After being officially teased in July last year Mafia III now has an official release date, October 7. As much as I was disappointed by Mafia II, my love for the original Mafia is enough to get me excited about the third installment of the series.
Mafia III takes place in 1960’s New Bordeaux (read: New Orleans) following the life of Lincoln Clay. The story may seem a little corny – Vietnam vet and orphan, out for revenge for the murder of his ‘family’, the black mob – but should provide plenty of material. Mafia II started out with a vet, desperate for cash to help his sister with money trouble, but after the first few missions his family was completely forgotten about, making the story feel shallow. Since the previous games we have had GTA V, which has really set the new benchmark for open world action, against which this game will be judged. If New Bordeaux can be made to feel as alive as San Andreas, there is some real potential.
I can confidently state that Mafia remains to this day my all time favorite video game. I found everything about it enjoyable, most of all the story line. I genuinely cared about protagonist Tommy Angelo and I was emotionally invested in the story, more than any game I played before or since. The world, whilst not so open, was beautiful and the 30’s style really shone through, not least of all in the cars. Yes they were slow, to the point were some cars could not go uphill, and the driving mechanics were not great (see mission 5 – Fairplay) – but I still enjoyed it. Similarly the gun mechanics could’ve been improved but delivering a knockout blow with a baseball bat or blasting someone with the pump action was incredibly satisfying. Going into Salieri’s and sitting around the table to discuss ‘business’ made me feel like I was in the Godfather, the cut scenes themselves were particularly well done. A testament to all of this is that I am still not over the betrayals of Paulie and Frank .
I would not say I hated Mafia II, but I was naively hoping for an improvement on the original and was subsequently disappointed. I did enjoy playing, but cannot say that I really cared about any of the characters (I had similar feelings with GTA V, Franklin is no CJ). It is often the case that sequels do not live up to high, and often unfair, expectations. In this case I just hope Mafia III is closer to Mafia than Mafia II, if this is the case I can see it being a huge success.
Bottom line – If Mafia III can put a story like Mafia’s, in a world like GTA V’s, I will be a happy man. Not asking for much am I?
— ENews 04/26/2016