It has been a tradition in my gaming life since childhood that I replay some games every year. And along with such mastodons as the entire GTA series, the Prince of Persia trilogy, the first Fable, Fallout 1 and 2, there is Mafia The City Of Lost Haven from a small Czech studio 2K Czech.
Not so long ago, I had a chance to finally go through the third part of this series, which was poured into at one time a lot of hate. So today our site decided to analyze whether Mafia has become worse? It would seem that the answer lies on the surface, but you need to know what exactly we are comparing with.
Mafia The City Of Lost Haven
The first game in the series told us a classic story about a newcomer to the mafia who climbs the career ladder and becomes a big tycoon. The game is so full of classic pictures like "The Godfather" or "Nice Guys".
It all starts with the story of Tomi Angelo, tired of a criminal life and telling the police officer about all his deeds as a witness. Once upon a time, he worked as a taxi driver, until he had to give a ride to two mafiosi, who were being chased by criminals from another family. Tomi manages to break away from them, and as gratitude, the "passengers" tell him that if you need help, let him turn to Don Salieri.
The next day, Tomi is beaten by the same bastards from whom we were fleeing, and Angelo runs to Salierei for help, and as a result he is offered to join the family. Next, you will find a wonderful story, probably one of the best ever that I have seen in games. And even more so considering that the game was released in 2002.
But not only the plot, written characters and excellent direction the game can boast. Lost Haven, a mix of 1930s Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, was pretty darn atmospheric. It can be seen that the developers manually invented and made each street, intersection and embankment, trying to convey the environment in as much detail as possible. And the music, which I still listen to separately, immersed and replaced the missing radio. As for me, elaboration of details is the main indicator of developers' love for a project.
The game was leaning towards realism [sometimes even overdone]. You could drive not only cars [which had fuel and also, mind you, a manual transmission], but also the subway. Also in the first Mafia there were [which was not in other gta-shaped games] - traffic rules where the police could fine you for speeding or driving at a red light. But the cars were clumsy, slow boxes.
If there is a minus in the game, it is despite the fact that the city is beautiful - it is empty and there was no incentive to explore it. While I’m honest, when I played Mafia after my New Year’s hangover, I enjoyed walking the streets.
And the second problem is the damn race. This is one of the most miserable missions, because of which people often quit playing. So, you had to steal a sports car, deliver it to the mechanic in a limited time, without being scratched or caught by the police, then do everything in the opposite direction. This is wildly boring and hasn't even started the mission yet. After all, then you will have to participate in the race yourself and it's a nightmare. I played Mafia after the ability to choose difficulty was introduced for this mission, and I really sympathize with people who had to play this unfinished piece of feces in its original form.
For the first time when choosing the difficulty of the race, I naively and mockingly exclaimed: "Who are you holding me for, game!" and chose the middle one. After an hour of failures, I chose the difficulty "very easy", and only thanks to luck, and the fact that, like a speedrunner, I studied every meander of my path along the track, I was able to overcome this race.
To summarize, Mafia City Of Lost Haven is a beautiful, atmospheric game with attention to detail and a boring open world that takes a lot of time to navigate. However, the pros of this game far outweigh the cons.
This game has been in production hell for 8 years. Scriptwriters, developers changed, and everyone expected failure, as is often the case with long-term construction projects. But when the game came out, it won fan love, although there were those who shouted that this is a different game.
And Mafia 2 really was like that, but only in history. We played as Vito Scalette, who at the age of 18 was caught in a petty robbery with his friend Joe. In order not to thunder into prison, Vito agreed to go to war in Italy. When he returned to heal his wounds, Joe, not sickly risen in criminal circles, helped him to get away from the war and dragged Vito back into the cycle of gang warfare of the 40s-50s.
Unlike the first game, this was the story of the six. We did not climb to the very heights of mafia circles, remaining a dummy running errands, and it was because of this that the new part did not enter the old fans. But putting aside such prejudices, I am confident that Mafia 2 was able to be the perfect sequel, with cool characters, dialogue and story in the even more beautiful city of Empire Bay [decommissioned New York]. The dive was incredible. And from the technical side, everything was perfecto: cool physics, shooting, adequate control of cars and competent game design. Also, some unnecessary elements were removed from the game, but they did not render it.
And, of course, the details. What are scripts worth, for example, how NPCs slip on the ice in winter, how some aunty eavesdrops on neighbors, or how the seasons change intelligently.
USA players, on the other hand, were prevented from diving, probably not by the best localization. The developer thought that the shots of cruelty are normal, but swearing would be too much for the USA-speaking audience and it was removed, replaced by: mother, devil, goat, freak, fucking and other affectionate-diminutive insults. Well, it was also embarrassing for the actors to copy the Italian, African-American and Chinese accent.
Globally, the community did not appreciate the ending of the game and its ambiguity. But overall, Mafia 2 was the perfect sequel.
And here is the last game, which has received a lot of hate and is quite reasonable. For starters, Mafia 3 is not as bad as everyone says about it. She has a pretty powerful plot, great dialogues in the spirit of the very Mafia that we love. The developers moved the action to the analogue of New Orleans of the 70s. In the courtyard reigns the decline of classic criminal gangs, tension after the Vietnam War, as well as racial oppression, the problems of which the game was not afraid to raise. At the same time, it was interesting to explore the city, unlike the previous two games, although the cars were again heavily controlled.
So what's the problem? In the very approach to game design. You can only get access to the story missions after completing a bunch of monotonous and boring side quests. It looked like a gnarly thing. Also, the game was not available, but fortunately, if you were noticed, the task does not need to be completed from the beginning. But what the game cannot be forgiven is the lack of emphasis on details.
Playing Mafia 3 really feels like work, and that should be avoided for anything of value when making a big game. I want to have fun right away, rather than going through a bunch of mandatory side quests that don't bring me new experience.
So has the Mafia series gotten worse? Certainly. This can be seen even by the number of paragraphs I have allocated for one game. The series was still able to somehow maintain its individuality, but turned the wrong way. The Mafia needs to be a detailed, linear story in an open world - that's what made her famous. And although I cannot call the third part bad, alas, it was better before and now the series has deteriorated. It ended, like all stories about mafiosi - tragically.
The Topic of Article: Mafia: Has the episode gotten any worse?.