'Mafia III' Is Free on PS+ and It's Not Only Good, It's Important

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/vbjazd/mafia-3-free-playstation-important
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I’m tempted to just chuck Mafia III onto the HD until I’m ready to play it, but the type of repetitive mission structure I’ve heard so much about it really puts me off. And as much as I’m interested in the story’s potential, I’m kind of over open world games that have static cities as settings.

I just finished Mafia III few days ago thanks to PS Plus and I thought it was a very good game. The combat was fun enough to sustain enjoyment during the missions and the set pieces were awesome. Was surprised how much I find myself enjoying it while I was playing it.

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I played this game earlier in the year and I don’t think I’ve stopped thinking about it since. I usually play games with podcasts so I didn’t mind the repetition, and it gave me time to chew on what the game was trying to do. What stuck with me most is the violence. I think the violence in Mafia 3 is some of the most gruesome that has ever been in a game. It’s realistic and personal in a way most games actively try to keep from being. Not just in the cutscenes, which are brutal in their own right (especially that one mid-credits scene), but just the simple act of shooting someone is so different in Mafia 3. The guns “feel good to shoot”, but when the bullets actually hit, it’s muted and understated in a way that real-life violence is. People bleed out on the ground and plead for their lives and it honestly really disturbed me to the point where I had to stop a few times. The thing that really kept me thinking about it, though, is that this is also some of the most cathartic violence of any game ever. You burn a Klan member on his own cross, for god’s sake. I don’t remember the last time I felt a genuine, personal moral conflict while playing a game. One that actually made me evaluate how I feel about violence in both games and real life.

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I’m not going to say that Mafia III completely moves away from the GTA3 open world paradigm, but it does feel less “static” through its weaving of racism into gameplay. Like, you’re never an avatar walking into a shop, you are a black man walking into a shop, with all the baggage that entails. It makes the world feel less of a playground for the player, but rather a space that feels hostile to Lincoln’s existence. I recommend giving it a shot despite your reservations.


The music in this game is so good. Someone made a Spotify playlist of it all and I shuffle through it a ton. There is a lot of repetition in the mission structure, this is true, but I think there’s so much else going on that I wasn’t bothered. I think the shooting is pretty enjoyable and I honestly dig the background combat music, too. Also, when you are doing the same generic ass mission for the 20th time but then you see some wild shit you’ve never seen before it really elevates it. I really encourage everyone to check it out, especially considering it’s free on PS+.

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I picked it up on sale months ago, and got probably halfway through the game, and burned out on it. I’m thinking I might give it another go soon. It does so many things well (story, characterization, the way it tackles race in a real way, the utterly violent impact of the gunplay), that it makes the repetitive nature of playing through it that much more disappointing for me. I do feel like I should try to see the story through to the end, though.

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I actually played it over months, picking it up for awhile then coming back to it later.

Yeah, I’m hoping that the break I took from it (haven’t played it since April, I think) might make the repetitive gameplay seem a little more fresh.

You summed up my feelings on it thus far. I really want to continue playing it because of all the things it does right (characters, story, its handling of race), but the repeatitive nature of the gameplay is making me burn out hard.

Certainly going to keep on my PS4 and hopefully get through it (maybe in short pieces).

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I will say, the complaints about the generic mission structure are valid, yet there is an excellent game in the story missions and set pieces, with that unfortunate slog attached.

I would recommend if you have PS+ to at least play the opening hour of the game, as that is a pretty great scripted ride by itself that really brings you into the world fantastically.

I also loved the city design. The districts very clearly lay out the good and bad parts of town, and in the wealthy suburbs you’ll find the Klan analogue while you’ll see more direct mafioso union trappings in the docks, and confederate rednecks in the slums and surrounding them. The missions surrounding the Klan are also a strong highpoint of the story.

Had such a striking moment in that game. I stop at a random diner to grab a collectible, wander inside and notice the white’s only sign, realize it’s outside so start to turn around and leave and hear a random NPC demand I get out with a hard r. It felt so fantastic to scroll over to the molotovs, pull out a shotgun and be the change you want to see in the world.


You’ve talked me into it - I’ve got the game downloading as I type. That 60GB download though, yikes.

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Which thread to choose~

I can’t add any really original thoughts to the discussion, but I liked the game a ton for it’s tone, treatment of characters and presentation. FWIW it’s also really dang beautiful. I haven’t played other modern open world games so maybe it’s less impressive than I think, but I took so many shots of awesome light in it. At one time I couldn’t tell if the game was bugged or not because it looked like the swamp was on fire during a sunrise, but it still felt just right for how New Bourdeaux often seems like its covered in a thin film of oil.


The game may be bogged down in the middle but it’s still one of the most memorable games I’ve played. I’m sure it’ll be seen as a modern classic in a few years (moreso than it already is).


Heads-up, similar discussion happening here :slight_smile: Mafia III (Under)Appreciation Thread

I bought Mafia III when it first came out and it wasn’t long before I traded it in, not because that it was a bad game but just because there was a lot of different things going on that I was excited for. The time that I did spend with it though was pretty memorable just because of the simple fact that developers used social issues and used them as a mechanic in the game. I don’t think there is enough of these kind of messages or narratives in video games, unless I am missing them? Please correct me if I am wrong.

I was so pumped to download this from PS Plus. All I remember from watching some videos at release were how sweet the fashion was. I watched maybe five minutes but it really stuck with me how just random citizens were well dressed