With the smash-hit that was Mafia II’s release back in August 2010, it seemed fitting to announce the arrival of its sequel, Mafia III, at Gamescom almost exactly five years later. Mafia III hopes to answer questions and tie up loose ends from its predecessor. While that is good news for all of us with questions, the story and history that Mafia III will portray makes it even more anticipated.
Mafia III will be headed in a decidedly different direction from the prior installments of the franchise, taking place in Vietnam war era New Orleans where players will be assuming the role of Lincoln Clay, an orphaned, interracial war veteran who heads to work for the black mob upon his return to New Orleans.
Given the time frame of the 1960s, circumstances of the era, and biracial characteristic of Clay himself, it would appear that this would give Mafia III footing to present some extreme racial sensationalizing in this particular rendition of the game. Creative director Haden Blackman stated that this isn’t the case, though the promise of thought-provoking situations and dialogue is certainly there. “We’re not trying to sensationalize [racism]. But thought provocation is something that art is. All good art makes you think and stays with you.”
If you’re wondering if that means that the subject of racism and its history in the Deep South of the 1960s will be watered down, you’d be wrong. In fact, it actually looks to be an insightful and somewhat jarring look into the life of minority men and woman in the deep south at the time. “The cops are going to come down on you like a hammer,” reported design director Matthias Worch.
Imagine immersing yourself in a world where racial tensions were running extremely high, a huge civil rights leader had just been assassinated, one of the worst wars in America’s history was causing major political and public unrest, and top it all off with Lincoln Clay – an interracial man, with no family, and no sense of where he belongs in the world, just trying to find his way in the best way he knows how. That is ultimately where the players come in, and it certainly appears to be an unforgettable wild ride.
The game is expected for release in 2016 for XBox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.
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