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Mafia 3's free demo and first chunk of story-based DLC released

Mafia 3 didn't make much of a splash when it came out last October—hey, look, the fall is a really, really busy time for video games—and while critics appreciated the game's provocative, well-written story, the underlying gameplay didn't fare quite as well. Now, if you're still not sure what to make of the open-world crime simulator's decidedly mixed reviews, you can now try Mafia 3 out for yourself. A free demo (and a tie-in trailer) will let you sample Mafia 3's opening act, and should get you up-to-speed regarding Lincoln Clay's one-man war on crime. If you like what you see, the game is available for 50% off ($29.99) through April 17.

And if you've already played and enjoyed Mafia 3, then you're in luck—the game's first story-based expansion pack, "Faster, Baby!" launches today. In "Faster, Baby!" Lincoln teams up with Roxy Laveau in order to investigate the murder of a local civil rights leader. Developer Hanger 13 says that "Faster, Baby!" will add a new location (a rural, corrupt township called Sinclair Parish), new combat abilities (i.e. proximity mines), and bullet-time-esque slow motion driving to the game.

"Faster, Baby!" is free for players who purchased Mafia 3's Season Pass (which is included in the game's Deluxe Edition), and costs $14.99 for everyone else. The Season Pass will also give you access to "Stones Unturned" and "Sign of the Times," two more story-based content packs scheduled for release in April and May, respectively.

Mafia 3 is subject to many of the pitfalls that plague other open world games—basically, New Bordeaux, like Los Santos and Steelport before it, is an absolutely hellish place to live—but the storyline, which isn't afraid to tackle controversial issues, makes the game worth checking out, at least for the duration of a free trial.