Mafia fans have waited just about six years for the third entry in 2K’s open-world crime series, but based on Mafia III’s spectacular showing at E3 2016 – complete with a setup at the publisher’s booth that looked straight out of Mardi Gras in New Orleans – it looks like the wait will be well worth it.
As in previous Mafia entries, players will explore an insanely detailed locale based on a real-life American metropolis. Mafia III’s New Bordeaux is inspired by the diverse landscapes of Louisiana, and the 1968 setting makes for a potent mix of politics and explosive gang warfare. And during our demo, we discovered the iconic music of the time will play a role as well; a couple of Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes, “Bad Moon Rising” and “Green River,” really helped sell the setting.
“We treat New Bordeaux as a main character, and we’ve worked really hard to ensure that there’s a strong sense of time and place,” says executive producer Andy Wilson. “The city is made up of 10 districts in total, all of which have their own unique flavor and set of criminal rackets.”
The late 1960s were rather turbulent, to say the least, and Mafia III really captures that sentiment – and that starts with the protagonist himself. Lincoln Clay is a Vietnam War vet who’s seen plenty in his time overseas, and now he’s returned to New Bordeaux to find that the city’s gangs are in the midst of a full-scale war themselves.
Of course, in order to take on these thugs, Lincoln will need a gang of his own – but you’ll need to make sure your subordinates are satisfied. During our demo, Irish firebrand Thomas Burke, king of the local scrapyard, thought he wasn’t getting his proper piece of the pie, and he let Lincoln know that in no uncertain terms.
We won’t spoil too much about the specific details of the demo, but we will say that it culminated with a knife-based confrontation on the bayou, a sign that the developers at Hangar 13 are really taking advantage of the quirks of the setting. After seeing all Mafia III has to offer, it’s quickly climbed up our list of most anticipated titles coming this fall. Any fan of open-world action should be ready to enter the world of New Bordeaux when the game hits Xbox One and Windows PC on October 7.