Mafia III Preview: Here Comes Trouble

Mafia III Preview: Here Comes Trouble

As Creedence Clearwater Revival said, ‘I see the bad moon rising, I see trouble on the way,’ and not only does the song play twice during my extended look at Mafia III, but it becomes clear that it’s the theme of the game itself. In previous Mafia games, you’ve risen through the ranks of the titular organized crime group, but the story is taking a different turn this time around and is perhaps taking inspiration from some unexpected places.

Mafia III takes place in a fictionalized version of New Orleans called New Bordeaux and puts you in the shoes of Lincoln Clay, a former soldier who finds himself betrayed by the Italian Mob and goes on a quest for revenge. The first thing I noticed about the game are the visual inconsistencies. Sometimes the environments and the character renders are amazing, the kind of top notch work we expect from modern games, other times they’re sloppy, poor, and downright embarrassing. Explosions in a modern game shouldn’t look like they belong on the PlayStation 2, but there they are.

Gameplay wise, Mafia III appears to play almost exactly like the most recent Hitman, right down to the cues that a nearby enemy has spotted you. Granted, you’ll probably be taking a more nasty and action-leaning style of play in Mafia III over Hitman, but it functions nearly the same. There are some things that separate it, however, such as the ability to call in an arms dealer to beef up your inventory or even reinforcements if you find yourself in a pinch. There’s also the “Mafia” elements themselves. While Lincoln is bent on destroying the Italian mob, he’s also building his own empire along with the help of his friends, who can turn into enemies if you make the wrong choice during play.

Shoddy visuals aside, the game just looks like pure fun. One thing came to mind as I watched Lincoln make his way through a burning ship and lay waste to mafioso types – this looks like a new Punisher game. Lincoln is even dressed in an outfit and sporting a haircut identical to Jon Bernthal in Marvel’s Daredevil, it’s uncanny. Should you find yourself eager to play a new Punisher game out on the Bayou, this one has your name on it.

Mafia III appears to be the kind of game I could find myself getting sucked into. The crime story set in the backdrop of the bayou is something we’re not getting elsewhere and you can finally feel like Frank Castle in a video game again. The problem of course are the discrepancies in the visuals. Sometimes it looks great, other times it looks like a game from 10 years ago. If that doesn’t bother you, it would appear you’re in for a voodoo-themed trip.

Standard, limited deluxe and limited collector’s editions of Mafia III are now available for pre-order via


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