Mafia III - Revisited
I wrote a more positive first impressions article about Mafia III a few weeks ago. Having beaten the game I can say that my review has soured. The game features an strong story and a unique point of view that was a risk for them to tackle. The game is steeped in race relations and the ethics of ambition and murder. It was compelling. However, everything else in the game not tied to the story is a problem. Some of those problems are glaring and one is personally a deal breaker.
Problem 1 – Glitches
The game’s most common glitch was suddenly crashing so that you were brought back to the dashboard of your system. That could frustratingly happen at the end of a tough mission that you will have to start all over again, or at the most banal of times. It was unpredictable and therefore unavoidable. Comically, one time I was driving in a car and then suddenly my car was gone and I was standing in the middle of the street shooting my machine gun uselessly into the distance. My car had glitched out and the gas pedal had turned back into the “fire” button. I could handle those glitches, heck that one made me laugh out loud. The restarting issues got old quickly though.
Problem 2 – No toys in the sandbox
For an open sandbox world akin to Grand Theft Auto, there is almost nothing to occupy you besides the missions. There are few fun vehicles, but not fun enough to just joyride around. The collectibles aren’t worth the hassle. The police are tough to outrun and trying to go on a silly rampage won’t last very long or unlock anything cool like a tank from GTA. Driving an airboat was fun for a few minutes and then the thrill was gone. The world isn’t fun to “play” within, so you just grind through the story and move on to another game.
Problem 3 – You can very easily lose a third or more of what you unlocked.
In the game, you are taking back territory from the Italian mob and handing it down to three underbosses. Each boss unlocks perks as you give them territory. But you want to distribute evenly or they get upset. I owned 8 territories and had it split 3-3-2. As amicable as possible for a 3 way split of 8. The boss with 2 rebelled and for the rest of the game all the perks associated with them were lost. This underboss was the one that could deliver cars to me which is EXTREMELY important, and could call off a police Manhunt which was possibly more important. Losing things I spend hours unlocking to have them never returned is idiotic. I have never felt so betrayed by a game. This may be a glitch too, but it is unforgivable. This problem once it surfaced forced me to run as quickly as possible to beat the game to get it over with. And for that reason the game doesn’t deserve a proper review.
I can’t recommend the game in its current form. They swung hard on the story and I give them props. They made a largely un-fun game though and the endgame consequences are an insult.