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blackdog

Mafia 3

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Played it for a few hours, it's better than I thought because I came in with reeeeeally low expectations, but yeah you'd be wise and wait for a half price discount or something in the near future.

The story is very well written, the racism bits don't seem too shoehorned and obvious, but holy shit that initial statement from the dev team in the beginning of the game, is that really needed? They flat out state this game has a anti racism agenda, and I'd prefer if they kept that stuff more subtle, which would ironically have a bigger impact i think. That said, I'm just a few hours in and the story already surprised me, every time I try to expect where the story will go it flips on it self, if it keeps this until the end it'll be worth it just for the story alone!

The gameplay feels very unpolished and dated, moving your character around feels very clunky both with Keyboard / mouse and with a controller, specially having finished U4 recently the maneuverability doesn't even compare.
Shooting also feels a bit stiff and getting in and out of cover feels sub-par to say the least, I'm getting really tired of cover shooters man, specially after having played Last of Us where the player automatically and smoothly snaps to and out of cover without having the need to press a freaking key, I thought that would become the standard in third person games since it works so organically, but the god damn "press key to get in cover, press key again to get out of cover" from the original Gears of War is still used nowadays.... just staph!

Graphics are weird in this game too, it's all over the place. Sometimes I find myself gazing at the great environments and render tech, but some areas of the game look really bland in contrast. Very rarely you'll find an in between, which is peculiar to say the least.

As for AI, it's like you're playing against 3 year olds. They keep shouting the same lines of dialog, they run towards you out of nowhere, and they're usually very predictable and flat out bad.

Shooting doesn't feel too bad, it feels very oldschool, sometimes you feel you're playing a 10 year old game, which can be a good callback to oldschool TPS games like the original Mafia so I wont complaint too much there, just know that you'll be killing dozens of enemies per mission.

Driving feels alright, I like the realistic driving mode, glad that made a return and they ditched the "Crazy taxi" driving that we saw on earlier footage, it's actually very akin to Mafia 2, only with muscle cars this time around.

As for the GOOD: I actually like the city, feels like a place I haven't been in before, yet familiar. Cutscenes look dope, characters are well written feels like I'm watching a TV series set in the 60's. The soundtrack is absolutely fucking amazing, like I'd say it's worth it to play it just for the soundtrack alone, they do a lot of things I've never seen in a game before with the music. I'm getting throwbacks from some of the Tarantino movies where a weird music starts playing but somehow it fits and you get a grin in your face, this is way better than the usual action orchestra music you usually get in action scenes.
Oh and I guess I'll add the performance to one of the good points as well, I don't have a beast machine and I'm able to run this at 1080p 60fps which is nice.

And that's about it, I hope that even with all it's flaws that I find the patience to finish this, I really wish they'd polish the game a little bit more though.

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I'm really enjoying this, don't get many of the criticisms. Sure, it's got some lower detailed aspects, but it has some areas where it's put in FAR more effort than Mafia 2, or most open world games. There's a lot more variety in setting, environments, time periods, events, etc. The story is also far better than any open world crime game I've ever played. I appreciate their up front statement, actually: Definitely a lot better than Assassin's Creed's lame non-statement of "This was made by a team from diverse backgrounds and faiths" message, lol. The game's dealing with some Real Shit, and it tells you up front it's dealing with Real Shit, and apparently that IS needed, because there's already some controversies about that Real Shit. Irish conservatives, for example, have called for the game to be banned for "praising the IRA", lol.

The upgrade system is closely tied into variable story elements, as you unlock features and favors based on how you treat your three underbosses. A lot of the shit that video last page comparing it to Mafia 2 acts like Mafia 3 doesn't have, it does, just differently. They clearly barely played the game from the video.

Anyway, the game is fun, the story is really well done imo, and I'd recommend it. :D

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I think I give Mafia 3 a pretty big benefit of the doubt as an underdog. :v It's got a theme/story that lots of people will hate without even looking at it, and it's very daring in its focus away from traditional areas of development and towards areas that get neglected. There's no "Mafia Online" open world multiplayer component, the graphics are simple enough that I can actually run it on my aging PC (I can't afford to upgrade my video card, ok D: ), etc. They skimped on areas that are seen as back of the box bullet point requirements for many big budget games, instead putting a ton of time and effort into the story, setting, background research, etc. It actually reminds me a lot of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, coming after Vice City. A bunch of gamers hated the protagonist/setting, and in some areas it wasn't as focused, but SA made a way, way, way bigger world than the previous GTA games, added climbing mechanics, and broke a lot of new ground, broke a lot of taboos, etc, and had (imo) a way better soundtrack than its prequels, too.

Despite being published by 2K, I can't help but think of Mafia 3 almost as an indie game because of these things. :v 

 

PS: I hope this puts the final nail in the coffin of people giving Bioshock: Infinite's treatment of race the benefit of the doubt, lol

Edited by Jetsetlemming

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I'm like ~25 hours in and only just realized there's only three big radio stations instead a bunch of fine grain ones like most open world games, lol.

 

Some tips for anybody coming to the game after this (and I still really recommend it! It's great imo, even after 25 hours!):

1. You need three fuses (the horseshoe looking icons on the map) for each wiretap you install, and the fuses are individually placed hidden items. That doesn't mean you have to collect them all, however! There's far more fuses than you actually need, even if you're going to wiretap every phone junction box in the game, and you don't even need to. The wiretaps reveal items and enemies on your map. If there's no enemies in the area, it just reveals items, mostly the very fuses that you spend to wiretap the box. Instead, if you're doing other things in an area, wiretap the nearest junction box first, and then as you go about shooting dudes and stealing things, you'll come across more than enough collectables to keep you going. You never need to go out of your way to collect fuses, and the junction boxes are all pretty easily accessible (and are marked on your map in a district as soon as it opens up for missions, and whenever you're near them on top of that). Otherwise, you can safely ignore both things. 

2. Besides the bonuses you unlock with your underbosses based on how much money/income they're in control of, each racket/district has unique items they'll offer to entice you to give them control. These are things like silenced or special guns, or car performance upgrades, like bulletproof tires. That might make the decision about who to give what seem more complicated, but something the game doesn't tell you that's really worth knowing: The bonuses you don't unlock by rewarding an underboss will be available to buy after you take over the overall district. The underboss will give you free and early access to their particular item, but you aren't locked out of the others. 

3. In the harbor district in the northeast, the unique items the underbosses offer are silenced guns: A silenced SMG, a weak but accurate silenced pistol, or a stronger but less accurate silenced pistol. I actually recommend the SMG from Cassandra. It's still very accurate and controllable (especially since rewarding Cassandra gives you access to weapon upgrades for accuracy, ammo, and recoil). The pistol slot is best left to a strong, high ammo count workhorse, like the Blackburn, which kills most people in 2-3 shots (1 headshot), and has a 15 bullet clip. The pistol's extra maneuverability when near walls/cover especially makes it better suited for your general killing weapon rather than your stealth gun. It makes it easier to shoot shotgun guys as they rush you before they can get off a shotgun blast to your gut. 

4. The game doesn't have fast travel, which is a little annoying given how enormous the game world is, but when you load a save/checkpoint outside a mission, it takes you to the nearest safehouse you've unlocked, with few exceptions. You can exploit this by doing something that triggers a checkpoint (sadly, no manual saves, qq, but almost every action triggers a save, and they're on a timer on top of that), and then loading that checkpoint. It'll teleport you back into the city, at your nearest (maybe last visited?) racket or safehouse you've taken over.

5. Speaking of travel, the introductory ability you get from getting in contact with Thomas Burke, the Irish underboss, is a free, unlimited ability to order a car to be brought to your current location. It starts with just a basic, slow car, but more unlock through the story, and there's DLC (sigh) for a few more cars, too. Even if you want to do the Mafia 2 guy's missions first, at least go meet Burke, so you can order cars.

6. Reverse of the above: Meeting Vito unlocks the free, unlimited ability to have somebody come take your cash and deposit it in your safe for you. With some more money to Vito, that henchwoman will also pick up your underboss kickbacks whenever you call her, too. Very convenient. 

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On 10/28/2016 at 8:00 PM, (HP) said:

While the game's getting a lot of hate because you can't open every tap and flush every toilet, let's not forget what it really excels at, the writing. here's a really interesting vid on the historical accuracy

 

It really frustrates me how short sighted the surface level criticism of Mafia 3 from major reviewers was. Yeah, they didn't focus on the possible elements of a game that you prefer, and a review is opinion, rather than objective analysis, but still, game sites make sure to assign people who like the base genre of a game for a review so their Madden 2017 review isn't just "I hate football, ugh!". IMO, the obtuse reaction to Mafia 3 is along the same lines. There's obviously merit and an audience for story focused games: Just look at the "Tell me a story" setting for Bioware's recent games and others, added by popular demand. 

I hope, despite game reviewers being big dumb stupid idiots (mostly), that Mafia 3 is influential on other game developers, at least. More diversity in understood models of what a game can be, what's valuable to focus on, is important for the development of the artistic side of games, and even the "AAA" games need that. A failure to do that is what kills most "AAA" series. 

Not to mention the importance of exposing people to the history and concepts Mafia 3 specifically addresses. I'm sick of games pussyfooting around politics and controversies, like using American jingoism and claiming it's "apolitical" or portraying minorities or freedom fighters as "also bad" like with Daisy Fitzroy in Bioshock: Infinite. If you're gonna touch reality in any way, you're going to need to actually address it, and take responsibility for the themes you're using. Mafia 3 does that when so many games don't, and that was incredibly refreshing, imo.

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