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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for some plot points in Mafia 3

Butch:

Have you done the Grecco bit yet? Because I want to talk about it. No, not talk. Talk is not the word.

I want to rant about it.

Because, for many, MANY reasons, I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier at a game than I am right now.

Feminina:

Yes. Yes I have. I was not exactly ANGRY about it, but I had some feelings. Was it the driving? The driving was a pain.

Was it the fact that you have to let this dude be tortured by this other dude? I felt icky about that.

You rant.

Butch:

Oh, tortured? I don’t know cuz I DIDN’T GET TO THAT.

How in earthly FUCK do you shoot from cars? How do you GET him? Once, ONCE I rammed him, and he got out, and he got in another car. WHAT DO I DO????????

So there’s that. That WHAT DO I DO?????? Thing.

But really, REALLY what makes me mad was that you have the ability to “abort mission.” You have the chance to give up and just say “Ok, Vito didn’t help me” and just lose Vito.

Now, you MAY think that I would like that, the ability to skip a mission that is enraging me. But I don’t like that. Why?

Because it made every single last mission in River Row irrelevant. If Vito’s help depends SOLELY on this (get him, get Vito, abort, don’t), then why in the ABSOLUTE FUCK did I do all those racket things that took forever? Those things I HAD to do to get to this mission that turns out to the be ONLY DAMN THING THAT MATTERS TO ANYTHING?????

THAT’S infuriating.

Because let’s talk about mandatory Kevin missions. Let’s take the Witcher contracts, the hunting grounds, the AC assassinations off the table and talk about Kevin missions games make you do. These missions usually, almost always, have a point. Among possible points:

1) re-engage the player after a long cutscene/dialog/plot drop.
2) Increase tension before an important set piece.
3) establish the existence of a threat (the levels in which the PC mumbles “what are THEY doing here?”)
4) Let a player practice with a new weapon/skill in a low stakes level before needing it in an important level.
5) Let a player practice against a new kind of more powerful Kevin in a low stakes level before needing to face him in an important level.
6) In an open world game, make a place stacked with powerful Kevins to make sure you don’t go past said place until you’re ready.

The possibilities abound.

But this racket shit? None of the above. NONE. And then to make it so that absolutely NONE of it mattered? That the whole plot point of the whole River Row came down JUST to this car chase?

It’s busy work. Pure and simple busy work. UNAVOIDABLE busy work. And that’s infuriating.

AND! AND! In order to make the busy work slightly quicker, three out of the last four levels, I used the fact there’s a quirk in the enemy AI to get past them. See, dying not only costs you money. You don’t get back all the mines and shit you used, thus making it so you have to go ELSEWHERE to get more money to get more. So I noticed that, if you get to a good, protected pinch point, they’ll search ONE BY ONE and you can just stab them all. I showed you a pile of dead Kevins in a screenshot. That was my first. I made two more. So these pointless scenes weren’t even exciting. They were me, hiding, waiting, hitting circle, making a pile of Kevins.

And you could say “But dude, you COULD have played the level like the devs intended. You didn’t HAVE to sit there waiting, hitting circle.” But if I DIDN’T do that, this all would have taken longer and why make it take longer WHEN IT IS POINTLESS?????

Just plain maddening.

And, gotta say, as much as we have a personal connection to this game, it’s taken a great deal of the wind out of my sails re my desire to play it. Yes, the story is good, but, if I ever do get to the next area, I’ll spend two or three consecutive playing sessions thinking “this is pointless.” I’ll make Kevin piles KNOWING it’s pointless. I’ll sit there, waiting, hitting circle one by one, being bored, for no reason.

So I don’t know. I DO want to see the story, but with no way to chug through it……

I certainly don’t see myself saying “Try not to get too far into Tomb Raider in the three weeks it’ll take me to finish this!” I’m not gonna do pointless Kevin piles when there’s TR to be played, and you to blog TR with. I’ll likely chug through this until you finish and boot up TR, whether I’m finished or not.

Unless it gets better and the Kevins get a point. Cuz when it’s good, it’s GOOD.

But MAN I’m angry.

Feminina:

Oh, dude, wait, that’s what “abort mission” does? I figured it would just take you back to the point before you started, so you could go do something else and try again later. Like, a step back from “restart checkpoint,” which, obviously, restarted from the beginning of the chase.

I didn’t know it represented you giving up on the whole racket.

Interesting. And, yeah, kind of enraging, since if you’re going to have the option to give up on a racket, they could give you the option of giving up on it from the very beginning rather than you putting all the time into it first. Although…I mean, you wouldn’t know which ones you were going to want to give up on until you got to the final fight…hm. I’m not sure what to say about that. I mean…I guess yeah, making “abort mission” such a final thing seems like poor design. Especially if they didn’t give you a huge-ass warning about it, like “are you sure you want to waste all the effort you put into this racket, instead of maybe turning down the difficulty or something?”

As for the car chase, yeah, it was very annoying. Michael Grecco escaped about 15 times before I finally managed to run him off the road in a place where there wasn’t another car handy for him to jump into. And every time I had to watch the documentary dude somberly say that “Vito agreed to help on one condition: that Lincoln Clay give him Michael Grecco. Once Grecco escaped and Vito backed out…”

Right. I get it. This is important. PLEASE LET ME SKIP THE LOAD SCREEN AND GO BACK TO CHASING THIS BASTARD.

Butch:

Well….uh…..now I feel kinda silly cuz I assumed so…..

Cuz restart is restart. And when the dude was all “He backed out,” instead of “Wait….that can’t be how it happened….” I figured “Ok, so Vito backing out is how it happened.” That would be the logical assumption, yes? I can’t find anything on the internet that answers that. I didn’t want to hit abort, cuz you can’t exactly go back to an old save, so…..

It makes sense, right?

I also think there’s something about shooting his car, but fuck if I know how to do that.

Feminina:

But…you might at least not have wasted all that time on Vito. That’s good, I guess, although it means you have to chase Michael Grecco again.

I don’t really know how to shoot from a car either. I’m sure there was a mini-tutorial screen on it that I clicked impatiently through, and now there’s this truck with something I’m supposed to destroy that I keep seeing driving by, and usually I just kind of fire randomly, and any time I actually manage to aim at it correctly, it turns out I’m out of bullets. So that’s been fun.

But I don’t know if that really matters for the Grecco chase, because Vito is shooting at people in that one. I mean, I suppose if I’d been shooting too it might have worked better, but I was just counting on him to do the shooting while I tried to run Grecco’s car (MY car, apparently!) off the road. And then seriously, you have to bail out IMMEDIATELY and run over to make sure Grecco can’t get into another car, because otherwise he speeds off and good luck chasing him down by the time YOU find another car.

The whole scene was…challenging. Let’s say challenging. And it IS the boss fight for that territory, so it has to be something different than just whistling for Kevins to come and be murdered one by one (which, you’re right, seems to be by far the best strategy most of the time). Still, frustrating. I did some swearing at the screen.

Butch:

Yes, yes I do get to chase him some more. It’s gonna be great.

I’m telling ya, it’s not like me to say “I don’t know if I want to finish this game.” I finish everything. And yet….

I read on the internet that the best way to do this scene is to shoot out his tires. Which didn’t occur to me cuz I didn’t know HOW to shoot out his tires. I THINK that popped up on the top left there, but a) the print is small and b) I WAS DRIVING THE FUCKING CAR AND COULDN’T EXACTLY READ THE DAMN THING!

Yeah, that “Wait he’s in another….SHIT I NEED A CAR WHERE’S A CAR he’s gone” happened to me the ONE TIME I got him out of his car.

Great. Just…..great.

Sigh. Here we go again saying “well…it was free….”

I’m really looking forward to playing a game that I say “God DAMN I love this!”

I’m gonna go watch that Cyberpunk footage again.

Feminina:

I’m not quite as burnt out as you at this point. I had fun last night driving around, picking up magazines, tapping phones, stealing a boat, delivering some weed…Lincoln needs a little downtime, you know?

Butch:

True.

And I’ll forgive SOME cuz I just played, and succeeded on try three due to dumb luck. His car gave out right in front of me and I ran him over by accident.

I’ll take it.

Then I conversed with dudes and have met Burke. Have you met Burke?

So….

They’re trying to let Marcano go straight and complicating the priest.

I have to mull that. Cuz it doesn’t make Lincoln any more sympathetic.

Feminina:

I forget who Burke is. Remind me what he does. But yeah, I got the bit about Marcano trying to go legit by opening a casino, and Father James having been in the war (so he knows what he’s talking about when he decries violence and wishes Lincoln could “turn from this path”).

Interesting that you read that as “Marcano trying to go straight,” though. I mean, yeah, it’s true, but it sounds a bit sympathetic to HIM, like “he’s trying to get out of the crime business because he wants to be a better person” or something, similar to the sense we got at the very beginning when Lincoln planned to move to California and go straight–and I didn’t get that sense at all from Marcano. It was more “I’m just tired of people trying to kill me,” which is definitely an understandable motivation, but not exactly a sign of changed heart or something.

It certainly doesn’t change anything about the way he treated Lincoln’s family–it’s not as if he’s seemed even remotely sorry about that. So I don’t feel it makes Lincoln any LESS sympathetic than he was, really (and we can certainly debate about how sympathetic that is), that he continues to want the Marcanos dead.

I mean, what, I’m supposed to be all “aww, Sal wants to be a good guy now?” Because I don’t think he does. He wants to be a corrupt legitimate businessman instead of an out-and-out criminal. Sure, it’s a step up legally, but morally…enh.

Butch:

I dunno though. He was all “I don’t want you with a target on you. Find a woman, give me grandchildren,” and Georgi said “sounds boring.” He wants boring. So maybe Sal isn’t going straight, but he seems to want future Marcanos to be straight, at least on paper.

Not just James in the war, but Donovan being all “hey, he gets this. He gets sometimes you gotta kill.” Interesting.

Burke’s the Irish dude. Danny’s dad. Up in the top part of the map.

Feminina:

Oh, right, that guy. Yeah, I met him. Get ready to enjoy some wild driving!

And yeah, OK, it’s mildly relatable that Sal wants a better (less dangerous) life for his kid than he’s had himself. Sure. I can understand that.

Doesn’t mean it’s not still a mostly selfish motivation (he seems to be thinking as much about his legacy, as about his son as a person), or that he in any way regrets any of the people he’s stomped on over the years.

Butch:

Oh I drove! Kinda fun, actually. More fun than kidnapping Grecco and running from cops.

Wrong side of the road is key.

Feminina:

Yes! Jumps were good if you found some planks, but all the times I got jumps, I failed for other reasons (getting outside the mission area, crashing the car and dying, something). Running red lights seemed to have surprisingly little impact. I think in the end for me it was mostly driving on the wrong side of the road and speeding. Hitting a few mailboxes can’t hurt either.