When it comes to big name hits, there weren’t many at this year’s E3 that strived to be bigger than Hanger 13’s newest sequel in the hit series Mafia III. With a huge show floor setup which included a unique and antique Louisiana style two-story house with all the trimmings. What set pieces were recreated to garner the authenticity of New Orleans in the late ’60s was phenomenal, too bad it doesn’t portray itself into the game at that level.
Within the city of New Bordeaux (Mafia III‘s fictional recreation of New Orleans city) stands a mystery that involves blood, money, and family. Set in 1968, Mafia III stars Lincoln Clay, an orphan and Vietnam War veteran, who is on a quest to build a new crime organization to confront the Italian mob. But to do this Lincoln is going to need some help.
"These choices can also lead to conflict down the road that can and will get you in trouble or could also help you along the way."
Enter Lincoln’s three under bosses who all have beef with one of the heads of the Italian mafia themselves. It’s Lincoln’s job to give Casandra, Buck, and Veto leadership roles to help support his cause — because there is no way Lincoln can carry taking out the entire mafia on his own; and giving power to others will avoid a massive takedown and control of Lincoln’s position. Whenever Lincoln wins over a new territory from a mobster, he has a sit down with his three companions and allows one of the three to take control of said territory. This is where the game gets interesting: you have the decision to choose who gets that territory, they can barter and negotiate with Lincoln, but ultimately it is your choice. These choices can also lead to conflict down the road that can and will get you in trouble or could also help you along the way.
The first thing you’ll notice when setting your eyes down the old streets of New Bordeaux is that this world definitely looks like a 1960s style GTA V. The streets are clean, the city is brimming with hope, but there’s always that uneasy feeling hovering around everyone; as if there’s death somewhere, all the time, waiting to strike. With the bayou near by, its dirty swamp waters breath a heavy stench of corruption in the air around the city. The bayou is a dirty, almost underground feeling location within New Bordeaux: drugs, moonshine, and many more dangerous and illegal things are made there.
Weapons dealers can be called up at a moment’s notice; their weapons, sold from the back of a black van, are diverse and serve many different uses for any style of gameplay and missions. These gameplay styles can consist of stealth missions, going in guns blazing, or even wait for reinforcements to infiltrate and take down your enemy. Those are just some of the many ways to take on missions.
"Unfortunately the graphics didn’t portray very well at all. From what I was able to witness, everything looked not only grainy but pixilated."
Mafia III also introduces some awesome new execution kills. These are finishing moves that send the enemy into another world: you can punch, punch, then shoot him off the side of a boat with a shotgun. The way the enemy flies overboard are portrayed fantastically. Or try a punch, grab his collar, then knock him out with your own head. Or even knock him on the ground, put your foot on his chest, then proceed to shoot his head off with your shotgun. Some very unique executions are just waiting to be played out.
Unfortunately the graphics didn’t portray very well at all. From what I was able to witness, everything looked not only grainy but pixilated. The water effects around the bayou, especially when things would move through the water were just poor, and again pixilated. There was no splashing effects from any character models, save for a tiny puff of mist or smoke that lightly rose from the water. It was a bit odd but there is still time to polish things up. Looking at controlled footage released online the game looks aesthetically pleasing, but this behind closed doors footage just wasn’t cutting it for me. But other than the weird, beta like appearance, it really feels as though Mafia III is going to make a solid performance once it arrives this October\.