Use Stealth When Possible
While Mafia III is most definitely an open-world action game, full of plenty of opportunities for destruction, mayhem, and combat, you will definitely benefit from taking a slow approach while getting into the tougher challenges the game has to offer. Lincoln Clay is trained in many different methods of engagement, and that includes stalking (Mafia III’s name for stealth).
By hitting R3/RS, you will toggle into a crouch mode that allows you to move low and silently, giving you the opportunity to sneak right up onto enemies or even past them. This can lead to silent takedowns (done by pressing Circle/B when behind an enemy), perfect trap setups, or just chances at escape from a bad situation. Definitely keep this in mind at all times, as it will often spell the difference between life and death during certain missions and activities.
Cover Is Your Best Friend
Like most third-person shooters out there, Mafia III allows players to take cover. To do so, move close to wall, crate, or any other large enough barrier, then press X/A. Lincoln Clay will automatically snap to the surface, taking cover from most incoming fire. you can shoot from behind cover blindly by pressing R2/RT or you can aim by pressing L2/LT.
Of course, enemies aren’t complete idiots, so make sure to switch between different cover positions from time to time. If you don’t, you will sooner or later find yourself flanked and outgunned.
Don’t Forget to Block
During melee combat, you can block and reverse incoming attacks. To melee, press Circle/B within range. This will start a combo that you can continue by simply repeatedly pressing the button. Once enough damage is done, you’ll finish your opponent. There will be times when an enemy won’t just be treated like a punching bag, though. They’ll try to fight you with everything they got, and can even beat you if you aren’t careful.
When an enemy goes for a physical attack in Mafia III, a prompt to press Triangle/Y will appear quickly on screen. Press it to block and continue your onslaught. It’s easy to forget that it’s an option, especially when taking on multiple foes, but it will prove to be a lifesaving ability.
Switch to Weapons That Fit the Situation
When you first start the game, your weapon wheel will only allow for two weapons, which consist of at least one pistol and whatever else you can find. As you progress through Mafia III, though, you’ll be able to carry even more gear as you explore New Bordeaux. Once you’re able to, make sure that you bring something for each different type of situation. Sniper rifles for ranged encounters, assault rifles and machine guns for large groups, and shotguns for up close and messy kills.
You can switch as a fight changes as well. Not all encounters stay the same throughout. You’ll often start from far, only to find that you’re surrounded and need to switch to something that can deal with nearby foes quickly and efficiently. Always make sure you have the right tool for the job.
If It Seems Like It Will Draw Attention, Don’t Do It
There are laws in New Bordeaux, Mafia III’s fictional take on New Orleans. If you commit crimes such as brandishing weapons, assault, murder, or even speeding when cops are around, you’ll soon find yourself in trouble. Citizens don’t take to kindly to violent maniacs, and with racial tension at a palpable high in this 1960’s American city, nobody will be quick to forgive Lincoln.
While you can get away with a bit of lawlessness, make sure that you’re keeping your eyes out for your surroundings. If there are too many eyes in the vicinity, either use stealth or wait. See a blue marker on your mini-map, hold off on any action so that cops won’t get wise to your plans.
Deal With Witnesses Quickly
If you happen to struggle a bit with the previous tip, you’ll find yourself dealing with one of Mafia III’s alarm systems, better known as live witnesses. These are civilians who witnessed you doing something you shouldn’t have, and they will immediately try to run and call the police. If they make it to a phone you’ll have to deal with the arrival of police.
If you’d rather avoid dealing with the law, you’ll have to silence witnesses in one of two ways. You can either kill them by using a gun, which can garner you even more attention. Or, you can put them down non-lethally by running up to them and using melee to slam them on the ground, knocking the witness out. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you choose quickly or you’ll soon find yourself figuring out how to deal with police instead.
Your Horn Will Make Cars Move Out of The Way Quickly
A lot of open-world games provide vehicles with working horns, but they usually don’t do anything. In GTA V, you’ll only get a reaction out of an NPC driver if you use your horn excessively or happen to have a vehicle that has a siren. In some other games, you don’t have even that much. But in New Bordeaux, NPCs seem so intent on not getting rammed into by you that they will gladly leap out of the way if you honk your horn. While driving, simply tap the horn (L3/LS) and the vehicles in front of you will quickly jerk to the side, allowing you to race on by.
Keep in mind that speeding and trying this method on police will just lead to them chasing you down and trying to kill you. So only use it on regular vehicles as you drive around.
Scan Your Environment
Mafia III uses something called Intel View to scan your immediate surroundings. Think of it like Assassin’s Creed’s Eagle Vision. It highlights your objective, no matter how far it may be, but also marks threats and collectibles that are close enough. This can help out a lot when trying to infiltrate a specific area, or when you just want to know what you have to work with.
To activate Intel View, press the touch pad on PS4 or the Window button on Xbox One. As long as you’re standing still, everything will remain highlighted, allowing you to look around. Once you move, the screens colors will return to normal. You can trigger this view as many times as you want/need, so don’t worry if you move by mistake.
You Don’t Need to Keep Spending Money
It will be tempting to spend your money on new weapons and gear, but you shouldn’t do so early in the game. The items and weapons you find on the ground and during missions are more than sufficient enough to get the job done. You’re better off saving your funds until later in the game so that you can get better things when you really need them.
Mafia III is full of opportunities, though, so you don’t have to be an extreme penny pincher. Just make sure to provide yourself a healthy cushion for when times are really hard.
Don’t Forget, You Can Use Your Vehicle As a Weapon
Guns, explosives, and fisticuffs are cool, but cars are possibly the most badass weapons at your disposal in Mafia III. When in a car, you have several options that can help you take out enemies. The first is to simply run them over, just like in any game with vehicles. If basic vehicular assault isn’t good enough for you, you have a ram ability. When in a car or truck, press X/A to ram forward. You can sideswipe vehicles by combining that button while driving either left or right.
The final method is using your car as a missile of sorts. Pick up speed and gun it towards a target. Once you think you’re going fast enough and you’re close enough, hold down Square/X to jump out of your vehicle and allow it to slam into whatever is in front of you, sometimes with a fiery explosion.