Mafia 3 hit by review mob in response to capped frame rate

— 9:00 AM on October 7, 2016

If you're a game developer creating a game for multiple platforms—PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, usually—the last thing you want to do is give your PC gaming audience the notion that the game they're buying has been compromised to fit the needs of consoles. That's unfortunately just what developer Hangar 13 did with Mafia III. While the game isn't in the hands of players in many regions just yet, reviewers have started working with their copies. PC Gamer noticed pretty quickly that the 2K-published game is limited to a scant 30 FPS  even on hardware that's worthy of much higher frame rates.

Regardless of whether the capped framerate was an oversight or a directorial decision, it sends the message to PC gamers that they were an afterthought. The outcry that resulted from the news was immediate and loud, and the game's Steam rating is already wearing concrete shoes as a result, with a 'Mixed' rating and 68% negative reviews. While some reviews are from American gamers who haven't played yet, others are from gamers in regions where Mafia III has already unlocked and who were able to confirm PC Gamer's findings. Players also found other issues like blurry textures, inexplicable changes to text size, and an inability to change visual settings in-game, so it seems the capped frame rate is just one issue among many.

Hangar 13 has already released a statement on the matter, chalking the decision up to "ensuring that Mafia III's performance is consistent across all platforms." The developer is working on an update for people playing on PC, but doesn't yet have any details about when the patch will be coming or what aspects of the game it might affect. The statement also solicits the PC gaming community for opinions about which performance adjustment options are most important, as the team is "actively considering a number of additional post-launch improvements on PC that would give players more control over how they can tailor the game's experience to suit their rig's performance."

Mafia III has been intended as a PC release since its announcement, so Hangar 13 doesn't really have an excuse for the oversight. The language in the statement suggests the developer didn't spend much time testing their game on PC, nor did they take even a moment to look into what PC gamers expect. It's possible the team made the decision to patch PC-specific options in after release to hit the October 7 release date. If that's the case, a release delay for the PC version may have been better-received. If you're thinking of picking up the game in , you might want to wait until those patches are in place.

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