Mafia 3 – Let’s join the mob once again!

PREVIEW – What memories I have in front of my eyes when I look back at 2002’s Mafia. The ultimate feeling of freedom with well-crafted missions that allowed me to climb higher and higher on the „family tree” while people fell around me. I was amazed at the beauty of the city, and how it lay in front of my feet. It was unbelievable back in the day, and that is why IGN listed Mafia as one of the hundred best games ever made.

At first only PC gamers were able to enjoy the title, but 2K realized the potential, and decided to release it for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 owners. This was great, as more people needed to know about this unique game. From its entirely sandbox gameplay to its breathtaking storyline, and of course the deeply developed characters. This was Mafia 1 back in 2002.

There was only one problem with the game; that it ended. The sequel was only released eight years later. That period was hell for us as we had over hundreds of games under our hands, even Rockstar’s golden egg the GTA series, but even these were not able to provide us with the same experience.

The sequel was considered to be a life saver for the fan of the franchise, however it was more tuned down, then we had hoped it to be. However the atmosphere was better than the first game, even if it was less complex. However those that can avoid comparing games (us), we feel that Mafia 2 was a great game. It was able to stand on its own, and did not need the fame of the first game to be successful. Yet when all things considered it did was not as great as the first one.

Expectations lowered!

Not long after the second game was released, we knew that there might be a third one in development. We saw the first flicker of hope back in the second half of 2014 when 2K Czech posted job openings for their “super-interesting project”. Yet problems did occur for the team. 2K Czech was disbanded, and the employees had to go to Brno, or to California. A lot of the fans though that with this move 2K is going to bury the franchise, however luckily the project lived on.

Thanks to Hangar 13’s team. Five year is a lot of time to think about what to expect from a sequel for the Mafia franchise – although this is my own opinion – I did not wait ( and now I’m cautiously waiting ) for a third game. As the release date is getting nearer, new information sheds light on the sequel. It looks to be a better, more interesting “Mafia”, however if we do not remember the streamlining of the sequels, the third game could bomb big time. As the bar for quality has been set by the first game, but let us see what Mafia 3 will bring us next year.

New team on the block!

Hangar 13 Studios was formed by 2K with the objective to work on its AAA category titles. It is a noble idea, and they did pack some of the most talented individuals into one group. Those that are familiar with the names will be happy to see them, as all of them have brought us quality titles. The studio lead is Haden Blackman who spent 17 years as a writer, producer, and director at LucasArts. He created such titles as Kotor and The Force Unleashed.
For a producer, 2K went straight to Ubisoft to hire Andrew Wilson, who handled the release of AAA titles at his previous job. Splinter Cell Blacklist was released under him.

The director this time around is Dave Smith, who handled Star Wars 1313, and The Gateway.

Laurent Gorga is the technical director (he was also the tech director for Mafia 2), who was imported from the 2K Czech team. The chief graphic designer, and sound designers are Matthias Worch, and Matt Bauer. They worked on such games as Star Wars 1313, Dead Space 2, Dark Siders, and Saints row.
We can safely say, that 2K gathered the “Avengers” of the video game industry, those who create quality products. The question is, what can the team do for a Mafia III, which is not a small challenge even for the most experienced teams.

Just like a painting.

Maybe it is because I love the series, but the released videos, and pictures for the third game look like art, that were left by Picasso. The characters details are unbelievable, the cars, the buildings, everything looks bigger, and better. The crashes are more realistic, and so does the streets of New Orleans. I guess a lot of fans cannot wait to get started, and dive into the city, to live the life of the “Family”.

The location

As mentioned previously Mafia III takes place in New Orleans, and in the time of Cultural Revolution, hippies, and Vietnam… the 1960’s of America!
The jazz is flowing through the air, the blacks are still not equal, and racism is “blooming” so to speak. The city that is surrounded by swamps becomes the den of crime, in front of our eyes. Only a rival family can end this reign of crime.
Of course to figure out the location we did not even need an official announcement as the marketing material released for the game, showed the buildings, and architecture. 1968 will be a fun year to play, with lots of opportunities in New Orleans.

Hype machine!

Just to raise the hype, 2K games did everything to bump Mafia III to the top of the most anticipated games list of 2016. For starts the main character is a black man, and to be honest that seems like just to drum up some fake outrage. In an era where the color of your skin could determine what you could become, where race hate was at its peak, where there was fight for power between blacks and whites. At least that’s what we think.

The story is that Lincoln Clay who was raised in an orphanage, turned to a life of crime. After a robbery gone bad, he got cause, and was given a choice: Prison or Vietnam. He choose Vietnam, and after some combat he gets injured, and sent home. When he arrives home, however he sees that the Italian mob has killed his “family”, who were his only friend. Lincoln decides that no matter the cost he will stop the dirty “digos”, and will take care of anyone who has any connection to the crime spree has controlled by the Italians.
This is where the first questions arise about the game. The most important one is that, after the first two games, can the fans “like” this story without feeling it to be to clichéd?

The Angel of Death

We start out as an avenger in New Orleans, destroying the Italian mob, and erasing crime from the streets, so that we can control it. We will have some help with this, and one of them is none other than the protagonist of Mafia II, Vito Scaletta. From them we can ask assistance with just one phone call, and they’ll help us with men, firepower, and even getting the cops off our trails. Our objective is none other than getting the crew to the top of the city. Sounds great right? While it does sound awesome, there is one part I cannot skip on that might be an issue..


From the first movies, to videogames, and in news segments, it was shown how the organized crime was able to handle its issues in the broad day light. How “elegant” they were in sending other people to their deaths. Silently, calmly and without a blink. The first two games were able to provide us with this sense also, to use the tools provided to kill someone. Only as a final resort could we use violence and brutality. This was the case also for the second game, but it seems the third game is losing all this elegance.

In the trailer, and in the gameplay this brutality can be seen, as our main character stabs an enemy in the face, it just does not fit into the “fantasy world” of the two previous games. Where is the elegance? The cold bloodedness from the two previous games? Where is the restraint, the caution that yelled into our soul: DO NOT KILL! And even when we were forced to kill we did not do it under rage or brutality, it was: “I must do it because I have no other choice”. Even then we only used just enough brutality. We did not go full slaughterhouse on the enemy.

Times are changing

As in our life time is moving forward, same goes for 3. We get an entirely new city, New Orleans of 1960s. As time moves on, we will need new radical techniques to survive, and rule in the city. Maybe this is one of the reasons for the heightened brutality in the game. Yet I still think the knife scene is an overkill. One bullet to the head is enough to silence somebody forever. It is pointless to kill enemies such a way, especially that do not look like an act of the members of an organized crime gang. It looked more like a serial killer out for blood.


Mafia III will be one of 2016’s most anticipated titles, even if the reveal videos have divided the fanbase over the program. A lot of fans are worried that because of the senseless violence will devalue the game in terms of quality: ergo a lack of elegance in terms of handling our affairs. Still we are waiting for the new Hangar 13 on what kind of game they will give us in 2016. Once we get any new info we will inform our readers of it.


Mob rules?:

+ Mafia 3 😛
+ Hot New Orleans
+ Interesting story

Or crime will pay?:

– Excessive brutality
– Aggressive interactions
– There are few game elements


Publisher:  2K Games

Developer: Hangar 13

Genres: Action-TPS

Publication: Q1/Q2 2016

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Kese is a young talented writer and music producer from Hungary. He loves any styles of music, and movies too. In his free-time he plays action & adventure games.

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