Where’s Polygon’s Mafia 3 review?

Mafia 3, the anticipated follow-up to 2010’s Mafia 2 developed in concert with Marin-based studio Hangar 13 and 2K Czech, is in stores around the world next Friday, October 7. Unfortunately, neither Polygon nor any other outlet is likely to have a review up before the game launches next week.

Polygon was informed via a phone call from a 2K representative yesterday evening that 2K Games has decided not make the game available to press from any outlet prior to its release. This is, of course, 2K’s decision to make, though it is a departure from both 2K’s previous track record with non-sports titles and general industry practice, despite some noteworthy exceptions in recent years from various publishers on games like Destiny and, most recently, Id Software’s reboot of Doom.

In development since at least mid-2013, Mafia 3 is arguably 2K Games’ largest Fall release for 2016, despite September’s launch of NBA 2K17 and next month’s Civilization 6.

2K games offered Polygon reviewable copies of Mafia 3 that would unlock upon the game’s "first global availability" on digital retail storefronts — at approximately 4:00 AM Pacific on Thursday, October 6. We’ve declined this offer, and will be securing our own retail copies of Mafia 3 at the earliest opportunity. With that in mind, it is extremely unlikely that Polygon will have a review up at the time of Mafia 3’s launch next week, though we will do as much as we can to expedite the review process and share our impressions once we have the game in hand.

You can read more about Mafia 3 in our feature from this year’s E3, which explores the game’s narrative and African-American lead with the game’s director, Haden Blackman.

Note: This story originally stated that 2K Games offered review copies that would unlock upon Mafia 3’s North American availability, and has been corrected.


haha fuck

Interesting, especially since they’ve been very forward about showing the game off. I’m excited for this but I’ll wait a couple days for reviews.

Almost every single day I get an email from 2K regarding a new Mafia III video so yeah, it’s not like they’re trying to sweep it under a rug or anything like that. It’s weird that this is where they show a little hesitance after months of strong support for it.

Those are snippets of gameplay selected and performed by the developers.

This is reading a lot like film studios not releasing copies to reviewers but putting a full court press on with publicity. It may be nothing but often this is because the studios know they have a flop on their hands and want to get butts in seats as much as possible before the news gets out.

I dunno… 2k did the same with GTA V and that turned out all right.

Agreed, hence the may be nothing. They also have issued review copies for other titles. Time will tell.

They probably figure there’s more harm to be done than good. When you consider their audience consists of many who would look down on an 8.

Don’t preorder

I had preordered from Amazon. That preorder is now canceled.

A reminder that any Prime preorder discounts still apply for the first few weeks a game is out

All the more reason to not pre-order.

I keep telling people this, for two years I have tried to convince my friends to not pre-order games unless it’s one of those "I grew up on Doom, it will be good to me no matter what" kind of scenarios.

Until they stop getting pre-launch sales projections that amass to what a board of non-developer executives deem what is or is not a "guaranteed hit" we are going to continue to get our expectations thrown under the bus.

It’s still not worth pre-ordering. Look at The Witcher 3 – a hugely well respected game from a well respected studio and series – it’s a success by any standard. But, it’s better now than it was at launch; the interface has been overhauled, the bugs fixed, load times cut, and the price cut. Even in the best cases you’re better off buying later.

Pre-ordering or buying at launch gets you the worst ever version of a game, at the highest price. No exceptions.

I agree with pre-ordering but not at not buying at launch. Yes, it’s always better to wait (prices drop and the games are updated) but for some people, the time value of playing that game faster is worth quite a lot.

This is not to say that everyone should buy at launch, but it’s better for each individual to gauge how much they want the game at the moment versus their willingness to wait. Time itself is part of the equation that has a dollar value.

Since its launch, reviews would be out so they would be able to know the state of the game (unlike pre-ordering). It also depends on how much they like or look forward to that game personally. Some games will be in the "I want it but I don’t have to have it now", while others will be in "I want it now and the reviews are good" kind thing.

Pre-ordering or buying at launch gets you the worst ever version of a game, at the highest price. No exceptions.

But this is not true. there are exceptions.
Such as anything with an actual limited run, or low availability that people really want.

I also disagree with the whole idea that no one should buy at launch or pre-order. If absolutely one bought early then the games price would either not drop, not drop as much or take much longer to drop. part of the reasons games prices drop is not just because they are older now. but because the retailer has made back the money it cost to buy the games from the publisher. this isn’t always the case for sure, but part of it.

there is also the fact that if no one is playing the game how are they to know what isn’t liked? what needs to be changed? most developers and publishers don’t release a game thinking " man this is shit no one is going to like this" they are usually pretty confidant in what they put out. not that they think it’s perfect or that there is nothing that could make it better, Just that they they are happy with the majority of the design. Having a bunch of players fucking around with your system finding bugs you thought were squashed, or thought no one would encounter, finding weapon imbalances, finding issues with the UI, this is where a lot of patches come from.

If no one bought the Witcher 3 I doubt they would have made as many substantial changes as they did. DLC may have been canned. by the time the price dropped, if their sales were that abysmal, they probably would have either shut down due to lack of funds, or they would have moved on to another project to try and recoup for the loss of the Witcher 3 not selling.

basically what I’m saying is that the industry needs people to buy at all stages of the games life. what the industry needs is to be more transparent, and less hype machine.

Your literally took the ONE example where I would have pre-ordered a game. I am very budget conscious when it comes to buying games and usually purchase when they are <$20, but Witcher 3 is one game that deserves full price, even after years of release.

As for pre-ordering, its needed so that the industry can sustain itself, which makes it even important for a developer to iron out major issues before launch and not put out a broken game. I think, even though gamers go up in arms against launches like AC:Unity or Batman:AK, they still dont stop buying from these publishers. Now, hello games is a different issue, I hope nobody ever buys from them again. Releasing a buggy game is one thing, but lying and then not addressing the gamers after the dev got the money is on a completely different level of screw-ups.

Yeah, Halo’s the only thing I’ll ever pre order.

That is a strange turn of events. So instead of having a fully fleshed out review up on October 7th, they are going to roll the dice along side of the Gears of War 4 October 7th early release. Given they will be played by different reviewers, which one is more likely to get the clicks and thus highlight on a reviewer/publicaton’s page? Gears will be 4 days ahead of its normal release, so fans will be dying for information and early reviews against an open world game that will take days to get a feel of how it works out?

Perhaps a bit cynical, but i expect Polygon’s front page will be the big square on the left being Gears coverage with at least one small one on the right and a small one for the Mafia review a few days later (with part of the day in the big square). Just probably not a great week to release and to not allow early reviews.

What you’ve said is based on too much logic and makes too much sense for a large game publisher.

Seems odd. Given they’ve shown a ton of the game off in demos and such.

Yeah but selected videos can be crafted to look good since they only show you the good parts. A review will reveal everything about the game.

They had a bunch of people to play an hour or two of the game. Tbh, I’ve pretty much seen 50% of the game already! lol

This is a great way to make some people decide to buy Gears 4 instead. I’m pretty confident that Mafia will be good because nothing they showed tells me otherwise, but I’ll definitely wait for reviews.

By the way Arthur, do you already have the embargo date for Gears?

To be fair: very different games. Despite my preorder cancelation I have no interest in another shooter game.

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