Six months after release, the first of three expansions for Mafia III has arrived. It promises a new fast and furious adventure for Lincoln Clay, but it wraps up a little too fast.
Faster, Baby! takes place somewhere during Lincoln Clay’s crusade against Sal Marcano in the main game. It does not reference any events in particular, presumably with the intent that the expansion can be played at any point of the game without contradictions. It follows Lincoln Clay as he deals with a horribly racist and corrupt police force in Sinclair Parish, a district newly added for the expansion.
Joining him for the majority of the expansion is the charismatic Roxy Laveau. She is a perfect companion for Lincoln, as she is just as willing to leap into danger and pursue revenge. I enjoyed her interactions with Lincoln. They had great chemistry and a liveliness to their conversations that are lacking in a lot of the dialogue in the main game. I think it is a shame she will probably only appear in this one expansion.
When the expansion was announced, based on the brief description and one piece of art, I was afraid that it would focus on some form of racing. The driving in Mafia III is lacking, as it is in most of the open-world genre, and lacks the finesse needed for racing. Instead, the expansion focuses on car chases and rampages that encourage recklessness. The base game had a few mechanics that supported chase scenarios, but never really took advantage of them in the story. An update that accompanied the expansion added the ability to drop and throw explosives while driving, pressure mines that are perfect for a chase, and a slow-mo ability that makes shooting easier and look cooler.
Faster, Baby! presents situations that make these new abilities useful and fun. I enjoyed tearing through Sinclair Parish without a care in the world, as enemy vehicles made a futile effort to stop me before they inevitably blew up, flipped over, or lost their back tires. There are several areas where ramps are strategically placed to send Lincoln’s car soaring through the air, triggering a slow-mo cut to show him pulling off some cool stunt. Once, an enemy vehicle followed me onto one of those ramps, and I watched as he slowly flipped over and ate dirt while I landed perfectly and sped away. It was obviously something that should not have happened, but I am so glad it did.
That sounds incredibly fun right? It is, but it’s done and over in a flash. I finished every single mission in a little over three hours, but at least an hour of that was basic Mafia III objectives. There are three story missions that make up the bulk of the expansion, and then it lapses back into the main game’s formula of talking to a bland NPC character to get a mission that boils down to shooting stuff. One objective has some places where a car can navigate easily and make jumps, but I only used that space to make a flashy entrance.
Another feature is added to the expansion that ties into Lincoln’s takeover of New Bordeaux’s criminal underworld. A marijuana growing operation opens up, that allows Lincoln to distribute weed and make a substantial profit. Unlike the other operations in the game, Lincoln runs this himself, so an interactive element is added. It’s just a simple minigame that is presented through a series of menus, but weed can be grown and sold to owned districts. There are several default strains of weed that can be mixed into custom strains that have unique stats. The wants of districts will fluctuate, so to rake in maximum profit, Lincoln must take that into account.
I was surprised at seeing this included. I had not expected a unique mechanic to be introduced into the game. There are a couple of problems with it, however. First off, in order to manage everything, Lincoln has to go to the lab. The fact the game still has no form of fast travel, this results in a lot of travel time. The weed actually takes time to grow, so frequent visits are required. And here is the second problem: I have no reason to use this at all. I am done with the main game, as are the majority of the people who would purchase and play this expansion. Not only do I not have anything I need to purchase now, I already had a ton of cash and a steady income that I hardly used. This feature seems much more useful to someone who decides to play this expansion towards the beginning of the game. It is not useful to me at all, and it is too time consuming for it to be the one thing I do in the game. Maybe I will dabble with it some more when the other expansions have released, but I highly doubt that I will utilize it to its full potential.
The Verdict: 6.0 out of 10.
I enjoyed Mafia III a whole lot more than I thought I would. It did have repetitive objectives, but I found the core combat to be fun enough to carry most of the game. Faster, Baby! plays with those mechanics in new and exciting ways, but ditches them quickly in favor of more of basic Mafia III. With a price tag of $15, I cannot recommend the expansion. Even if it drops in price, I think the expansion squanders its potential to be something great.
Riley Berry is an Associate Writer for MONG who has a need for fast and furious speed. You can follow him on Twitter.