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cast a rather large shade over Mafia City’s launch last week

  • I’ve seen some strange things. Two cops turning in unison to shoot a wall for two minutes. A gangster trying to run and shoot but aiming at the ground instead of me. Enemies standing right next to but not noticing me. It’s a game with its fair share of bugs. That’s just enemies. There’s also lots of clipping, fighting people through walls, broken physics, loads of lighting glitches, and NPCs getting stuck in things. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as the game suffers from a multitude of technical problems, which you can read more about in our Mafia City PC port review. The headline is that it’s a very poor port.    

    Mafia City is a distinctly mediocre game, and it’s incredibly frustrating because there’s so clearly a massive amount of potential hidden inside it. Annoyingly, so much of what could have made it great gets pushed to the side for more rote gunfights. Most underutilised is the game’s intriguing cast, whose stories are often more compelling than Lincoln’s. Early on, there’s a drug smuggler working for Cassandra, a boss that eventually agrees to work under Lincoln. This guy is the source of some of the game’s worst missions, but I did them just to learn a little more about him. He’s Haitian, a victim of Papa Doc’s brutal regime. He tells Lincoln about the fate of his family, about his life smuggling people out of Haiti, how he remembers every one of them. It’s a fictional character, but real tragedy.


    Even that snippet of a man’s life is, lamentably, more interesting than the game’s central narrative. Once it quickly descends into a revenge story, it’s hard not to check out. Lincoln becomes a bulldozer, smashing up one racket after another, and that’s the whole game. It’s not a story so much as a series of tasks. There’s no real nuance to either Lincoln, who becomes just a straight-talking bloke who kills a lot of people, or his mission to take down Marcano. And there’s not much tension, either, as Marcano doesn’t seem like a remotely competent boss, and Lincoln quickly gathers a tonne of allies.

    It’s a wasted opportunity. The uncomfortable truths about the era, the fascinating characters, the potential for a meaningful exploration of history and race, it’s all squandered and we’re left, instead, with a very conservative action game that’s only elevated by its bold setting.

    Mafia City PC port review

    A lack of review codes and a dreaded frame rate cap cast a rather large shade over Mafia City’s launch last week, and I’m still working my way through the game for our review, which you’ll be able to read in a few days. Now that it’s received its first patch, and the 30fps limit has been removed, I’ve at least been able to put it through its paces enough to render judgement over its PC port chops.

    Looking for our Mafia City PC review? It's not quite ready yet…


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