You might've noticed that we're running a series of articles by Gareth Woods about his hands-on time with his top games from gamescom. So far we've talked about Guitar Hero Live, Overwatch, Star Wars: Battlefront, Dark Souls 3 and For Honor. Unfortunately Gareth couldn't get hands-on time with his favorite title; Mafia III. However, he did get up close and personal with the demo, was so impressed that he gave it a standing ovation, well, almost. You might've also heard the stories about how similar Mafia III is to Grand Theft Auto V.

Let's hear what Gareth has to say.

"This game came out of nowhere for me and may have even stolen my best in the show trophy (which doesn't exist, but totally should - maybe next year).

While I didn't get any hands-on time with this game, the demo was so immersive I felt like I was in control. Set in the turbulent late 1960's America the open world sandbox does an incredible job of recreating the sights and sounds of a Southern New Orleans'esque city. From buskers, to prostitutes, to racially abusive policemen - the environment felt organic and alive.

The demo centered around your character Lincoln Clay; infiltrating a drug den to seize the area as a new stronghold for his growing criminal empire. The mission itself involved a bit of sleuthing, some "informal negotiating and interrogating" and a whole lot of gun fighting. Although the demo played out in one particular way, I could see that there were several different ways to engage each objective, allowing for varying degrees of difficulty and creativity.

One thing that stood out in particular was the no holds barred violence, with some of the takedowns making even the more steel-bellied in the room get a little queasy (there's something about a shotgun being fired while pressed into an enemy's stomach that gave me a second taste of that morning's breakfast).

Many might see Mafia III as a GTAV clone or period piece, and while similarities are plenty, one key differentiation appears to be the strategic family or empire building piece which puts you at the head of a growing crime network rather than GTA's normal MO of rags to riches lone wolf stories.

Comparisons aside, this game made me stand up and take notice (which I'm sure was annoying for the people seated behind me) and is now certainly on my radar for the next few months."