A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
No positive messages. Most missions have you assassinate targets; you can kill innocent civilians, police officers; other unlawful behavior frequently shown.
Positive Role Models
Main protagonist, Lincoln Clay, is a Vietnam vet. Players may sympathize with why he wants to target an organized crime syndicate, but he kills many people to accomplish his goals.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Very violent, many scenes of killing, blood, gore. Gamers can use handguns, machine guns, shotguns, explosives, knives, bare hands to kill targets. Players can sneak up on enemies to strangle, stab them, or perform execution-style assassinations, including head shots, placing a gun in someone's mouth to shoot them. One scene shows a man getting limbs cut off.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Contains nudity, sexual acts. There's a sex party, where one woman performs oral sex on a man (act itself isn't seen). During a pornography shoot, topless women are dancing, caressing each other. Men have sex in a bathhouse (not seen explicitly). You can collect unlockable Playboy magazine centerfolds, which show breasts, buttocks.
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Strong profanity including "f--k," "c--t," "s--t," "c--ksucker," "a--hole," others.
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Products & Purchases
Game will have downloadable content (DLC) for purchase. Some recognizable brands, including Playboy, Corvette, others.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of drug references, visuals. One scene shows a man snorting white powder, presumably cocaine; some missions tied to heroin, LSD.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mafia III is a mature action-adventure game. It's a visually graphic tale about going after a criminal syndicate in New Orleans in the '60s, with players eliminating enemies through assassinations with guns, knives, bombs, bare hands, and more. There's lots of blood, along with scenes of torture and gore. There's also lots of nudity, sexual imagery, and implied sexual acts, including oral sex. The game has very strong profanity. There are many drug references, scenes of illicit drug consumption, and missions related to drugs.
Is It Any Good?
The ambitious open-world game has a great story, excellent characters and dialogue, and strong production values that make the city very immersive. This world is big, believable, and interactive. Similar to games such as those in the Grand Theft Auto series, you can explore freely, and the narrative takes you in different directions based on what missions you accept and when. You can see what the game developers wanted to achieve with this third-person, action-heavy adventure. But Mafia III suffers from repetitive play, technical problems, and some other assorted issues. Much of the third-person driving and shooting missions feel like a bit of déjà vu after a while. Plus, there's no way to jump from one place on the map to another, so there's a lot of commuting on the New Bordeaux city streets (at least the music is great). Some technical issues also can hamper the gameplay experience.
Consider it a B-grade game for fans of these open-world shoot-and-driving games but especially those who love a good mob story, with memorable characters. Perhaps with a little more time to add some variety to the missions and iron out the code to be a bit more stable, Mafia III would be one of the year's best. But as it stands now, it's a really good but not great game.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.