Mafia 3 released last week and you’re probably wondering where the review is. Well, the game is broken. Not just slightly broken but completely and utterly unloadingly* terrible (*that’s a word, honest!).
On release I did manage to start up and play the introduction to Mafia 3. But then I quit to take care of some real life things. This in hindsight was a huge mistake, Mafia 3 just wouldn’t start back up again. The launcher appeared, I’d click start game and then a silent crash.
I checked my Anti-virus having experienced false positives in the past, nothing. Updated my GPU drivers, nope still crashing. Checked windows 10 was up to date, oh look a crash.
I updated every driver I could find that had an update, after all the CPU could be the problem right? Wrong. Did I mention that I deleted all the files and reinstalled Mafia 3 after every change to see if it worked? Well it made no difference.
This is what we should have seen!
2K released a patch that unlocked framerates, and sweet joy it worked. I could play, I changed the framerate to 60, because the 30 frame lock was ridiculous and got to work. I had learned my lesson, never quit mafia 3, just leave it running.
After a couple of hours, it crashed, never to start again. As a last ditch effort I unplugged everything but keyboard, mouse and monitor. Nope, Mafia 3 still silently crashed. I’ve manually reinstalled the redistributable dependencies. It’s dead. You win 2k, I won’t play Mafia 3 any more until the next patch.
BUT, what did I think of the few hours I did manage to play? Buggy, broken and beyond hope. The performance is so bad that anything above low settings at 1080p means you will never see 60fps, unless you have a Titan X of course. 1440p was 30fps at best on my system. These framerates are the maximum I achieved, running at 1080p/low I had drops to the low 30’s when driving around the city.
I’ve only saw a small portion of the story, and so far it’s not that good. Lincoln Clay losses the only family he’s known and is left for dead by their attackers. That’s the entire reason he shoots hundreds of people, burns down buildings and becomes the one thing he hates. It might pick up later in the game, but until a patch fixes the silent crashes that’s all I have to go on.
It’s a similar point of view put forward by the critics as well as the readers of Metacritic. With a metascore of only 58 for a Triple-A title Mafia 3 didn’t win many fans as critics and the user score of just 3.2 shows what the players think. We are not quite in the infamous Batman territory of the Arkham Knight release here, but it’s not far off and with the similarity of a early patch to unlock the 30FPS cap it’s hard to see why it was there in the first place unless it was simply to see if anybody in the PC gaming community would notice.
What I saw of the graphics was firmly in Uncanny Valley in cutscenes, however in-game was a different matter with low, medium and high providing looking worse than GTA 4, nevermind something more recent. Especially for the horsepower required to power those visuals. GTA 4 springs to mind when I think of Mafia 3 because that was also an incredibly buggy experience at launch. That however did start up, which is a battle I seem to have lost with Mafia 3.
Avoid this game at all costs. If you find yourself tempted to check it out, don’t. Unless you like painfully unoptimised messes that won’t start a second time no matter what you do.
You know what’s a good game instead? Particle Fleet: Emergence, it’s far more deserving of your time and money than this mess.