Here’s an E3 announcement to excite gamers with a taste for seedy underbellies and shoot-outs: the release of Mafia III has been unveiled by producers 2K and developers Hangar 13.
Players will take control of Lincoln Clay, a thug who sees his gang destroyed by the Italian mob and vows to seek revenge on its leader, Sal Marcano. The action takes place in New Bordeaux, an equally glamorous clone of New Orleans, which is on the surface a wholesome place to raise a family but underneath is rotting away under a deluge of drug deals, prostitution rings and crooked politicians. Even the local university is under the command of the mob, its labs being run as PCP farms.
There will also be tough and punishing choices to make; for example, who you should entrust with running the various sectors of New Bordeaux once they have been seized. The player can place their trust in one of three worthy capo candidates: Cassandra, the ringleader of the Haitian mob in New Bordeaux (the inclusion of a female gangland boss for a game set in 1968 received some praise at the time of announcement); Burke, an Irish scrapyard dealer who you’d be wise not to cross; and Vito, whose allegiances with the Italian mob have soured and is likewise looking to settle a score. Placing your trust in the wrong henchman may not only be detrimental regarding the direction the story takes, but may also put you at a disadvantage with the various power-ups that siding with certain characters offers – turn down Vito, for example, and you will have to pay a princely sum the next time you’re trapped in a firefight and require his goons as reinforcements.
The E3 demo revealed what appeared to be quite a central storyline, so spoiler-averse readers may wish to space out to some Creedence Clearwater Revival and Janis Joplin records instead (both artists featured prominently in the demo video; Twitter commentators have pointed out an anachronism in 2K’s musical choices, though). The demo gloriously displays the arsenal of weapons at your disposal, including hand grenades, while also showing off the game’s physics engine through the action taking place on a swaying boat. Hand-to-hand combat, brutal executions and stealth attacks – anything is possible in Mafia III, the game being adjustable to your personal play style. Regardless of whether you approach being a mob boss in the style of a Gears of War shootathon or become a drug-pushing Agent 42 clone, some of the deaths, such as the stabbing and stringing-up of Sal’s flamboyant brother, show that Lincoln Clay is more than a simple delinquent; you can raise him from veteran with a vendetta to full-blown crime boss, with a bit of careful planning and plenty of firepower.
Mafia III will be available from October 7th onwards on XBox One, PS4 and PC.