E3 2016: Mafia III Doesn’t Want Your Mercy

This is one man you don't want to cross!

2K showed gameplay for the highly-anticipated open-world mob title, Mafia III, at E3 2016, and it looks like it's going to be one helluva game! Even though the developers are taking the series in a slightly new direction, Mafia III still has a familiar feel. This game still centers around building up a mob family and taking over the city, but the new protagonist is anything but a gentleman.

After his return from a tour in Vietnam, orphan Lincoln Clay is adopted by the black mob in a fictionalized version of New Orleans called New Bordeaux. Then his new surrogate family is betrayed by the Italian mafia and slaughtered. Lincoln miraculously survives being shot in the head, and now his mind is set on only one goal: brutal revenge! Since he's all alone, Lincoln must join forces with local mobs to create a powerful crime syndicate and take out the Italian mafia and its leader, Sal Marcano.

This game is set in the turbulent era of 1968, where racial strife is commonplace. While African Americans are struggling for equal rights, racism still runs rampant as the police frequently harass them, and bigoted groups like the Southern Cross oppress them at every corner. It's not going to be easy to convince other mobs to join forces with Lincoln, but it must be done. One cool aspect of building up the ultimate crime family is that players will be forced to make tough decisions that will delight some mob leaders and infuriate others.

At one point in the game, Lincoln gives an area that he recently took over to Vito Scalleta. This really pisses off Burke, who is the leader of the Irish mob. Burke decides to betray Lincoln, and when the badass Vietnam vet discovers Burke's intentions, he's forced to eradicate him and his entire mob. This is but one of the many branching paths that player will have the opportunity to undertake.

New Bordeaux is made up of ten districts that each have their own distinct vibe. For example, the Bayou is a rural area filled with trees and plants as well as lush swamp areas. Conversely, Delray Hollow is a modern urban location (for 1968) that features numerous buildings and roads with a lower class vibe. Another vastly different area is Frisco Fields, which is home to upper-class citizens who can afford mansions. This area is filled with parks, numerous walled-off houses, and a well-maintained road system. I appreciate the variety of these locales as they add variety to gameplay and also give players new and interesting areas to explore.

Speaking of gameplay, Lincoln is one brutal motherlover due to his military training and quest for vengeance. He's not afraid to slaughter dozens of “good guys” at a time with any weapon he can get his hands on, including deadly assault rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, and even a razor-sharp knife. In the gameplay demo I witnessed, he not only takes enemies out with ease, but he also performs extremely brutal takedowns to finish them off. Some of the more vicious ones employed close-up shotgun blasts to the chest, knocking enemies to their knees and executing them with a pistol, and slicing them up with a knife.

Missions don't run the common gamut of open-world games either, as one I saw tasked Lincoln with taking down a powerful businessman. He decided to do this while the man was traveling on a gambling riverboat, so he sabotaged a large piece of machinery to fall down and block its passage. As frightened passengers bailed out of the boat, Lincoln jumped in the river and swam towards it. One passenger was snapped up by an alligator as Lincoln swam by, which was a really nice touch.

Lincoln boarded the boat and headed to the room where his target was hiding. On the way numerous explosions rocked the boat while mobsters shot at Lincoln, but he used cover and methodically took them all out. Eventually he cornered the cocky businessman and laughed inwardly as the coward begged for his life. This didn't sway Lincoln's intentions, however, as he finished the dastardly businessman off with a brutal execution. This is just one of the wide variety of missions players can expect while playing Mafia III.

Mafia III take place in a new city in a new era, but it still offers the distinct type of open-world experience the series is known for. Due to the brutal violence, this game is not for the squeamish or faint-of-heart. Look for Mafia III to be released on October 7 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.