|Release date(s)||October 7, 2016|
Mafia III is an action-adventure video game developed by Hangar 13 and published by 2K Games for Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is the third installment in the Mafia series. Set in 1968 in the city of New Bordeaux, a fictional recreation of New Orleans, the story revolves around Lincoln Clay, an orphan and Vietnam veteran, who is on a quest to build a new crime organization to confront the Italian mob. The game was released on October 7, 2016.
Mafia III is an action-adventure video game played in a third-person perspective, in which players assume control of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam War veteran on a quest to seek revenge for his adopted family, who are murdered by local mobs. The game is set in 1968 New Bordeaux, a reimagined version of New Orleans, with the open world being larger than the Mafia and Mafia II maps combined. Mafia III's map is made up of ten districts: Bayou Fantom, Delray Hollow, Barclay Mills, Frisco Fields, Pointe Verdun, Tickfaw Harbour, Southdowns, River Row, Downtown, and the French Ward. Players can complete objectives using a variety of approaches. For example, players can use the weapons provided in the game, like shotguns and revolvers, to eliminate enemies, or even to call up for assists or some "Italian Muscle," (one of the skills you can use in the game) which is a few able guys to edge out the enemies, before or during the gun fight. Alternatively, they can make use of stealth tactics throughout the entire mission without being noticed by enemies. The core gameplay revolves around gunplay. In addition, players can also perform executing moves and engage in melee-combat. The game also features a cover system, allowing players to take cover behind objects to avoid enemy gunfire and some detection. Players can also interrogate non-playable characters after defeating them in order to gain more information on their objectives, like scaring them while driving a car. Players can attack and overrun locations owned by the Italian mob, and assign one of their lieutenants to operate around the local area. The game allows players to drive cars from the era with realistic drive mechanics and sounds.
Mafia III is set in the year 1968, and revolves around Lincoln Clay, a mulatto orphan who was adopted by black mobsters and later served in the Vietnam War in a special-forces unit. After being discharged, he returns to New Bordeaux and reunites with his surrogate father Sammy Robinson and adopted brother Ellis. Planning to head out west to California, Lincoln then learns of a ongoing turf war between Sammy's gang and a rival Haitian outfit that has put him in serious debt with Sal Marcano, the Don of the Marcano crime family. Lincoln meets with Sal, who insinuates that Sammy is too weak to lead and suggests Lincoln take his place. However, Lincoln refuses out of loyalty, and instead works with Sal's son Giorgi to rob the Louisiana Federal Reserve and steal enough money to pay off the debt. The heist is successful, but Sal and Giorgi subsequently have Sammy and Ellis murdered and leave Lincoln to die. Father James, one of Lincoln's oldest friends, rescues him and nurses him back to health. As he recovers, Lincoln contacts John Donovan, his CIA handler in Vietnam. Donovan agrees to use his resources and expertise to help Lincoln exact revenge on the Marcanos and take over New Bordeaux, though his motivations are unclear.
To start, Lincoln recruits three fellow criminals as underbosses: Haitian crime lord Cassandra (who distrusts Lincoln for assassinating her predecessor during the war with Sammy), Irish Mob leader Thomas Burke, whose son Danny was double-crossed and killed after taking part in the heist, and Vito Scaletta, a Marcano ally exiled from Empire Bay following the events of Mafia II and who has since fallen out of favor with Sal. After eliminating Marcano lieutenants Ritchie Doucet, Roman "The Butcher" Barbieri, and Michael Grecco, and returning their territories to the three, he brings them together and unveils his plan: together, they will systematically eliminate the Marcanos from the ground up, with Lincoln deciding which underboss gets to run each new district he seizes. From this point forward, giving a new territory to an underboss will unlock benefits and increase their kickbacks to Lincoln, who can also complete tasks to strengthen their loyalty. However, if the player angers an underboss repeatedly by not giving them new districts, they will eventually declare war on Lincoln and he will be forced to kill them.
With Donovan providing intelligence, Lincoln eliminates other key members of the Marcano family: racketeer Enzo Conti (who Lincoln spares after learning that he was an old friend of Sammy's), consigliere Tony Derazio, and smuggler Frank Pagani. He also learns that Sal plans to legitimize the Marcano family by building a new casino with counterfeit money and the support of prominent citizen and white supremacist Remy Duvall. He kills Duvall, disgracing his patron Olivia Marcano (who is then executed by Giorgi), and also assassinates family caporegimes Lou and Tommy Marcano. After an attempted hit on Lincoln is foiled, Sal and Giorgi gather their remaining men at the unfinished casino for a last stand. Lincoln kills Giorgi and confronts Sal in his office. Sal explains that he only wanted to protect Giorgi, and gives Lincoln the opportunity to kill him. If he does, then Lincoln will stab Sal and throw him out of a window, but if he waits long enough, Sal will shoot himself out of grief.
As Lincoln leaves the casino, he is confronted by an elderly Leo Galante, representing the Commission. Lincoln assures Leo that his feud was only with the Marcanos and that it ended with Sal's death. Satisfied, Leo allows Lincoln to live and keep New Bordeaux under the condition that he send 20% of his earnings to the Commission, as Sal had previously done. Returning to Donovan and Father James, Lincoln must decide his next move: walk away from New Bordeaux to leave behind his life of crime on advice from Father James, seize power of the city by killing all his underbosses on advice from Donovan, or rule the city together with his underbosses.
If Lincoln leaves New Bordeaux, he effectively disappears from public life, only occasionally sending postcards to Father James from various parts of the world. The underboss who was given the most districts by Lincoln will then seize control of the city. If Lincoln rules New Bordeaux with his underbosses, he expands his criminal empire across the entire Southern United States and becomes a well known philanthropist. However, Father James openly despises what he has become. If Lincoln chooses to rule New Bordeaux alone, he kills his underbosses, but is then killed by a bomb planted in his car by a remorseful Father James.
In a post credits scene, Donovan is brought before a Senate committee to answer for his role in Lincoln's rise to power. Donovan explains that he helped Lincoln because he uncovered evidence that Sal was one of the conspirators responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and that he had only agreed to meet the Senate because one of the senators presiding over the hearing was also implicated as a conspirator in Sal's files. Donovan then kills the senator with a concealed silenced pistol and declares that he will track down everybody else responsible for President Kennedy's death.
The game was first rumored in August 2011. In November 2012, 2K Czech, the developer of the original Mafia and Mafia II, announced that the company was working on a "top secret, AAA game". However, the company was later restructured on January 10, 2014, and the main studio in Prague was shuttered, with resources being allocated to a new headquarters in Novato, California. A new studio called Hangar 13 was established by 2K Games in Novato in the same year. Headed by Haden Blackman, who had previously worked with LucasArts, the studio was said to be working on a new project.
The game was officially teased by 2K on July 28, 2015, and was formally revealed at Gamescom 2015 with a cinematic trailer. Mafia III released on October 7, 2016 for Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Hangar 13 and 2K Games wanted to stay true to the quality that many users expected over the previous games. The game uses the graphics software Simplygon. The development team were interested in creating a world based on New Orleans, and eventually decided on setting the game in 1968. The team used a collection of old photographs to recreate the world. Various alterations to the world were made to suit the narrative: the bayou and the city have been positioned at close proximity, despite being at a further distance in real Louisiana; the Superdome stadium was being constructed in 1968, but is excluded from the game. The team intended the world to be accessible for high-speed chases. The team also wanted to move away from the stereotypical Italian mafia scene and represent a different side of gang-related crime scenarios. Another aspect of setting a special tone and atmosphere in the game has been the choice of licensed music. Haden Blackman indicated that Mafia III will include a "ton of great music" from the sixties.
Frame rate limitations
On release, it was found that the PC version was locked to 30 FPS; a patch to unlock the frame rate cap and address other issues in-game has since been released.
Tie-in mobile game
A mobile game entitled Mafia III Rivals was also released to tie in with the main game, developed by Cat Daddy Games for Android and iOS. Rivals is presented as a role-playing game with turn-based combat mechanics.
Mafia III received "mixed" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Critics praised the story, characters and darker themes, while criticizing the gameplay, with most calling it functional at best, the empty open world, visuals and for numerous in-game bugs and glitches.
Alex Donaldson of VG247 gave the game a mixed review, writing, "Mafia 3 features one of my [favorite] video game stories of the year, some gorgeous presentation, an amazing soundtrack and an interesting world. Sadly it also has by-the-numbers mission design and dubious performance." In his 2/5 star review, Sam White of The Guardian wrote, "To say Mafia III is a disappointment is an understatement. It has all of the surface components to form a great game: the writing and acting are superb, its direction and style are great, but its mechanical underpinnings are archaic and desperately unimaginative."
Marty Sliva for IGN gave the game a score of 7.5 out of 10, summarizing his review with: "Mafia 3’s strong characters and confident storytelling kept me engaged, even if the gameplay rarely delivered anything but bog-standard and repetitive open-world action. That’s a bummer, because Lincoln is an incredible protagonist and New Bordeaux is a fantastic setting thematically, and it would’ve been great to see them put to better use." Brian Mazique of Forbes gave the game an 8.1/10, saying, "This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love a good character study and aren’t in search of gameplay mechanics that break new ground in innovation and control, this is one you should own."
It was the second best-selling retail game in the UK in its week of release, only behind FIFA 17. The launch of Mafia III marked the biggest launch of a Mafia game ever in the UK, with the game sales being 58.7% more than that of Mafia II. On November 2, 2016, Take-Two Interactive announced that the game shipped in 4.5 million in it first week and setting a new launch record for 2K Games
Deluxe Edition PC version controversy
After the game was released, there was a controversy about the physical version of Mafia III Deluxe Edition for PC, with some customers from local and online retailers complaining that they received their copies of the game incomplete without the manual that contained the Steam activation key.
- Additional work by Blind Squirrel Games, and Mass Media Games
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