Mafia 3 is good
It’s hard to talk about Mafia 3 without bringing up its reputation in the gaming community. Mafia 3 released a few years ago to massive hype. Mafia 2 is considered a classic (haven’t played it) and the choice to add a black protagonist and set it in 1968 New Orleans drew a lot of excitement. Unfortunately, the game was released to mixed reviews. Critics criticized the repetitive gameplay and youtubers made fun of the glitches. As someone who casually followed the video game world, Mafia 3 seemed like a poor man’s GTA and a massive buggy mess.
A few years later I picked up a subscription to PlayStation Now. While scrolling past the 600 something games on the service I added a few to my queue. On a whim I booted up Mafia 3.
If you haven’t had a chance to play Mafia 3’s prologue, you are missing out. It’s one of the best opening hours to an open world game I’ve ever seen. When you start up the game you’re slapped in the face with Jimi Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower with burning jungles of Vietnam in the background. The cut-scenes unfold like a true crime documentary. I’d never seen a video game tell its story that way. I was instantly hooked.
Mafia 3 is a great game to play over a long period of time. Yes the missions are all pretty similar. 80% of the game is sneaking around a building stealth killing racists. But I love repetitious games. I always felt like if something is fun once it’s fun every time. Would I enjoy it if I had to play through the whole game in a week to review it? Probably not! But it took me about a year to beat the game and to me that’s the ideal way to play. You know, like a normal person.
I do have issues with the multiple endings which I think hurt the overall story, but I had a great time playing. The cut-scenes are great, the gun-play is great, the driving is great, the death animations are great and the music is incredible. Oh my God the music. The soundtrack is untouchable. It’s just a joy to exist in this game. Can I find things to nitpick? Of course, but what’s the point? It’s a great time.
A fun aside: the fact that I tried out Mafia 3 at all is a credit to how great game streaming is for discovery. I didn’t have to download anything. I didn’t have to buy anything. I saw it in the menu, shrugged, and pressed the play button.