968 only to find himself fighting another war on the streets. A strife between his adopted family members of the black mob and a Haitian crime syndicate turns bloody, so his plans to leave his hometown for a job in California are put on hold. Clay’s violent homecoming and a brave bank heist are the first few hours of gameplay, and it’s a strong start.
The story is fast-paced and cinematic, jumping backwards and forwards in time, reinforcing the setting with stylish ‘60s music. You’ll hear tracks from great known music artists and bands like The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones.
Later Clay survives an attempt on his life and embarks on a single-minded quest for vengeance, which involves conquering New Bordeaux district by district until he has enough power and influence to dethrone Italian mob boss Sal Marcano. That’s when the racket system comes into play. To claim a district, Clay has to bring down, then take over rackets controlled by rival gangs. These includes prostitution, drug dealing, contraband smuggling and other illegal activities. The more you own, the more money you’ll earn and with every conquered racket Clay gets closer to Marcano.


Every racket has a Dollar value and your job is getting that number to zero by killing people, breaking stuff, and stealing money at various locations scattered around the map. After you’ve caused enough trouble, the boss will be lured out of hiding, giving you a chance to kill him and incorporate his business into your burgeoning criminal empire.
At first, you really enjoy this whole activity. Creeping into gangs controlled territory, quietly stabbing people, taking their money, sneaking up on lieutenants and interrogating them and causing mischief. But after completing countless variations of the same mission for several hours, you realize that this is it. It’s the entire game!

The rackets aren’t side missions you can jump in and out of at your leisure. It definitely feels like they should be, but the whole gameplay is actually built around them. Once in a while you’ll unlock random story mission, some of which are genuinely fun, but then it’s back to the basics. Driving between known locations, killing gangsters and occasionally smashing or setting fire to anything that makes you become the racket leader.

Mafia 3 has a great size of the city, but that’s because some locations are cloned. You may clear a warehouse, factory or strip club of enemies to draw the boss out. But when you later return to finish him off, all enemies will be respawned in the same position. It’s really unfair and after some time you may find it frustrating.
If capturing the rackets were a side mission, you’d ignore them, but unfortunately it’s the main gameplay scenario. They somehow make running a gangster empire seem like the most boring, repetitive job in the world. And just when you think you’ve made some progress in the next district, the boredom continues, but this time with a slightly different backdrop.


Most open world games are filled with checklists, but the best ones hide it with variety, engaging missions and fascinating story. Mafia 3 just feels like busywork and the narrative starts to a crawl after a promising opening act.
Great introduction, impressive animation and solid voice performances fail to disguise the fact that this is a usual revenge story, seen on most mafia based movies. Compared with Mafia 2, this new release barely feels like it’s part of the same series.

The repetitive mission structure might not bother you as much if the game was more fun to play, or if there were any interesting systems to experiment in wide open world. Even if the melee combats looks satisfying, the firefights are about as generic as any shooters get. In fact, you can do more damage spraying bullets with the pistol than using a rifle. Some enemies won’t die instantly after being hit. They lay on the ground weeping and moaning. Another funny thing we found is that you can carry a body and throw it into the lake. Alligators will be thankful for that and you’ll get rid of murder evidence. Moments like these simply puts a smile on your face.
Getting on the road, vehicle handling feels more responsive when simulation mode is activated, but it’s frustratingly weightless and slippery.


During the battle, if you ran out of ammo or need to buy new guns, you can call up Cassandra’s mobile arms dealer, or use Vito’s Italian mob connections to hire some armed heavies as a last resort. Probably one of the best ideas in this game is when you capture a territory, you must choose which of the three recruits will run it. Just pick wisely, because wrong decision may cause conflicts within the group.

To sum up, it’s a shame that game we’ve all been waiting for seems so unambitious and based on flat scenario. Mafia 3 is repeating the same mission types far too often and wrapping its story around a open territory that just isn’t deep or entertaining enough to support an entire single player game. Yes, you can free roam after completing the main story and do some side content, but in time you catch yourself starting to miss multiplayer mode. Game doesn’t have co op mode either, so there’s no way you can get some fun with your friends or get in connection with other players online and do some crazy things in 60s era.

Minimum requirements

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7
  • Processor (AMD): AMD FX-8120
  • Processor (Intel): Core i5 2500K
  • Memory: 6GB RAM
  • Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon™ HD 7870 2GB
  • Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce® GTX 660 2GB
  • DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
  • Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection
  • Hard-drive space: 50GB

Recommended requirements

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
  • Processor (AMD): AMD FX 8350 4.0 Ghz
  • Processor (Intel): Intel Core i7-3770
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB
  • Graphics card (NVIDIA): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or GeForce GTX 1060 4GB
  • DirectX: 11.1 Compatible video card or equivalent
  • Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection
  • Available Disk Space: 50GB


  • Good graphics
  • Enchanting 60s era
  • Stunning cutscenes
  • Well chosen background music


  • No multiplayer
  • No co-op mode
  • Poor game story
  • Endlessly respawning enemies


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