How Buggy Is ‘Mafia III’ Right Now?

Is it normal open-world jank, or something more serious.

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Oct 8 2016, 2:15pm

Image: 2K.

Publisher 2K's big open-world video game Mafia III was released on Friday, and I'm not at all surprised that players are finding that it's filled with bugs.

YouTube user CrowbCat has released a seven-minute video that details lots of these bugs, and when they're put together into a supercut like this, it looks pretty bad.

What we have here is a collection of classic, highly embarrassing bugs you've probably seen before if you play a lot of video games: the player character falling through the game world, AI that doesn't react appropriately, wacky physics and collisions, and objects spawning in hilariously wrong places.

At this point, it's a little too soon to say just how technically flawed Mafia III is. The bugs in the video above fall into a few categories. Most of them seem like the kind of jank that's impossible to smooth out completely and that you'll find in any open-world game. Even mega hits like Fallout 4 are filled with bugs after multiple patches.

Mafia III is so big, and gives players such a degree of freedom, it is impossible—even for a giant publisher like 2K—to test the game enough to find and squash every single bug. There are simply too many moving pieces, and once it moves from a quality assurance team of dozens or even hundreds and gets into the hands of hundreds of thousands of players in a live environment, a lot of these bugs make their way to the surface very quickly.

Each isolated bug might not even be that big of a deal, but as The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson told us in our feature about the making of Gears of War 4, in the age of YouTube and Twitch, bugs aren't private anymore. Users like CrowbCat can cut them together quickly and share them with the world. Not that that's a bad thing! A bug is a bug and the developer has to either let it slide or fix it. There's no point in hiding them, even if it makes the game look worse than it is.

As funny as the bug supercut is, Mafia III also apparently suffers from some more serious stability issues. The game currently has an overall "mixed" rating on Steam based on more than 4,000 user reviews. A lot of them are complaining about design decisions (which are matters of taste) or the fact that the game is currently locked to 30 frames-per-second, but there are also quite a few who say the game crashes frequently.

Open-world jank is one thing. Some open-world games have more of it than others, but there was never a chance Mafia III wouldn't show some of the seams we see in the video above. Hard crashes that make it unplayable is a different story. At that point you're looking at what is effectively a defective product, and it could get to the point where a publisher has to pull the game from stores.

Motherboard has reached out to 2K for comment and will update this story when we hear back.