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Highly Anticipated ‘Mafia III’ Off to a Shaky Start on PC

Mafia III has seen major bug reports, review bombing of the PC version on Steam, an apology from the developers, and the promise of an incoming patch since its release.

Hangar 13’s Mafia III is easily one of the most hotly anticipated titles of the year. The 1960’s southern-fried crime drama is a brand new look for 2K’s cult classic Mafia franchise, and it’s been turning heads even before the wildly elaborate E3 2016 display.

Unfortunately — at least on PC — it seems to be starting its run in a pair of cement shoes.

It began with the discovery of a 30 frames-per-second lock on the PC port. That alone is enough to drive the hardcore PC gamer crowd a little bit wild, but in and of itself is not an irredeemable sin. Unfortunately, my time with the game has already proven even that 30 FPS to be uneven and jittery. It doesn’t seem to be traditional slowdown — it’s a difficult to define “shuddering” that isn’t helped by the already low frame rate and some intensely smeary motion blur.

Objects sometimes pop in and out of the screen seemingly at random, and some fail to load altogether. Some textures appear to be locked at the lowest level-of-detail, or else are bizarrely low resolution in comparison to the surrounding scenery. There are some mystifying artifacts in the aliasing as well, causing the edges of objects to flicker with jagged white lines unless directly under a bright light source.

2K and Hangar 13 are already aware of the issues. Even before the official launch, they’d issued an apologetic blog post promising improvements to future performance. Since then, it’s been updated to announce a patch this weekend that “includes 30, 60, and unlimited frames-per-second options in the video menu, among other improvements for the PC version of Mafia III.”

Unless Hangar 13’s development talents include time manipulation, it also seems as if they would have had to have known about these problems beforehand. Why they didn’t choose to delay the game by a day or two in order to avoid the deluge of bad press and angry consumers is unclear.

We’ll provide our own review — beyond these initial missteps —  in the coming days.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.

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