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Mafia III Review: Organized Crime of New Bourdeax

From the radical events of 1960’s America to the events of the Vietnam War, there is another war happening in the South on the city streets of New Bourdeax. The rise in power of one Italian family has brought New Bourdeax to it’s knees with a variety of rackets made to hurting this town and only one man and his group of underbosses can stop this powerful family to taking over and running the city New Bourdeax in Mafia III.

Meet Lincoln Clay…

Lincoln Clay

Originally from New Bourdeax, Lincoln Clay is the main character and star in Mafia 3 who was originally an orphan brought up in the life of crime with a mafia run organization that took him in to hustle and do deeds around New Bourdeax. Serving in the Army in the late 1960’s, Lincoln served a tour and explored through the historical events of the Vietnam War before returning home where he is walking into a different war that will prove to be another test of his military tactics to obtain vengeance and the right to have the keys to assume reigns to the city “on the bayou.”

Lincoln and his adopted family were overshadowed by the lead mafia family of New Bordeaux known as the Italian run Marcano crime family led by Sal Marcano who ran a variety of rackets from running guns, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and other poison to spread across the Southeast and eventually across the U.S.

Mafia III Gameplay

Mafia III Marking System

Mafia III gives plenty of lead way for players to walk-through the game whether it’s the old-fashion assault method just like the previous mafia games or usage of stealth tactics. Mafia III provides a cover system for Lincoln’s character where the player can look around the corner to know where the enemies are or to stay hidden from the enemies line of sight. In addition, Lincoln has a sensing ability to mark and highlight enemy silhouettes as well as object silhouettes (medicine cabinets and junction boxes) and the mission objectives.

Lincoln Whistle

Lincoln using his “whistle” to lure an enemy to his location while in cover.

In terms of stealth tactics, the player can get through each mission by using Lincoln’s whistle to lure enemies to his location at which the player can choose to knock out or lethally take down your enemies with a knife. When Lincoln enters a hostile or trespassing zone of an area, his character animation changes into a crouching position to help minimize noise while sneaking up on an enemy from behind.

As for side missions, Lincoln can be tasked to breaking into all the junction boxes found around New Bourdeax in order to setup a wiretap for his CIA friend in order to keep tracking on Lincoln’s enemies (must pick up fuse boxes around New Bourdeax to tap junction boxes) as well as participating in a number of rackets for other people (bootlegging rackets, protection rackets, drug rackets, etc.) which can unlock bonus missions.

Mafia III Lock Picking View

Lincoln picking a lock on a junction box in Mafia III

Speaking of junction boxes, Lincoln Clay can pick locks on these junction boxes as well as locked doors to gain access to a restricted area on a mission. The lock-picking  view is extremely simple to understand…just remember to wait for the bar on the screen to turn green to make the lock picking easy to nail.

Throughout most missions, there are opportunities to pick up some collectible magazines (including taking a look at classic Playboy magazines) and pictures which can make your eyes pop out of your head when you see what a girl from the 1940’s through the 1950’s looks like.

Before or after a mission, Lincoln can call in support from a weapons supplier for the player to buy ammo, upgrade or change out your weapons, buy syringes, and buy body armor. Also, Lincoln can call in a collector to come collect your saved money at which can be deposited back at Lincoln’s safe house location in town.

Make the Right Choices…Don’t Cross Your Under-bosses

underbosses mafia 3

An important part of Mafia III comes down to making a decision on who will be in charge of the captured district and all the rackets that Lincoln has fought to gain control over in the game. Each of your under-bosses carry an added benefit of what Lincoln gains when they are assigned a district in New Bordeaux and the rackets in that particular district; but, there can be a “price to pay” if the wrong decision is made to the wrong under-boss which can mean nothing but trouble up the road as far as support privilege goes.

Regardless of what is decided, a decision can unlock new weapons, perk upgrades, weapon and vehicle upgrades, and other support that could improve Lincoln’s character.

Personal Views of Mafia III

Mafia III Wallpaper

Firstly, 2k games really thought about everything to improve for Mafia III better than the previous two games. I was happy to see that there is a way to play in “stealth” mode with the necessary up close and personal hand-to-hand combat rather than the previous times where there was nothing but running into many gun fights. Playing non-lethally or lethally is in your hands on how you play Mafia III, which to me was the biggest benefit and advantage to this game…no fuss.

The main thing I noticed in this game is that the enemy AI are pretty easy to defeat even on the hardest difficulty, they are not smart when you lure them to Lincoln from his “whistle.” You can go through some mission locations just by luring your enemies one by one to knock them out or do a lethal take-down without getting in a position where enemies call for reinforcements. It would have been nice to get a challenge by luring multiple enemies via Lincoln’s whistle or distraction methods; but, it is what it is…

As for the driving in Mafia III, to me it was “fair”; but, the simulation driving mode could use some improvement to an extent where it can be somewhat less sensitive than what it is right now. I know some muscle cars and regular sedans from the 60’s lacked on steering stability despite power-steering coming out in the 50’s; but, it would have been nice to see some more stability in the steering for this game.

In addition to the enemy AI, New Bourdeax’s finest (the police) are easy to evade on the hard difficulty and they are not too bright either to spot a speeding driver like Lincoln Clay tearing up the highway or running through a red light to give him a citation.

In a way, Mafia III is similar to any of the Grand Theft Auto games where the police doesn’t care what you do except for messing with any of the pedestrians or even one of their own. The only other thing to get the cops put on you is if a pedestrian sees you kill a bad guy in front of them to where they will run off to find a payphone to report your so-called crime. Mafia I enforced the traffic laws; but, not here in Mafia III…

The PC version of Mafia III had some trouble to start with as far as framerate issues, bugs, and character glitching; but, 2k games has released some patches to clear up some of these problems and now Mafia III is considered a consistent game for the Windows platform.

Overall, Mafia III is still a decent third-person shooter game to play despite some things being left out including multiplayer (who knows it might be added later) or current gameplay that could be improved.

Review Summary

  • Narrated scenes helped put together the storyline piece by piece
  • Decision-Making balance for determining district management among partners
  • No fast travel available
  • Lack of side missions

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About The Author

Chief, Author/Writer for TornadoTwistar Gaming. 15+ year gaming experience. Always a big fan of most first-person and third-person, action/adventure, and racing games from Forza Motorsports to Rainbow Six.
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