Mafia III: A Second Look

Recently Sony made Mafia III the free game for PS+ so I thought I'd pop my disc back in and give it a second chance. I already reviewed the game and I enjoyed it. But, I hadn't paid the DLC yet and this was a good opportunity to take a second look. Well, I ended up just replaying the whole game, and I still enjoyed it, but I wasn't necessarily happy about.

You see the reason I replayed the game is because there have been a lot of changes since I played the game originally. First Lincoln now has the ability to enter bullet-time when shooting. This makes the game a lot less tedious and easier. Previously I would use stealth to find my way through obstacles and rarely start shooting. This time around I wasn't so cautious because I wasn't worried about dying. There's still some issues trying to get into cover but they are way less frequent. Additionally Lincoln can enter slow motion when driving as well which would be useful in the new races that have been added. Except you can't use that ability in races? There's also some car customization which is probably basic at best. But, that's understandable considering the time period the game takes place in.

Now these changes are great and I'm really happy to be able to use them. Here's the problem, as someone who bought the game day one, I feel like I got played. The reason being is I feel like the game was incomplete when I got it. These weren't DLC additions. There were new weapons, abilities, vehicles, outfits and so much more. These things were likely meant to be in the base game since the Mafia series has a long history with racing, the vehicle modification shops were already in the game. Usually I don't care if there's some updates after the game is released, if the game is finished. Take God of War for instance. A New Game+ option was added with a later update. Yet, the game was finished. They didn't just decide to add the Blades of Chaos because they ran out of time. It just seems like there probably should have been some kind of delay instead of rushing an incomplete product to the shelves.

But, we're here to talk about the DLCs. Faster Baby is a DLC set in a new part of the map called Sinclair Parish. A small farm town where they're under the rule of a corrupt sheriff named Slick who is under investigation for civil rights violations. You team up with Roxy, the daughter of The Voice to take him down. This one is strictly non violent as they want to see Slick go to jail for his crime. Most of the missions are actually spent driving so you better get some practice in. This one was way too short for me but I enjoyed it because it had classic Blaxploitation vibes.

There's a whole compound full of black revolutionaries following in the footsteps of the Black Panthers. In Blaxploitation films there's this idea of a Black Superman where someone, usually the protagonist, gets shackled. I don't mean police shackles, but slave shackles. That scene takes place here when Lincoln is shackled as world around him burns and he's taunted by wannabe Klan members. The following moments cement Lincoln as Black Superman and I loved it. Roxy fires a shot from a sniper rifle freeing Lincoln but leaving him chained. He then proceeds to choke a man to death using his shackles in a quick time moment. For a game that has no quick time moments, it felt satisfying. He proceeds to brutalize these racists while still shackled before capturing Slick and freeing himself of his shackles. It is a beautiful and satisfying moment that brings emotions to the surface. It's one of the reasons this game was so great, being able to conjure that emotion.

Additionally it brings in the ability to grow and hybridize various forms of marijuana. It sounds silly but it's actually a really deep diversion. You will be breaking out the punnet squares like you're in biology class all over again. It is also an incredible way to make a lot of money really fast. I just enjoyed creating new strands and didn't realize I had made half a million dollars. My only complaint is the story is just too short. Out of all the DLCs, this one had my favorite story.

Stones Unturned is the next DLC I played. This one has you teaming up with our favorite CIA eavesdropper who is basically one of our Cappos, John Donovan. In this one you team up with John to track down Connor Aldridge. A traitor who is attempting to sell a nuke to Cuba and turn the Vietnam War into the next World War. I'll be honest, I didn't care for this one.

Don't get me wrong. It was basically a buddy cop movie with John and Lincoln. It was fun to see John become more unhinged as we went on. First he loses the suit jacket. Then he's wearing a holster. Eventually he's in cammo. We're not sure if he's motivated more for patriotism or revenge. There's plenty of emotional moments between the two which makes me like John more as a character. This feels like the first time we see him extensively get his hands dirty as he is there with you in every combat situation. There's plenty of comedy and under different circumstances, I would have loved it.

See, how do you go from taking over crime in a single city to tracking down a nuke? It just didn't make sense. There's a new map added with this one that you can't ever go back to but it's really just a jungle then a Nuke launch site. It also adds bounty hunter missions. Unlike the marijuana business, this one only has three missions. It does add a dart gun but it would be more fun if it worked a little faster or didn't take forever to reload. Only one of the missions was really fun and that was chasing a streaker through the crowd.

I don't know how I feel about Sign of The Times. Essentially you team up with Father James to track down a cult that was using Sammy's burnt down bar for some devil worshiping rituals. It adds a new investigation mode that you'll use a few times then never use again. There's a few new weapons, the throwing knives being the coolest of those without doubt a few new vehicles.

The problem with this one is it pulls your attention in too many different ways. You have to worry about the cult. You have to rebuild Sammy's bar which makes sense if you're not going to be able to use the run down mansion as a base. But to rebuild Sammy's bar you have to get into conflict with a motorcycle gang. Even if you've erased the Dixie Mafia from the face of the Earth they're back doing racist stuff all over again. This one tried way too hard to be a horror themed DLC and it just wasn't doing it for me. I'm not saying I'm unscarable, I still won't say "Candyman," three times in the dark. I'm not a fool. I'm just saying this wasn't it for me. I did enjoy rebuilding Sammy's bar as it made sense and fit protocol. Just why?

All in all, I still enjoyed my revisit of Mafia III. I'm just really upset a lot of the things weren't implemented from the jump like they should have been. But, I have to get over that, and it's part of the reason I don't pre-order games any more. My last two pre-orders are due sometime this year and I'm back to enjoying my backlog of games. Mafia III is a much better game now than it was at launch and worth a playthrough or a replay.

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Mafia III: A Second Look Mafia III: A Second Look Reviewed by Darrell S. on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 Rating: 5

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