Cosa Norleanstra: Mafia III Announced

2K seemed pretty clear that they were working on a Mafia III [official site], what with the images they released saying “Mafia III” and all, but no, that was just a teaser. Now it’s official: 2K are – surprise surprise! – working on a third game in the open-world organised crime ’em up.

Leaving the fictional cities Lost Heaven and Empire bay, Mafia III is set in New Orleans of 1968. It’s moved developers too, going from series creators 2K Czech/Illusion Softworks to Hangar 13, 2K’s new studio. Come meet its new star, Lincoln Clay, and his pals in the announcement trailer:

Aye, that’s a nice cinematic and all, but what’s the game like? Ah. Well. It’s… uh. Here’s pretty much all 2K have to say right now:

“Mafia III follows the story of Lincoln Clay, a disenfranchised Vietnam veteran, returning from combat and looking for a home and a place to belong. Orphaned as a child, Lincoln at last achieves a semblance of family with the city’s black mob, finding the surrogate father and brother he has longed for. But when Lincoln’s new family is betrayed and slaughtered by the Italian mob, he becomes fixated on revenge and wages a brutal war against the Italians, disrupting the balance of power in the seedy underworld of New Orleans. As the story progresses, Lincoln allies himself with other criminals and builds an empire and a new family of his own that transforms the city.

“Throughout the riveting story of Mafia III, players choose their path to revenge and build their own crime empire using cunning, stalking and deception, or through overwhelming force and firepower. Mafia III combines the best of cinematic storytelling with a dynamic narrative structure that responds to player choices, set in a vibrant city that responds to Lincoln’s actions.”

So… it’s Mafia but a bit more open-ended? No idea. You’ll find a few tiny snippets of action in this GameSpot video:

Presumably we’ll find out more over the week at Gamescom. The game’s slated to launch in 2016.


  1. Solidstate89 says:

    Please, please don’t suck.

    • kevinspell says:

      I can already hear this game will have one of my favorite soundtracks ever. But the showcased combat, imho, looks terrible. Also driving physics and exploding cars just look silly. I really, really hope this is now representative of the final product.

      • Not_Id says:

        Will the soundtrack include The Beatles? Doubtful.

        The combat reminds me of Uncharted.

  2. Ramshackle Thoughts says:

    A coloured protagonist at that time period. This could be very, very good, assuming that it’s handled well.

    • Rich says:

      “Coloured”? You might want to update your vocabulary.

    • zaibitsu says:

      The mafia was a very racist organization, there weren’t very fond of black people or any other race. They sometimes used black gangs for hits so it won’t get tracked to them. Probably they did some drug related business as well, but in no circumstances black people could be part of the organization because of the code.
      I hope they didn’t compromise realism for the sake of diversity.

      • gunny1993 says:

        “Orphaned as a child, Lincoln at last achieves a semblance of family with the city’s black mob, finding the surrogate father and brother he has longed for. But when Lincoln’s new family is betrayed and slaughtered by the Italian mob, he becomes fixated on revenge and wages a brutal war against the Italians”

        Clearly this isn’t the Sicilian Mafia and if various gang movies based on true events have taught me anything the 50s onwards is when the there was a lot of crime diversity with people such as Danny Greene and Frank Lucas taking ground away from the “Mafia”

      • king0zymandias says:

        It seems to me that the game is about fighting against the Italian mafia, not being a part of it.

      • zaibitsu says:

        That makes perfect sense.

        Sad that you are not part of the mafia anymore. 70s would have been interesting with the feds planting bugs everywhere and wise guys started to “rat” on their friends. The game should’ve stuck to it’s roots :(.

        • hungrycookpot says:

          Well all of that same stuff happened to criminal organizations, regardless of color. There were lots of times and places in this era where law enforcement may not have taken black gangs as seriously as the italian mafia, being less established and less well known, but in my opinion there’s no reason why it would be unrealistic to depict black mobsters dealing with almost all of the same tropes that you’d see in an Italian mob game, except obviously for the parts of Italian culture that don’t apply, and I’m sure there are lots of pieces of african american culture to fill these gaps and give us a thematically rich experience anyways.

          Personally I think it’s an interesting route for them to have taken, and it’s a theme and time that we don’t see very often in video games.

  3. Harlander says:

    Perhaps by the time this comes out, I’ll be able to read the title without thinking about Ted. E. Bear’s Mafia-Free Playhouse and Casino, from the Telltale Sam & Max games…

    No mafia here.. we’re mafia-free…

  4. Lukasz says:

    Very excited. I love both Mafias even though they come short in few departments. New team, fresh ideas… can either make a great game or it will be a disaster.

  5. iainl says:

    Wait, Mafia 2 wasn’t set in New York? Shows how much attention I was paying to the plot…

  6. montorsi says:

    I’m liking the new direction of the series. They could have just given us another Italian dude but this looks way more interesting.

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      A game called Mafia and you’re saying “they could have just gaven us a Italian dude”?
      Our thing is broad these days, that’s true.

  7. onionman says:

    As a native of New Orleans who has never played a Mafia game, I could not be more excited. New Orleanians have said for a long long time that the city desperately needs representation in a GTA-style open world game.

    Please please please be good–although to be honest I’d be happy to just drive around even if the game itself is bobbins.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      That’s the main reason why I’m sure I’ll love Mafia 4!! I actually wish that some day I visit New Orleans, you guys have a marvelous city there!

      As you said, even if the game sucks I’ll be happy to just drive around New Orleans, before I can actually do that in real life!

  8. turth says:

    Please be good!

  9. NicholasTimothyJones says:

    I loved t the first Mafia but couldn’t get into the second. The pacing seemed off for some reason. Plus I don’t think my PC was very good at running it at the time.

    May give it another go ahead of this.

  10. ggggggggggg says:

    oh my god the music in both of those trailers. I really hope they didn’t blow their whole budget licensing the complete set of really obvious scorsese movie trailers when there’s piles and piles of more interesting slightly more obscure stuff they could grab.

  11. Infinitron says:

    Nice job warding off any accusations of American Gangster ripoff by setting it in New Orleans

  12. GallonOfAlan says:

    I hope it’s more open-world than II. GTA Mafia basically is what I’m saying.

    Yes the music in the Mafia games has always been great.

    • Ringwraith says:

      The Mafia games have always been a very linear story told within an open world’s map. Which is often misunderstood about them. They work precisely because they’re so tightly structured.
      The map is just the backdrop, made to not seem like a stage.

      • skyturnedred says:

        This. So much this.

        If this becomes another “unlock the radio tower” game I will cause a riot.

      • turth says:

        I don’t think that you can expect any AAA games to be designed like Mafia 1 or 2 anymore.

        • Turkey says:

          Yup. The fact that it can easily be turned into a modern open-world game with collect-a-thon’s and minigames is probably the only reason it’s getting a sequel in the first place.

      • Vandelay says:

        Sounds as if they would like to stray a little away from the linear story though, making it branch. Which, if done well, could be interesting.

        But I agree with your general statement; Mafia games have never been, never wanted to be and never should be GTA or any number of Ubisoft games. I still think they could do something interesting with their open world environments, without resorting to the standard “clear out the gang territory,” “unlock radio towers,” or “collect shiny trinket no. 253.” More involved territory control and running of businesses could be very interesting and fit the style. Imagine having to setup a network of captains to run your areas, alongside an AI that is trying to control the city too. Something more along the lines of a strategy game/RPG, with the story advancing as you reach milestones in your rise to power.

  13. Tresca says:

    I’m interested in the new direction and setting, but a pet peeve of mine when it comes to cars in games, is supercar syndrome (4:29 in that GameSpot video).

    I could buy it if it were the batmobile or a transformer, but I hate seeing similar cars colliding/crashing, with the protagonist coming out of it unshaken, with a small dent and some scratched paint, while the other car is still rolling and flipping in the background like an airborne bonfire. I hope they rectify it before release.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Hopefully, considering car crashing was kind of brutal in the previous ones. Totally being possible to kill yourself by crashing into something too hard when not in good health.

      • hungrycookpot says:

        Or heck, in perfect health. I agree, I’d really like to see an open world driving game where one car crash leaves you battered and on foot, having to escape the scene. Might get annoying, but you just need to adapt your strategy and not use your car as a solid tungsten battering ram.

  14. w0bbl3r says:

    So it’s mafia 2, but starting in the late 60’s instead of 40’s. Great. Wonderful. I didn’t expect it to be good like the original game, but I expected more than a clone of mafia 2.
    Mafia 2 started in WW2 Italy. Mafia 3 will start in vietnam.
    This looks still like an arcade-action game instead of the fine gangster storytelling of the original.
    Nothing I have heard so far is giving me confidence it will be any better than mafia 2. New developer, bad idea. Real city instead of lost heaven, bad idea. Set in the late 60’s instead of the 20’s-30’s, bad idea. Not to sound racist but having a black protagonist is also a bad idea. It just doesn’t fit a mafia game at all. It fits a GTA game perfectly. But not a mafia game.
    I don’t remember many black high level mafia members, especially back in the 60’s or earlier. Because there aren’t many black Italians, and being Italian was (as far as I remember) essential to join the mafia, right?
    This game will suck, no two ways about it. A shame, but just being realistic here.

    • geisler says:

      This series was always going to be weaksauce from the moment the original Illusion Software team wasn’t involved any more. Looks like they’ll achieve maximum assrape of the original with this iteration.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I think you’ve missed the point here, as the protagonist is a member of the mobsters against the Italian Mafia.
      So apparently still a story about the Mafia, but more about their fall from an outside perspective, rather than from within.

      The made-up cities were still heavily based on actual ones, and New Orleans is such a distinctive place I think they’ve decided there’s just no point in trying to hide that fact.

    • spaced says:

      “Not to sound racist…”

      Too late!

      You’ve also made some pretty ignorant statements about how the game will turn out when it’s only just been announced. I understand that’s par for the course around here, but I for one am stoked on a black protagonist in New Orleans in ’68. Im so bored of NYC/L.A.-set games. I could even take a page from your book and say GTAV was a stupid idea because it’s just San Andreas all over again and that the series peaked with Vice City. Hyperbole for everyone! Huzzah!

      The only thing about this that doesn’t sound promising is that the protagonist’s name is Lincoln. Jesus Christ could they be any more obvious? It reminds me of when DC introduced the black green lantern. The original artist’s name for the character was Lincoln Washington. The writer thankfully stepped in and went with John Stewart instead. Of course this being video games I guess we should be thankful his name isn’t B.A. McSuperfly.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      There was such a thing as black organized crime back then also. I really don’t see any reason why the game couldn’t be mechanically identical to a game about the Italian mafia, the only change will be thematic. But kudos to you, you’ve seen 3 minutes of early action gameplay footage and decided the game is shit because:

      Black guy
      20 years later
      real city (???)
      Black guy

      • geisler says:

        Did you play the first game? Have you driven the cars? Everything is loaded with detailed simulation, even the gunplay to a certain degree, everything felt grounded. That all went overboard with the second iteration. This third one, will be developed by consolefag devs (check their resumes on the site). Mechanically AND thematically, this game will be absolute shit for people that loved the original.

  15. Arehandoro says:

    New Orleans and OST = Brutal!
    Rest = Meh.

  16. woodsey says:

    95% certain the older guy is Vito from 2.

    • hey_tc says:

      It is, if you watch the second video they point out continuities from the second game

  17. Freud says:

    I pre-ordered Mafia II based on me being a massive fan of Illusion Softworks. I can’t recall being more disappointed in a game ever. Shallow, empty and the first taste of the brave new DLC world.

    They’re going to have to win me back with good reviews and good word of mouth with this one and even then, I’ll probably wait for a sale.

    • USER47 says:

      Illusion Softworks/2K Czech do not have anything to do with Mafia 3…it’s developed by some 2K Studio in California…

  18. DrollRemark says:

    New Orleans? Yes please.

  19. SuicideKing says:

    Lol @ frame rate in the second video.

  20. caff says:

    I’m sort of interested, but I hope they can pull of the “new crime gang vs. italians formula”. I loved the original Mafia for it’s attempts at a Godfather-style feel, but it didn’t go far enough – and Mafia II just didn’t engage me so I don’t really know if it was any better.

  21. WJonathan says:

    So it’s just an ultra-violent murder simulator, like every other open-world game? I find little compelling about New Orleans circa 1968. As someone from the southeast US, I want nothing to do with a nasty, humid, swampy, stinking playable New Orleans. Regardless of its loose ties to the previous Mafia games, it fails to capture what was, for me, the main hook of the series: a playable Godfather game. Maybe I’m simple, but there’s none of the romance of turn-of-the-century mafioso adventure set in a bustling northeast city.

    And does it bother anyone else listening to those two pinheads in the Gamespot video? Did the GS rep really say “revenge his family?” Both of you: Slow down, think about what you’re saying. Or just shut up.

    • Ringwraith says:

      The first game is much more of the romantic kind of mafia tale, while the second goes in the opposite direction, with things getting pretty bleak at times, it’s not exactly an uplifting game to play.
      Plus the second game probably has the most swearing in a videogame, or at least reuse of the most reliable word, and usually I find that kind of thing tiresome, but somehow just works when its much more ground-level dirty business.

  22. jonahcutter says:

    Seems weird.

    Seems like they’re stretching the “mafia” connection beyond the breaking point. A game about black criminals in the 70’s sounds great. About the early development of distinctly black criminal gangs. Just make that. The setup is decent (and likely a reference to the film Dead Presidents). Or stick with the Italians and make Mafia 3: Goodfellas.

    That “crew’ looks a bit like the deliberately diversified cast of a modern kids’ show. That makes sense for a modern kids’ show. But for a 70’s crime organization? Show the different criminal organizations with the actual racial/cultural makeup they are very often defined by.

    • Zenicetus says:

      “Deliberately diversified” is a good way to put it. I’m getting strong vibes here of the ’70’s TV show “Mod Squad” with criminals instead of undercover cops. That already looked fake and implausible 45 years ago.

      Oh, and the black guy in “The Mod Squad” was named Linc. Gee, I wonder what that was short for?

  23. plugav says:

    I don’t really care for the genre, but I do take a bit of not-so-guilty pleasure in how much suffering the game is already causing the not-racist-buts. I hope it turns out to be really good.