What the game lacks in terms of AAA quality it more than makes up for in terms of story, characters and mission structure. Personally I don't feel the missions or even the side missions are too samey at all as the game seems to bring about interesting takes on dealing with missions time and time again as I progress further in. Now at 30 hours I feel like I'm finally starting to hit my stride with it and can now call in my own henchmen to back me up if I enter a particular mission and either fuck up mid way trying to do it solo or simply come across a scenario where there's just too many enemies to go up against.
I understand I seemed rather carried away when I first started playing this and yeah the simple fact I was playing it at all kinda reinforced that if anything but now I realise that it is actually because I really, really like the game. Yes Mafia III on many levels is almost inexcusably rough around the edges almost coming across like some early access venture when you just happen to spot a scene on the horizon that looks so graphically incomplete to the point of looking downright obscene. Yet you can drive a little way further and enter an area that is just beautifully rendered you want to get out your car and just take it all in on foot. Which I often do. It rains. A lot.
Seeing my map slowly come to life is a far more interesting concept than anything GTA V ever threw my way because the actual involvements I'm dealing with from district to district are not simply all entirely about self gain. There's lives at stake. Characters I genuinely wish to see through the very end safe and sound stood by my side. Even now 30 hours in I've only just started touching on the racial undertones while driving around a report came over the radio of someone who woke up to find a burning cross outside their home and the use of the "n" word is becoming ever more omni present as I head into newer districts. I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of rackets on offer in fact and won't deny I have skipped the odd one just to make progress in the main story as I take control of and then hand over power to the likes of Vito, Cassandra and the Burkes.
The biggest change is when I leave a building to take on a new mission or side mission I don't just feel like that's all I'm doing, I do feel like if I pull off said mission then to someone somewhere out there I'm actually making a real difference. I know that sounds somewhat daft perhaps but that's my best take on it. The key aspect being that it's an open world game where I feel the need to do more than just fuck about in it just because I lost all interest in what I'm supposed to actually be doing several hours in. A true rarity for such games.
Much like The Saboteur as I mentioned Mafia III for me is proof that an open world doesn't need to be a soulless one with samey samey missions. It may not be the most vibrant of life and there's often fuck all traffic in certain areas which again gives the game a somewhat incomplete feel but when there is it's wonderfully crafted and about as engaging as any open world game has been to date. Lincoln Clay it has to be said is probably the most likeable and interesting main protagonist I've encountered in a game in a very long time and the moment I took him from being just another black man driving around in a stolen old ass rust bucket in an army jacket to driving around in a shiny customised 1959 Chevrolet Impala in a tailored suit was one of great pleasure for me. For once it didn't feel like it was just entirely cosmetic as it is in GTA instead it was a true defining moment in the game where both myself and my playing of my character felt as though we had truly arrived and made our mark on the world we now inhabited together. This was the start of my rise to power and things would never be the same again.
Also I actually enjoy doing the collectibles as I don't think I've ever been able to enter so many buildings in an open world structure before so it's kinda refreshing to be able to do so - you never know what else you may just find.
Some choice screenshots from last nights session:
Who the fuck cares if it looks somewhat dated? Not I. The specified era is captured extremely well and I'd much rather have that baked for me than something served graphically tarted up but with little to no character to go along with it.
Her face is tired. Leave her be ffs.