Hands-on with Mafia III, out on PS4 this October

Find out how 2K Games’ upcoming open-world crime epic plays

Like so many stories steeped in organised crime, that of Lincoln Clay is complicated. Once an orphan, and now a veteran of the Vietnam War, Lincoln returns to his life in New Bordeaux (a fictional interpretation of New Orleans) and soon falls in with his old gang.

When that gang is betrayed by the Italian mafia, Lincoln is bloodied and left for dead. But the hardened soldier survives, and begins his plot to take down the man responsible and wrestle the city under his control. This violent and layered tapestry serves as the backdrop to Mafia III, which launches this October on PS4.


Lincoln’s story of revenge sizzles with flavour. As I sat down to play an early build of Mafia III in San Francisco last week, I was greeted by beautiful cars, pulpy dialogue, and the twang of Creedence Clearwater Revival. 1968 New Bordeaux makes a perfect stage for Lincoln and his criminal lieutenants as they dismantle the mafia’s operations across the city.

In this demo, Lincoln fights to seize control of the downtown district from the unnervingly calm Tony Derazio — a high-ranking number-cruncher with a strong distaste for failure. In order to lure Derazio out of his heavily guarded penthouse, Lincoln must disrupt Derazio’s activities downtown. There is an ample number of ways to achieve this, from destroying his shipping trucks to the more personal approach of eliminating his enforcers.

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These objectives highlight one of the key pillars of Mafia III: no failure but death. As long as Lincoln survives, players can approach missions in a variety of ways, from systematic stealth operations to guns-blazing bravado. If a key mission vehicle gets trashed in the process, no problem — players simply find another way to advance, as long as they keep Lincoln alive.

And staying alive is both a challenge and thrill in Mafia III. Combat undulates between heart-pounding stealth takedowns and the rush of cover-based gunplay. When things heat up, enemy encounters can spiral into large-scale shootouts quickly, which may necessitate Lincoln to call in backup from one his lieutenants. This can include cutting the phone lines to block enemy reinforcements, or hiring some muscle to cover Lincoln’s back.

My personal favourite? Wiring the mobile store and watching a van pull up curbside to dispense fresh armaments, body armour, restorative items, and a confidence boost for Lincoln’s next mission.

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The final showdown in Derazio’s penthouse is nothing short of spectacular, with copious amounts of bullets exchanged, engaging room design for cover opportunities, and one last surprise when Lincoln meets his target. After Derazio is dispatched, players are free to assign that hideout and its assets to one of Lincoln’s lieutenants. This opens up the larger strategy element of Mafia III.

Keeping Lincoln’s confidants happy is a game in and of itself. Assigning resources to one of the three local crime organisations influences the story, dialogue, player income, and even the upgrades Lincoln has access to. Keeping Lincoln alive is one thing, but balancing the power of an entire criminal underworld? Be prepared for several terribly uncomfortable (and dangerous) conversations.

Mafia III promises tremendous player choice set to a blissfully curated soundtrack. Players can experience Lincoln’s story for themselves when this massive open world hits PS4 this October.

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0 Author replies

Lincoln Clay looks so much better now than he did before and the story is if it’s even possible looking even better than Mafia 2’s story!

I cannot wait for this!!! :D

Nice! I played Mafia II through PS+ and it was an odd case of being rather underwhelmed by the game elements but the story and “feel” kept me playing. As soon as I finished it I thought “there’s clearly a story behind the development of this game because it’s too good in places while rubbish in others” and sure enough a quick google showed it was a miracle it got released at all. I hope the development this time has been without as much chaos (more so for the developers own mental health!) because the vision behind these games is clearly strong.

I’m looking forward to it!


I agree totally. There should have been a lot more scenes with his sister and mother. Some characters just weren’t given enough development.
It should be great. :)


So no struggling to keep a dopey AI character alive? No replaying over and over just to keep a paper-thin car from exploding? No mission failure because you didn’t follow the route that the devs decided was “correct”?
This “no failure but death” is definitely something I can get behind. :)

The second one sucked so hard they’d have to really try to make this one worse. Not terribly excited, but cautiously curious, and will def pick it up if it ends up being good.


I loved the second one. Sure it had its flaws, like every other game out there, but was great in general. I was just glad to see this on ps3 at all. Can’t wait for this. Always up for enticing open world games.

Hope all that scope and options for completing missions etc doesn’t mean the game’s short

pablo-hassan 20 April, 2016 @ 11:27

This does look pretty cool! Kinda reminds me of LA Noire

FrostScythe1 21 April, 2016 @ 16:40

oh hell ya can’t wait for mafia 3 love the first two


they should make this game onjmusha 2and 3 for the ps4

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