It has been quite awhile since I’ve last mentioned anything about Mafia 3. The game is still on track to be released later this year and more and more information about the game continues to be released.
I’m still looking forward to this game and a few other open world games to be released before year’s end.
A gaming site has posted a hands on article of Mafia 3 which has me excited. We should all know by now that the game takes place in the 1960s and that the open world city is a game version of New Orleans. Not sure why they renamed it to a fictional name of New Bordeaux, but it is not something that takes away from the game and from the looks of it, it is pretty much spot on to the look of the Big Easy.
The site pcpowerplay.com talks about quite a bit of stuff from the time they got to try out part of the game. Some examples are the racial tension that’s noticeable in the game especially the Civil Rights movement took place in the 1960s, they talk about some of the game play mechanics and what the main character known as Lincoln Clay is like and also the muscle cars in the game.
Here’s some of the article from pcpowerplay:
The original Mafia game was set in the city of Lost Heaven, which was a combination of 1930s San Francisco and Chicago. Mafia II took place predominantly in Empire Bay, a fictional locale that was the result of throwing Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit and New York City into a blender. For Mafia III, Hangar 13 has forgone the real-world city blending and opted, instead, for a single city influence (New Orleans) for the fictional metropolis of New Bordeaux.
That’s not to say it’s a one-to-one recreation of New Orleans, though. “There’s a lot of reality in the game,” said lead writer Bill Harms. “It’s in Louisiana. The fictional elements, a lot of it has to do with the city itself as you play it. By not making it New Orleans, we can have canals under the city, for example, which in real New Orleans don’t exist because you’d be underwater. [We] can do things that make it fun.”
Given that Louisiana is part of the Southern United States, the 1968 era of Mafia III has some strong implications for not just social upheaval, but also how the citizens react to Lincoln Clay. “By advancing in time, we’re able to get the kind of grittier tone of the late ’60s,” explained creative director Haden Blackman. “The backdrop is so different. You look at the country’s mentality and the sense of unity that the country had during World War II versus the sense of, with the gift of hindsight, the country tearing itself apart in the ’60s because of Vietnam.
“There were two very different wars, two very different time periods, and this notion of the Mob tearing itself apart carries over. The other way we describe it, and certainly talking to people who lived through it, is it felt like a powder keg. There was so much tension in the country and such a strong backdrop of violence both here and abroad that you felt like one incident could happen and the whole country would explode. We wanted to be able to capture that in the game, as well.”
A tale of two approaches
There aren’t any hard-fail states in Mafia III, though, so the player is free to switch between guns-blazing approaches, stealthy so-called “stalking” incursions, or a mixture of the two. “All of our hideouts and open-world encounters and most of our missions support multiple approaches – both in terms of physical entrances and play styles – and we’re trying to make switching between the two extremes fairly easy,” explained Blackman.
That said, there are pros and cons for sticking to one of the polarising approaches. Playing it quiet opens up the possibility of unlocking unique narrative moments at the end of certain sections. Taking the louder approach provides a speedier play-through because of greater damage potentiality to the various Mafia rackets in each section of the city (a key part of the gameplay loop).
During the final mission of our demo, we were told there were consequences for favouring the aggressive path over the stealthier approach. Taking a guns-blazing entrance via the elevator meant the police were waiting during our escape, which takes longer to evade, and raises moral questions about whether we should shoot our way out. By adding an extra step and stealing a lieutenant’s car, we took a quieter approach to district boss Tony Derazio’s penthouse fortress. At the end of this approach, mobsters wait in the lobby, which makes shooting our way out morally easier, and also removes the need to escape police pursuit.
Taking on enemies in a head-on approach also affords a greater appreciation of some of the AI improvements at play in Mafia III. “We really focused, first and foremost, on making sure that the AI was rewarding to fight in the open world, and we really wanted to avoid a game of whack-a-mole, where enemies just camped or turtled and you waited for them to pop up, though that is one tactic some enemies will use,” said Blackman.
“This necessitated enemies that could force you out of cover with Molotovs, flanking, or even charging the player, depending on the situation. We want the AI behaviours to be discernible, but we also want moments where the enemies surprise the player. On top of the systemic AI that we use as the foundation for all enemy behaviours, we also handcraft quite a few encounters, especially in hideouts and missions, to allow combat to crescendo at the right moments.”
There’s a lot more to read so definitely head over there and read more of the article. I’m really happy that this game is based off of New Orleans and not in the more typical game cities of New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to name a few.
It’s refreshing to have a city not normally in games not to mention being in a different time period in which the US society was rapidly changing.
Are you looking forward to this game? I can’t want to take on the mob in Mafia 3. As always, feel free to post your thoughts and check back in the future for more information on this exciting upcoming game.