Mafia 3

As clever and original as it is tedious and broken, Mafia 3 has the makings of a classic, but doesn't go the distance.

Key events

Mafia 3's third DLC expansion, Sign of the Times, launches in two weeks

Mafia's third DLC expansion, Sign of the Times, is slated for release on 25th July.

This campaign add-on sees protagonist Lincoln Clay going to war with a nefarious cult called the Ensanglante that has taken over Sammy's bar and uses psychedelic drugs to brainwash citizens of New Bordeaux and turn them into killing machines. By thinning out the Ensanglante herd, you'll gradually restore Sammy's to its former glory.

Sign of the Times will introduce some new weapons and mechanics like throwing knives and a slow-mo shooting skill.

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Performance Analysis: Mafia 3

Digital FoundryPerformance Analysis: Mafia 3

Console versions analysed in depth. Plus: what does it take to run the PC game at 1080p60?

One week on from release and we think we finally have a handle on Mafia 3, in terms of its console performance and perhaps more crucially, what it actually takes to run this game at 1080p60 on a mainstream gaming PC. What's clear is that this is a game that somehow made it to gamers in a highly unoptimised state, and the amount of bugs, glitches and crashes back to the desktop are legion. Fundamental questions need to be asked about the QA process here - and also of the console platform holders, whose own technical requirements demand a far higher level of stability than what we're seeing here.

Regardless, it's all a bit of a shame. The lighting engine is a real high point, and parts - at least - of Mafia 3 feel like they're genuinely built with modern machines in mind. There's a subdued beauty to Mafia 3 at its best, and there's an apparent attempt to match the oil-painted concept art that pan across its loading screens. Seeing flashes of sunlight play across a rain-soaked streets is a purely incidental moment where all its effects combine to create something spectacular. And likewise, there's a good use of volumetric lighting in interiors to give that a dim, chiaroscuro effect we see in film noir classics.

But that's the city of New Bordeaux at its best. Elsewhere, it's often a dark foggy place, which can only go so far to hide the obvious pop-in as you drive fast down its streets. There's an almost last-gen appearance to the world as a result; not helped by the low resolution, flat textures maps and basic NPC models. Some parts look superb, but others feel like they're plucked straight from a PS3 or Xbox 360 version that never came to be.

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Mafia 3 review

Mafia 3 review

Bug easy.

Video game bugs may annoy and amuse, but they can also be strangely revealing. I've encountered plenty of minor and major errors in Hangar 13's Mafia 3, a hard-to-love but undeniably ambitious open-world crime sim, set in a thinly disguised remix of 1968 New Orleans. A few hours into the story, I was driving out of the bayou when the game's shadows went haywire, spinning around objects as though the sun were a police searchlight. Later, I somehow managed to impale an unconscious bartender on a stool, terrifying an old woman so much that her coffee cup became magically affixed to her hand as she ran for the exit.

Mafia 3

Publisher: 2K

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Mafia 3 fires up UK chart, launch sales up nearly 60% on Mafia 2

Mafia 3 has scored a huge opening week in the UK charts, with sales up 58.7 per cent on Mafia 2.

The open world crime threequel earned its series' largest opening week - by far - although it still had to settle for second place behind FIFA 17.

EA's football juggernaut comfortably won the chart's top spot for the second week running, although sales of it and Mafia were far above anything else in the top 10.

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Our Mafia 3 review will be late - here's why

Mafia 3, 2K and Hangar 13's big budget open world game, is hitting shops today, so you may be wondering where our review is. It's likely it won't be hitting the site until early next week, as 2K has elected not to make the game available to press prior to release, meaning we're getting our copies as it makes its way to shelves this morning.

Should that be cause for concern? Not necessarily - it's a publisher's prerogative whether or not they provide code to press, and there have been recent examples of review copies being withheld until release day for games that went on to receive critical acclaim. Earlier this year the absence of early code for the Doom reboot set alarm bells ringing, yet id's accomplished shooter is one of the year's finest games.

As for Mafia 3, it's impossible to say where it'll land. It's an ambitious open world game that tackles some challenging topics, though its lineage is a little shaky. There are already reports of annoyances on PC, so I'd say its best to exercise caution for a little while. If you're really keen to sample some of Mafia 3's deep south flavour we've compiled a Spotify playlist of its impeccable soundtrack to tide you over until it's a little clearer where the quality of the game stands.

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Mafia 3 E3 trailer show us more of the Big Easy in action

2K has revealed some new footage of its open-world gangster game Mafia 3 (via IGN).

Set in New Orleans, we see more of the southern gothic period piece in action. Set in the 1960s, this crime caper follows mobster Lincoln Clay as he fights other, worse mobsters in the Big Easy.

Mafia 3 is the debut of new studio Hangar 13, the outfit formed by former Star Wars: The Force Unleashed project lead Haden Blackman.

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Watch: Mafia 3 gameplay shows a 1960s open world that feels fresh

Welcome to your weekend round-up of Outside Xbox videos. This time we begin with new gameplay footage from mob-'em-up Mafia 3.

If you're familiar with the Mafia series, you might be wondering why the lead character isn't wearing a snappy suit and fedora. That's because these aren't the romanticised adventures of the Italian mob. Mafia 3 is about a man called Lincoln Clay, out to disassemble the Mafia and replace it with a motley bunch of criminals. And that's not the only reason the game's fictionalised New Orleans feels fresh.

Loading screens were the other thing on our minds this week. In 1995, publisher Namco gave the world not only Time Crisis and Tekken 2, but also a patent for a system that ran minigames in the loading screens of other games, which kept other games from doing that for over two decades.

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Watch 12 minutes of Mafia 3 gameplay

Watch 12 minutes of Mafia 3 gameplay

Multiple endings confirmed.

Mafia 3 developer Hangar 13 has premiered 12 minutes of in-game footage via a developer walkthrough with IGN.

Creative director Haden Blackman takes us through 2K's virtual version of the Louisiana bayou in 1968. You play as Vietnam vet Lincoln Clay, a mobster from the "black mob" trying to take down the Italian mafia his crime family has been at war with.

Through this brief glimpse at the game we get to see a good deal of shooting, stealth and driving with plenty of explosions set against the southern sunset. The time period also ensures some classic rock tunes like The Rolling Stones' Paint it Black, which comes on during a car chase towards the end of this developer walkthrough.

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FeatureMafia 3's setting is great

But the game itself currently leaves a little to be desired.

There's something about the Deep South - its sticky nights, those dense bayous and that subtle undertone of violence carried on the hot breeze - that seems so well suited to video games, so it's a surprise not more have taken up the city of New Orleans as a backdrop. Mafia 3, 2K's open world gangster epic developed by new studio Hangar 13, demonstrates just how great it can be.