Mafia III Reviews

TSA Score for this game: 257
Posted on 27 March 18 at 02:40
This review has 5 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
I liked Mafia 2. It wasn’t the best game, and claimed to be open world but really wasn’t. However, for what it was, it had an excellent story, good characters, and a great flow. There wasn’t a true open world but there was a fantastic game there.

So the sequel had me interested and I heard bad things at launch so I held off. I finally got around to play it and well… let’s see.

The story of Mafia 3 is about a Lincoln Clay, an ex Vietnam special forces black soldier who comes back to New Orleans (or New Bordeaux as it’s called, but let’s be honest, it’s New Orleans.) and gets back into the gangster lifestyle that infests New Orleans.

The story is told as a documentary and it starts with a few people talking about Lincoln Clay. You start with a bank heist which is a good way to start and after about ten to twenty minutes, you switch to the returning from the Vietnam war and get a more traditional opening.

Now I’m going to spoil a few pieces of the first four hours in a twenty-hour game. This shouldn’t bethat big of an issue. You can skip the next paragraph to avoid these spoilers. All this is, is the motivation for the main story.

Lincoln Clay gets a small group together and for about four hours you’re meeting people, doing minor jobs and getting a feel for the city. It’s all a set up to the big bank job you started with and that goes off, with a few flaws. When you get back to the man you look up to, Sammy, everything seems awesome. You got a ton of money and no problems. Until the white Italian mobsters betray you and murder your whole crew, burning down the building and leaving you for dead. So it’s time to take revenge.

There are really only two people you need to get revenge on and instead of going and murdering them like a normal person, the next twenty hours or so (assuming from others’ playtimes) is spent getting a crew and building an empire before killing those who need to be killed. The thing is you literally only have a hatred of two people, not the entire organization, so … it should be easier than this.

The game introduces you to a few characters along the way and three underbosses, all three are well introduced. The returning character out of the three is Vito Scarletta from Mafia 2. I do take issue with how he is pushed into this game. It feels inauthentic and just a way for fans of the series to remember a character they used to be. He should be a made man or dead, the game tries to have it both ways, and fails to land it.

The issue is the first four hours are extremely well made, then the game meanders and tries to make you do a lot of stuff. The story is never the problem, it’s just when the game wants to fill the time it is flawed, and it does fill a lot of time.

Nothing is broken, though, with the gameplay. The gunplay and driving in this game are spot on. The cars kind of suck, but it is the 60s and they have a realistic feel to them. The guns are good, ammo is not as plentiful as you expect but it works, and there’s a reasonably good stealth system. Everything here is as good as it could be. I don’t really have a complaint about the systems themselves.

It is what the systems get used for. When the game has a point or a story mission, the game is solid. Then the game decides to do takeovers of cities and you get an open world feel for it. Nothing is awful, but nothing is good. You just have to do a lot of tasks and often they’re not that interesting. Go to a location, collect cash, rob one specific pile, kill a specific person, or blow something up. It’s generic fodder, and you have to do it 2 times per district (At least for the first three). It’s repetitive gameplay for repetition sake to pad out a game.

The problem is the game forces you to do these. You have to constantly play the district takeovers to progress, and the district takeovers aren’t interesting at all. There are different “rackets” and each one plays similarly, sadly. The real problem is you HAVE to do them, if you don’t, you can’t proceed.

The entire game has you feeling as if you’re doing constant fetch quests and working for other people who don’t even really help you. They give you intel at best. You give them large operations to run and they give you a small amount of money. Are you the kingpin or an errand boy? The game says the former but gives you the later.

When the game has you work with the CIA it makes sense that you’re the errand boy. But going to someone and saying “I’m taking down the big dog, you can work for me.” And then constantly doing jobs for them doesn’t make a lick of sense.

A lot of times the missions are just, run in, kill one person, or grab one item and either die or run away. That’s easier and faster than trying to shoot it out with the entire gang. That’s a bad sign as well.

There are other pieces that don’t work. There are junction boxes that you need to tap to get more intel, but most of it is just enemy locations that you can eyeball. It’s better to do the junction boxes but it’s tedious because there are so many of them. Each one requires three “parts” you can search for, but it’s mostly busy work.

There are also collectibles, and if you like Playboys or Alberto Vargas’ art, you can collect these, but there’s no point to them. There doesn’t seem to be an in-game reason to collect them, there’s no achievement. They are just collectibles because open world games have collectibles.

Now I like Alberto Vargas’ work. If you don’t know it, you can look it up, but it’s like Playboys if you need to know the style. I’m not going to rant and rave about sexism when it’s a collectible, but I’m sure some people will. However there are other collectibles too, so while I can say “people want to collect them to see naked women”, we have the internet for that. And the other collectibles have less point to them. I don’t see a need for any of the collectibles.

I’m not the guy who’s going to preach morality or social issues. I have my opinion you have yours, and I’m sure there are people better suited to tell you about racial and sexism facts. I might call a game out when it’s very bad. But this game calls out that it’s going to have racist moments at the beginning. I could talk more about it, but I think there are others better equipped for that. All I’ll say is that it’s very hard to discuss racism which is the removal of power from a person while having a power fantasy. Someone calls me the N word, I usually can shoot him. It ignores the powers of racism by avoiding making them a real gameplay element.

So after four hours, I would recommend this game, after ten I was on the fence. The fact is after fourteen, I didn’t even want to continue playing. I played another four hours and it’s only minutes of fun, and then hours of grind. It’s just too much of the same thing over and over again, and I just am not having fun.

I think part of the problem with the game comes from the feedback from Mafia 2, and perhaps they missed the point. Mafia 2 was billed as an open world game and it really wasn’t. There was some exploration but you almost always were going to the next mission and not much to do besides that.

In Mafia 3 it’s clearly an open world game with a lot of story mission and progression hidden by those missions, but it really shouldn’t be. Mafia 2 was a lot of fun for what it is. Mafia 3 is a lot of fun when it’s story based, it’s just that the game keeps trying to make me enjoy it as an open world game, and honestly it just doesn’t work that well.

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