Mafia III Definitive Edition Review – Or Is it?

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Mafia 3 Definitive Edition was released on the 19th May 2020 on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. Developed by Hangar 13 and published by 2K Games, it is the sequel to Mafia 2 and is set in New Orleans, in the fictional city of New Bordeaux during 1968. It also includes the story DLC and bonus packs in this definitive edition. This open-world, 3 rd person action-adventure game begins with a documentary-style opening. You are put in control of our main protagonist Lincoln Clay. The developers had an alternative opening planned but this was scrapped due to its controversial nature. This game delves into racism and politics but does so with the hopes of broadening gamers minds to the subjects. Although a fictional city and story, the topics it touches on were very real.


The game begins with Lincoln returning from Vietnam and he’s out for blood after his family are murdered by the Italian mob. He’s also intent on building up a criminal organisation, with the
gameplay focusing on you taking over various ‘rackets’ as well as seeking revenge. The available game modes include easy, normal and hard, with low, medium and high aim assist available to those who are less of a sharp shot. I am including myself there.

The first couple of missions are a basic introduction to controls such as driving, movement, stealth takedowns and shooting. During the initial missions, we robbed the federal reserve, had a shootout with the police, helped serve gumbo at the local soup kitchen, and were introduced to a few main characters that continue to appear along the way. Once you are through these first missions, the game opens up and you’re free to explore more of the open-world aspect of the game.

You’ll begin taking over enemy tuff or ‘rackets’ if you prefer, wiretapping the enemy, and recruiting allies or killing them for instant cash if you wish. I preferred to let them live for a bonus return in cash later in the game. The pace of the game seems good with the slow introduction of various features before you have access to your home where you store money and change clothes. Store your money often. If the police catch you, you will lose it all. Driving through the open-world city was relaxing, however, car control could do with some improvement. Although it had a fluid arcade feel, it did not feel fun to drive. I was often clipping innocent bystanders and finding myself fleeing from the police.

The overall movement of Lincoln is a little clunky. Fortunately, this looks worse to spectators than it feels when playing the game. Simulated driving is available in the options menu for advanced players. This will pop up a few missions in and can be turned on and off as required. Slow-mo driving is a nice feature. Great for avoiding obstacles and taking turns at speed, something you will be doing when the police are on
your tail.

A few characters from previous Mafia games make an appearance, this was a nice touch for fans of Mafia and Mafia II. Trophy hunters will be happy with the game boasting 86 trophies including the DLC trophies. Relatively easy platinum if you are willing to invest 40 – 60 hours of gameplay, that includes a second playthrough. There have been some reports of issues with glitched trophies, so I recommend reading up on those before you begin if you are going for the platinum.


I played this on the Playstation 4. The graphics are good, and the textures are nice. A clear improvement from the original game. There were a few frame rate issues when I played, buildings still rendering while I was driving, but overall I was impressed with the graphics. The shine following it swim in the river was as natural as you would expect from this type of game. The attention to
the detail on the car was noticed with poorer areas having plenty of rusty old bangers, whilst richer areas had clean new vehicles.

The game concept art during an occasional long load time was a nice addition.


The soundtrack for this game was very good and included a selection of genres from rock to country to listen to while driving around the streets of New Bordeaux. Music also played from bars and other establishments as you walk around. Music was also kept to the theme of the sixties which adds to the overall feel of the game.


The story was interesting and set in a time rarely used in games, however, missions were repetitive and character development was thin on the ground. Delving into the characters of the game could have improved the play experience immensely. However, if you’re on a trophy/achievement hunt this could be worth the investment.


As an average game, I am unlikely to return to New Bordeaux. There are many 3 rd person, open world, action-adventure games available across devices that are better than Mafia III. The concept
was great, but the lack of character depth and repetitive missions is a deal-breaker for me. If you have played and enjoyed previous Mafia games it is definitely a must-play, but if you’re just
looking for an open world, action-adventure, 3 rd person game that includes driving and guns, pick up GTA instead. Mafia III Definitive Edition receives the Thumb Culture Silver award.

Developer: Hangar 13, Aspyr (Mac), Aspyr Media, Inc.
Publisher: 2K Games, Take-Two Interactive, Aspyr
Release Date: 19/05/2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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