The blacker the berry, the blacker the juice.

The blacker the berry, the blacker the juice.

When it comes to organized crime games, there are two main competitors. Rockstars GTA & 2K’s Mafia. Today we look at 2K’s latest release and the highly anticipated Mafia 3.

I have never been a MAFIA enthusiast, I had the chance to play the previous titles but I never did. Making this confession itself should be enough to get a few dislikes and enough hate mail to fill my inbox the next weeks but bare with me. The only reason why I am writing my first impressions on this game is because I cannot get enough of it and I now regret not playing its predecessors.

Mafia 3 takes place in the early 70’s in a city called New Bordeaux. I cannot help to picture New Orleans around that time in history. The town itself, its people, its buildings everything are working in harmony to enhance the users experience in this apartheid driven heart of the Southern US. Divided into sectors, you can feel that it is like a pressure cooker ready to explode with racial crimes taking place all over the area. The mob runs the show, drug and weapon trafficking is the main event but prostitution and extortion seems to be the kicker to the entire act. The mob of course, as every organized crime that respects itself has others doing its dirty work. On the lowest payroll you have the Dixie group that sounds like a Neo nazi Ku klux mixture. Needless to say that racism in this game is like nothing you have seen before on any other game. It is just shocking but lets be honest: It reflects the reality black people faced in the US around that time.
The mob has got the cops on a payroll as well, so when you go against the mob you get the po-po looking for you. In general it is probably the most hostile environment you could imagine for a young black man. But our hero is not the ordinary young black man.

327652-mafia3The hero
Lincoln Clay is the name and he is the recipient of this entire mess. A Vietnam veteran, was part of the Black Ops teams CIA deployed in Laos during the 60’s. A proper badass every way you look at it. War decorated hero, helps his pops the moment he gets back from Nam by taking out and army of Haetians, steals the Federal Reserve for the mob and ends up with a bullet in his scull. It doesn’t kill him though, drives him mad for vengeance and he starts taking down the mob one by one. You will love this dude. PS, the pure and unmatched racism in this game will make you wanna go guns blazing on every situation.

 

The kicker

Mafia 3 has a killer soundtrack that travels you to the not so distant past. From Johny Cash to Rolling Stones, it has been carefully selected to amaze all. Possibly one of the best soundtracks I have seen on any game. Not knowing what to expect, it was a very pleasant surprise. What I would have wished for, is a few tunes of Wu Tang, Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T and Onyx while you take down mob lieutenants and capos.
On the positive side I also enjoyed the short menu where you get to choose through a variety of perks given by the underbosses in this game. You can choose to get an arms dealer who is always right around the corner and who can provide you with the best weaponry out there, or you can choose the law enforcement to shut their eyes in an area for a certain amount of time while you provide justice. Other perks bring you an accountant to gather the cash you have or an Italian Mob hit squad that will assist against greater numbers of enemies. They are very effective by the way, I love using them.

Story telling is amazing, it is as if the user is looking at the investigation of a crime scene, where witnesses are being asked about incidents and their story in this whole mess. Cutscenes are very pleasing and interesting so I advise you not to miss any of them as they are very important to the storyline, letting us know about the characters in this game or how the public was effected from a hit on the Mob by Lincoln etc.

The let down

Driving might be a ware off to many as it does not resemble GTA however it is pretty good. I switched it to simulation on the game settings and it felt a hint better. It just feels boring, car sounds could have been a million times better considering that there was nothing but American genuine muscle available at that time and they sound like freaking Tesla’s. A POV camera might have been handy as well. The streets feel dull as well, unless you crash on someone hardly anything goes wrong with all AI vehicles following a pre determined pattern that. The game itself might feel a bit boring with the same pattern in the missions, you track down the target, do a couple side missions to cost him revenue and flush him out and finally you confront him, kill him and take his assets (monetary and rackets). But the story itself is so pleasing that even that over exceeds my expectations, thus I am writing a pretty positive review about Mafia 3, far better than I had ever expected.

I got to get back on the game now though, so I hope you invest in this game if you are looking for a really great story and a very decent game to play. I give it a 9.5/10 and I think it is the most high scoring game I have rated so far. Anybody got a spare copy of Mafia & Mafia 2 for me?

Herb is the founder of EXT Gaming. When he is not playing, he is probably vaping and thinking about gaming.

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