Mafia III: Rivals is the tie-in mobile game for Mafia III. Rivals is an RPG set in the Mafia III world, which is filled with bad guys, crime, and violence.
Platforms: Android and iOS
Reviewed On: iPhone 6s running iOS 10.0.2
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: 7 October 2016
Price: Free with in-app purchases
The Mafia III mobile game is as basic as they come. You form and manage mob members that you assemble into a crew to participate in turn-based combat.
Mafia III: Rivals is set in the same fictional world of New Bordeaux as the main game and looks pretty impressive on mobile devices. The setting is very detailed for a mobile game and the characters are realistic enough for you to care about them. You can see the physical damage being dealt to these characters and fights can get brutally bloody and messy. Characters’ strengths and weakness are detailed in cards and you can equip them with weapons, cars, and other accessories.
Gameplay is painstakingly standard in Mafia III: Rivals and you won’t find anything new here in terms of RPG on mobile. Every fight is the same and you’re constantly just doing the things over and over again. Your progression through the game is frustratingly slow and feels unrewarding. After a while, you’ve seen it all and Rivals becomes repetitive and something you basically only do when you have time to kill. To be honest, after playing this mundane mobile game for a few days you might even forget that you still have it installed on your device.
In a fight, each of your crew members gets to deal out pain to the enemy. There’s not much strategy involved, though. Before long, you’re repetitively tapping the screen without paying much attention to strategy, because there is none really.
Mafia III: Rivals does offer some fun entertainment for a while and it’s interesting to try to move up leaderboards or fight other players in real time. But, because of the lack of real rewards in Mafia III: Rivals, you’re less tempted to return to merely do the same old thing over and over again.
Not much in Mafia III: Rivals feels unique and if you’re not actively looking to play a new RPG then there aren’t any appealing features. That being said, if you’re keen on a new mobile game and you’re a fan of the Mafia franchise then the mobile game isn’t terrible to play and is as fun as any other mobile RPG to play when you’re trying to waste some time. But don’t expect anything greatly gripping about Mafia III: Rivals and you might find yourself playing it less over time.
As a companion game to the Mafia III console games, Rivals feels like an afterthought. The game might offer beautiful graphics and some creative character customization, but it fails to keep us going back and playing it more. The freemium feel of the mobile game makes us wonder whether it was created merely to ride the Mafia III money wave.
In terms of mobile games, Rivals doesn’t offer anything new and feels like another rehash of the same RPG template and lacks any real reason to keep playing.