Mafia 3’s Free Car Racing Patch Is One of the Best Game Updates Of 2016

It’s been quite some time since I picked Mafia 3 back up, thanks to the unsurprisingly busy holiday release schedule that many game publishers have decided to favor. In the midst of it all, a new DLC update dropped last night and it’s a big one. There is a new vehicle, the ability to customize over ten different vehicles at Big Rick’s Custom Shop, new clothing for Lincoln to fashion, a special revolver weapon and plenty of races across New Bourdeaux. To top it off, this DLC is completely free and everyone who purchased the game gets to enjoy the luxuries. There is some fascinating paid DLC on the way but this will scratch the itch for now.

As someone who is obsessed with character customization, the first thing I decided to do was head over to a safehouse and check out my wardrobe. It had been over one or two months since I last played Mafia 3, so there was a bit of extra clothing DLC for me to catch up on. I donned Lincoln with the trenchcoat outfit inspired by Vito Scaletta’s look. It felt just right on Lincoln’s character and reminded me of the clothes I used to dress Vito in back when I first played Mafia 2. There’s another outfit inspired by Burke’s dress style, among other choices that will make Lincoln Clay look like an extravagant hotshot prancing around town.

Upon leaving my safe house, I decided to call up Hank and had him deliver me one of my favorite vehicles—the Samson Duke, an exotic muscle car. It was time to scope out the closest Custom Shop near me and head on over to start customizing this bad boy. I was not expecting there to be many options for vehicle customization, but little did I know a pleasant surprise awaited me. There were a fair amount of customization options to choose from, ranging from adding a livery to the body of my car to changing the rims. I can only imagine how many hours of my life will be spent within this shop in the near future.

When it was time to pay up, the price of each modification was relatively justified and definitely not as absurd as the newest GTA Online update. I upgraded everything I possibly could and now my car was a turbocharged monster. It was also transformed from a hardtop to a convertible with an oldschool tint. There were a few upgrades I was not able to obtain at this time, such as the Flames paint job and a spoiler that I wanted to attach to the rear-end of my vehicle. According to the text on my screen, I needed to win the Bayou Figure 8 race in order to unlock the Flames paint job. There are several figure races to try your luck at, but they’re locked until you finish the next one.

With my eyes fixated on the prize, I traveled downward to the murky Bayou and arrived at my destination. Unfortunately my vehicle was not suitable for the race. The race finally began after switching over to a sports car. The course itself was a haven for drifters and I spun out a few times before catching up with the other participants. Upon taking a high jump, a gorgeous cinematic perspective appeared and displayed my vehicle in slow motion. I finally caught up with everyone else during the third and final lap, eventually overtaking the first place position and winning the race. My rewards were a special rim unlock, the Flames paint job and a handful of cash.

Something interesting I noted during my playthrough of this DLC was the performance. Perhaps it was due to playing late at night and being slightly tired, but the overall frame rate seemed vastly improved in comparison to what I played a while ago. I was getting a stable 60 frames-per-second when I normally recall getting between 40 fps to 45 fps. The framerate stayed high even during an intense police chase. Another thing that caught my eye were the visuals. I can’t exactly put my finger on it but the graphics have certainly improved with this patch. There are no official patch notes to go by as of this time, but I’ll surely keep an eye out for them.

Overall, the custom rides and racing DLC has done a great job in shaping Mafia 3 towards becoming a better game. After being so deeply involved in various open-world gaming communities, one thing I’ve learned is that gamers go wild for vehicle customization and will spend hours decking out their favorite rides. I don’t doubt for a second that if the game originally launched with these new features, it would receive much higher praise from everyone that ended up heavily criticizing it for being “incomplete” in their eyes. If you were thinking of picking up Mafia 3 during the holiday sales, now would be a good time to get back into the action.