Again, another miss for Hanger 13.
Mafia 3 (2016) was considered a disappointment among many, considering the critically acclaimed predecessors the series had. It fell short compared to other titles released at the time, but was still an enjoyable experience with an intriguing story and list of characters. Its shortcomings were mainly noticed in the gameplay aspect, rather than in the story. After multiple patches, Hanger 13 has released the first of three story DLC’s that will continue the Lincoln Clay story. If Faster Baby is how they’re gonna continue Mafia 3, then they have a better speed things up.
This review will be relatively short considering the length of the story. There is little that has changed since the original release. Most if not all the mechanics have been polished which does further improve some gameplay aspects, but the new mechanics the game offers are barely noticeable.
Faster Baby (2017) introduces the ability to slow down time while driving in order to create “stylistic” chase sequences. While this mechanic is useful, it is barely noticeable and rarely used. The driving mechanics have been polished and have more purpose in this new addition to Mafia 3. There are multiple sequences where you will have to escape the small town of Sinclair Parish or cause complete and utter mayhem by destroying everything in sight. These sequences do prove to be fun, but exploit a major issue with the optimization.
Sinclair Parish is a relatively small town and proves to be a somewhat interesting setting, at the same time the small town looks worse than New Bordeaux. In fact, while you are driving you will notice that the flat landscape will somehow in the matter of seconds grow grass. This is in fact one of the most poorly optimized settings I have ever seen. There was a point where I stopped playing because of how annoying it was to see nothing but flatland somehow grow into a corn field in the matter of seconds. At times it’s almost laughable, in fact it is laughable. While there is additional destruction effects seen in the game, you can easily tell which had the most effort put into.
Now, the game does offer some great set pieces, they are enjoyable until you put more thought into them. As I had said, Sinclair Parish is a small town, so considering the amount of damage Lincoln Clay causes, it is shocking the coast guard wasn’t called. But apparently this small town has an entire army of racist police officers. There is little logic in this town, the more though you put into it, the more humorous it gets.
The main focus in Faster Baby is the chase sequences, in fact the town of Sinclair Parish is specifically designed in this aspect. There just so happens to be multiple barrel holders on the side of the road whenever you need them, these prove useful during chase sequences but makes little sense.
Other than the slow motion mechanic and the pursuit stopping barrels (please notice my sarcasm), there is only one newly introduced mechanic that does prove interesting.
Mafia 3 (2016) takes place during the 1960’s, as I am sure most people know drugs were heavily used during this time. Faster Baby introduces a brand new character that turns out to be a drug farmer, now I can’t believe I am detailing this for my review but this actually turns out to be the best mechanic the game offers. Lincoln specifies that he will only sell to wounded veterans, as the new character is himself a wounded veteran who uses his own drug to help with his PTSD and pain. This mechanic actually is useful as you grow different strands that take time but have more of a profit. So I guess it’s for a worthy cause? I’ll give Hanger 13 credit for historical accuracy though.
Other than that, all other mechanics have been polished significantly since Mafia 3’s initial release. But besides key issues such as optimization, and overall gameplay, Faster Baby offers little more than a short story to experience with three side missions after you complete the story. Other than these missions which also have the same copy and paste mission design as Mafia 3 (2016) had. There is little to no reason to go back to Sinclair Parish after you complete the main story, and if you complete the side missions. Plus the area is left there with no use to it, in fact the territorial system scene in Mafia 3 (2016) does not have any effect on the area. Instead it is just left there to take up space.
Now this aspect of Faster Baby is entertaining, but short. The story follows a corrupt and racially discriminating county sheriff by the name Walter “Slim” Beaumont, that discovers a file that details his activities, this file was originally going to be used to relieve him of his position but now is in his possession. The story seems to take place in between the events of the main story. Protagonist Lincoln Clay has decided to help former friend Charles Laveau and his daughter Roxy into obtaining the file. Roxy proves to be the most interesting character in the story, as her humor and taste for adrenaline has a unique interaction with Lincoln Clay’s revenge fueled lifestyle. Faster Baby (2017) centrally relies on the driving mechanics, and Roxy is a fan of living life in the fast line.
Roxy is a welcome addition to vast amount of unique characters within Mafia 3 (2016). She is by far one of the most memorable addition’s seen in the game. The plot will follow Lincoln and Roxy’s attempt at finding the file and ridding the town of Sinclair Parish of corruption. Now the key issue with this, is that the story is rather short and unfulfilling. After you complete the main story, three separate side missions are unlocked, but there is little reason to go back. That’s what Faster Baby (2017) sorely lacks, depth and length. Roxy actually leaves after the conclusion of the main story, the one interesting character this DLC (downloadable content) offers leaves after a few hours.
Is the story interesting? Yes, but compared to the original Mafia 3 (2016) plot, this new story addition seems as if though this section of the game was cut. Instead of professionally being planned and developed for a proper downloadable content to Mafia 3 (2017). This new addition will be enjoyable at times, but its shortcomings are highly noticeable and disappointing.
- More polished driving mechanics which makes travel much more easier than tedious.
- Roxy alone as a character is one of the best aspects of the DLC.
- A short but intriguing story.
- A few unique and entertaining set pieces that shows off the more polished combat and driving mechanics.
- Overall length is short, and the DLC barely gives the player any reason to return to Sinclair Parish after the story is concluded.
- Little to no new gameplay additions.
- Terrible optimization, it is almost agonizing.
- Roxy does not stay in the world of Mafia 3 after the conclusion. She leaves unexpectedly and we are not given a reason as to why.
- Only one added weapon the in game arsenal.
- The same mission design seen in Mafia 3 (2016). The game can get overly repetitive.
Overall, Faster Baby (2017) can be enjoyable, but its overall longevity and lack of gameplay additions, along with the terrible optimization goes to show that the game of Mafia 3 (2016) was not ready to be released. Now that two more story DLC’s have been announced, it is most likely best to postpone the upcoming content in order to fix Mafia 3’s (2016) current state.
Final Score: 5/10
Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
October 7th, 2016