Mafia 3 Review – A Buggy, Poorly Paced Mess
Mafia 3 looks to bring the mob franchise down to south in the 60s. Is this racket worth taking over, or should you just fuhgeddaboudit? Check out this Mafia 3 Review to help you make your choice.
Mafia 3 Honest Game Review
Mafia 3’s story is a pretty common one, a tale of betrayal and revenge. You play as Lincoln Clay, an Army vet who just got back from Vietnam. Not long after Clay gets back, he is put to work by Sal Marcano, the head of the Marcano Crime Family in New Bordeux. After a successful bank, heist Sal and his son Giorgi betray Clay and his friends and family and promptly execute them…or so they think. Clay survives, and calls an old Vietnam buddy and brings war to New Bordeux and the Marcano Crime Family. Clay wants vengeance, no matter the cost. What follows is the systematic destruction of the Marcano Crime Family, one district at a time. The story turns out to be one of the stronger points of the game, but you have to go hours between these poorly placed story bits.
In order to bring down Sal and his men, Lincoln needs allies. You gain three associates who will give you various weapons, perks, cars, and a cut of their profits for the districts you assign them. The characters are another strong part of the game. I enjoyed the conversations between Vito and Clay, and listening to Emmanuel talk about the horrors he witnessed in Haiti. The characters felt real, their struggle felt real, and I actually felt connected to them. While the story paints a picture of your main associates of the game, you can also take on side missions to learn more about them and their lieutenant. These are all optional, but you gain more cash for your rackets from these, and the story behind them is solid.
Sadly, the rest of the game just doesn’t hold up. Taking the districts becomes a grind and gets repetitive quickly. There are nine districts in all, and each one of them is taken in a similar way. You go in, find out who needs to be killed to bring the Capo or Lieutenants, and then wipe them out. The variation in taking of districts is limited, and after you’ve taken a couple, you pretty much know what is going to happen in all the other ones. You will either be stealing cash from a racket boss, killing one of his guards, or destroying their property to increase the damage to their rackets. After you do enough damage, you will be facing off with the racket boss. When the racket boss is defeated, you will bring out the big boss and then you take them out. So towards the end of the game, you are doing 1-2 hours of work just to see the next story part and it really does wear on you.
This still isn’t as bad as the side missions though. Most of the side missions have you bringing something from the bayou back to a warehouse of one of your associates. You literally have to drive or boat 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back. As stated above, I really wanted to know more about these characters, but I’m supposed to be the boss, not some grunt running everything back and forth. It’s yet another poorly paced aspect of the game.
Let’s go ahead and talk about the AI. If you’ve read about how bad it is, you’ve read correctly. You can literally kill someone and have them scream about five feet from another enemy, and yet get no reaction. It’s different if they’re right in front of the body, but it feels like the enemies are deaf. There was a moment when I was at the top of the stairs picking them off one by one with my silenced pistol. I took one down, the next came to check it out, popped him, next came and I repeated for about six enemies. They see their ally down and instead of calling for help they just walk up to check them out. You are literally dealing with enemies for like 85% of the game so this really should have been worked on a lot more.
Another thing that irked me early on in the game is how bad of a shot Clay is. The dude just got back from war, and he survived that war, you can’t tell me he doesn’t know how to shoot. Eventually you get some upgrades, but I thought it was ridiculous how bad he was at the start. This game is straight up savage too – Clay has some brutal kills on the Capos and lieutenants, but even his knife kills and brutal kills can get up there. The guy might need therapy.
Lastly I want to hit on a few technical problems I ran into. I didn’t have any frame drops, which was surprising because there was quite a bit of stuff happening from time to time. I do however suffer from multiple crashes, even with a patch. I stopped counting at eight, which is unacceptable for a console release. These crashes always seemed to happen at about the halfway point of a mission, which was especially nice. A few other bugs like people and cars falling through the earth and a guy pointing the gun at himself while shooting at me. Like I said, there was a patch pretty early, but I still ran into quite a few issues. I also saw a typo, which is just laughable in a triple-A title.
Mafia 3 tries to live up to the hype of being a mobster and fails miserably. Technical issues and poor pacing makes this game an easy skip for even the most avid mobster.