Sunday, 9 August 2015

Mafia 3

Moodily monologuing and driving his way into our lives, straight out of Gamescom 2015 comes Lincoln Clay, Vietnam war veteran and up and coming crime lord of 1968 New Orleans.

The trailer for Mafia 3 went live this week, and introduces us to the vicious and violent world of Clay and chums, and what better way to introduce your game than by showing your protagonist introducing human sushi to a hungry alligator?

I want to get my hands on this so much. If you didn’t notice, that’s Vito Scaletta in the trailer, protagonist from the second game. It’s great to see him returning and I can’t wait to catch up with the character. I loved the first two games, and the way they tied the first game into the second through one extremely fan pleasing and spoiler laden mission gives me hope that we’ll find out a lot more about events and characters across the series. Also joining Lincoln in the Bayou was Cassandra, head of a mob of Haitians, and Burke, with an Irish mob backing him up. Together with Vito’s Italians these three will become your Lieutenants in your budding criminal empire.

So who is our protagonist Lincoln Clay? Well we know that he grew up without a family in an orphanage. Spending much of his childhood alone, he finally found the fraternity he craved in the army, going off to fight in Vietnam. On returning to the U.S. he agrees to do a job as a favour for a friend, becoming embroiled in the shady goings on of the black mob, one of many racially segregated criminal organizations operating in New Orleans at that time.

Finding acceptance amongst these gangsters it seems Lincoln is content and secure with his new family, until an attack from the Italian mob wipes out his gang and leaves him for dead. Its a nice, in depth setup that serves to establish the character and his motivations for the actions he, and us as the players, will no doubt commit.

Having a look at the gameplay videos that are all over youtube, we see that it consists of your regular 3rd person open world driving-shooty fare. In interview lead designer Hayden Blackman has described the empire building component of the game, where the player will lead Lincoln in taking over businesses through combat, acquiring the club/bar/whatever to add to his empire. The establishment will be given to one of his three lieutenants to run, earning a unique reward depending on who he gives it too.

It all sounds very interesting and certainly a more open narrative than the previous games. Although relatively unheard of, Hangar 13, the studio developing the game, is comprised of a lot of talented people with strong contributions to past AAA games. I’ve got high hopes for it, my main concern being that they use the opportunity of a mixed race protagonist in this time and location to demonstrate how fucked up attitudes were in the American south back then.

It’s obviously an important topic, albeit one I'm completely uneducated on, being a lower middle class white boy who grew up in middle England. As an issue that is still raw in many parts of the world today, and I hope Hangar 13 don’t shy away from presenting a well researched and honest historical example of life back then.