Crime World: Watch 12 Minutes Of Mafia III

A life of crime flashed before Adam’s eyes when he saw a demo of Mafia III [official site] a few months back, then he hurried back to tell us all he saw on the other side. Now you can speculate about Mafia III yourself, as a new 12-minute gameplay vid shows the combat-heavy demo slice from Gamescom. A dev’s on hand to gas with the IGN lot about what’s going on in the demo and what’s different in Mafia III, including chat about multiple endings and more stuff to do in the open world.

Sure, that’s video game shooting? Shooting is a feature of the Mafia series, so that’s something I’d expect it to have, and that’s certainly shooting. It looks okay! The bits I’m be more interested in to get a feel for this new Mafia – characters, dialogue, and the world – aren’t really the focus of this demo, and most of what we do see on those fronts is talked over.

Still, some of that talking-over is of interest. Creative director Haden Blackman says that devs Hangar 13 (it’s not being made by series creators 2K Czech/Illusion Softworks) are planning to make the open world far more… open-world-y. Mafia has always let folks wander around its cities, but the main games didn’t have much to do in them. III will have more. I imagine it’ll stop far short of GTA V’s yoga and whatnot, but I’m interested to discover whether the open-world antics are fun and interesting or busywork.

Mafia III’s due some time in 2016. Hey, that’s relatively soon!

44 Comments

  1. USER47 says:

    To me the limited use of open city in Mafia 1 and 2 games was actually a strength of the games. It allowed them to focus on the stories without thinning the plot by meaningless activities.

    I certainly prefer using the city as atmospheric background over the modern kind of openworldidness, which usualy means you are expected to spend 5 hours between each story mission by running around the map and clearing it of icons representing copy-paste mob hideouts, copy paste races, copy paste street fighting and I don’t know what else.

    • Octane says:

      At least in Mafia 2 the lack of activities or side missions was somewhat galling, because there were some clear indications that they had been cut from the main game and repackaged as DLC. In one of the very first missions you visit a junkyard and steal a specific car for the owner, who then tells you to come back later because he has more work for you. Then you go to the port work in a warehouse for a while until the boss tells you that he has other work for you. However, you don’t work for either of them again.

      Then the Jimmy’s Vendetta DLC is released, featuring lots of non-story based missions. Among them a series of cars that have to be stolen and delivered to a certain junkyard that seems eerily familiar, and a string of missions that revolve around a rival mob family taking over the port…

      • Frosty Grin says:

        I don’t think it means they were cut from the main game – only that they were developed together with the main game and meant to tie into it. DLC’s defining aspect is that it’s optional, not that it’s developed separately from the game. And Mafia 2’s core experience really didn’t need more car stealing missions.

        • woodsey says:

          Way back when it was planned that the game would have side-missions expanding on the main plot. The lead developer likened it to watching an extended cut instead of a theatrical one.

          Indeed if you watch a lot of the earlier Mafia 2 dev stuff you’ll see that quite a bit of the stuff they showed off was cut out. Caused quite the mini-furore when it came out.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        You can still steal cars for them, although the game isn’t very clear about it.

    • skyturnedred says:

      I play most open world games like Mafia – just follow the plot.

  2. MrLoque says:

    That was brutal. Those knife kills and point-blank shotgun executions are a bit too much for me. I know it’s a videogame but I felt unfonfortable :-|

  3. USER47 says:

    I must say I am not a big fan of the protagonist. He seems to be some kind of crazy psychopath, with all that stabbing random guards 5 times in the face and what not. Mafia protagonists were always crooks, but at least they seemed to be a bit human and sometimes even slightly relatable.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Apparently there is a revenge theme in the plot that might justify that behavior.

      And it’s still a videogame, so we can expect there to be a few hundred more dead bodies left lying around than there would be in an actual gang war. Especially during this period. The 60’s weren’t like the 30’s.

  4. w0bbl3r says:

    Yes call me racist but the lead character in a MAFIA game should not be black.
    Just like James Bond should not be black.
    Just like Shaft should not be white.
    Political correctness gone mad, “we must put a black guy in a main role to make sure we tick the boxes so we don’t get accused of being racist” is something they talk about for every movie these days it seems, and it’s now seeping into games as well.

    If we get a black James Bond, I want to see a white Shaft movie made. Because James Bond is a white middle-upper class man, not grizzled and muscle-mad like Daniel Effing-Craig either, because he is not Bond at all.

    • anHorse says:

      Yeah because the sicilians are totally known for having been a bunch of white dudes

      The rich history of white mafia men must be protected!

    • geisler says:

      You realize where you are pal? Prepare to be politically corrected by the extreme leftist cesspool of the interwebs.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      I think it would have worked fine if the game had been self-consciously Blaxploitation in genre, moving the series into a different crime milieu. Instead they’ve half arsed it, unnecessarily made the main character half-white in order to have their cake and eat it, and set up a fairly infantile “other races take down the Mafia” setup which has no obvious precedent in genre fiction. I know it’s a bit of a sensitive subject at the moment, but I think it would have been far more interesting had the “enemies” actually been the corrupt New Orleans police force, and then of course the player would be confronted with the usual moral choice about whether a set of outright criminals or a set of crooked coppers does society more harm. They should probably have just cut out the Sicilians all together and made a new franchise, without Vavra and the Illusion Softworks team it’s not a Mafia game anyway in my book.

      You’re also bang on about Daniel Craig, by the way, or “The Shaven Monkey” as a mate of mine calls him.

      • turth says:

        Look of the stories of Dutch Schultz, Bumpy Johnson and one Stephanie St. Clair and tell me again how unbelievable this game’s premise is.

      • turth says:

        Also, the reason they made Lincoln (Mafia 3’s protagonist) biracial is because they have this recurring theme about how he never truly belongs anywhere. His biracial background (Black & White) means that he can’t belong to just one race and he was an orphan. The only times he felt like he truly belonged was when he with the Army and with the Black Mob.

      • woodsey says:

        “Instead they’ve half arsed it, unnecessarily made the main character half-white in order to have their cake and eat it, and set up a fairly infantile “other races take down the Mafia” setup which has no obvious precedent in genre fiction.”

        Doesn’t really need an obvious precedent, if they pick up on it strongly enough then they’re exploiting something that’s always resided within the genre.

      • Ex Lion Tamer says:

        Wow, I love that “no obvious precedent in genre fiction” is now a criticism.

        Fails to reassure by tapping into familiar tropes, 4/10

        • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

          That is what Mafia stories ARE though. The real life Mafia was nothing like Goodfellas or The Godfather, it’s just a collection of familiar tropes. Same with Blaxploitation, or most notably with cowboy films/games. Don’t pretend Mafia III is some kind of serious character piece that transcends genres and tropes, it’s a cynical cash grab that just so happens to be rather badly thought out by its motley cast of writers from, of all things, The Force Unleashed.

          • Ex Lion Tamer says:

            You know how you get cynical cash grabs? By expecting cynical cash grabs. I mean, short of actively desiring the same tropes hammered over and over again, you’re stuck in a profoundly self-fulfilling prophecy. Personally, I like a bit of variation.

    • turth says:

      The reason why Shaft was Black is the same reason why Black Panther or Luke Cage are Black: they were created to give Black people characters that they could identify with. Their Blackness is inherent to their characters in a way that, say, James Bond’s whiteness is not. James Bond doesn’t need to be White but Black Panther needs to be Black because there are so few Black superheroes in the first place. Same logic applies to Shaft.

      I really don’t know why you’re so worked up about a Black protagonist being in a Mafia game (he’s part of the Black Mob after all! That’s still a “mafia”.) but I suggest getting over it. It’s not going to change.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        This, pretty much. I’d say sure, James Bond was “supposed” to be white, but he doesn’t need to be. Who actually really, deeply cares whether a womanising, alcoholic psychopath with a thing for clumsy putdowns retains the same skin colour his creator imagined him with? Who does it hurt? I quite like the character, but he’s long since ceased to have any significance beyond “suave”, “effectively indestructible”, “kills bad people in entertainingly ridiculous ways”, “saves the world”, “sleeps with lots of women”. His whiteness really doesn’t come into it any more.

        But none of this is anything more than an amusing diversion, because Mafia II was a mediocre game and a terrible piece of storytelling which made the ending of Half-Life 2 Episode 2 look like the very dictionary definition of “closure”, and I see no reason this is going to be any different.

    • USER47 says:

      I guess it has less to do with the skin color and more to do with the game leaving its origins of a tale about Italian mafia in its romanticized version inspired by Godfather etc.

      It just had certain flair other kinds of mobs don’t have.

    • RabbitIslandHermit says:

      You ever wonder what it would be like to have actual problems? No? OK, just curious.

    • stonetoes says:

      “Political correctness gone mad”

      OK, now I’m sure you’re trolling.

    • maninahat says:

      A game about the Mafia does not have to be from the perspective of a white Sicilian gangster in the Mafia. Race and ethnicity is a really interesting aspect about gangsters and it’s a shame it hasn’t already been explored as much as it should. Pretty much every ghettoised minority has its own organised crime underclass, and we only saw Mafia 2 start to touch on how they interact.

      Mafia fiction always seems to focus on the same theme of loyalty versus decency, to the point where it is stale. Even Mafia 2 spent a lot of time re-treading the same ground as the first game (the whole drug dealing arc was basically the same as Mafia’s bank robbery arc), and the series was in danger of just repeating the same story over and over in different decades.

    • GWOP says:

      Do you think the James Bond movies are biopics? Why can’t 007 be black? What defining characteristic about him remains unchanged throughout the books and movies that prevent him from being black? Can’t be his appearance, since he went from dark-haired to blond. Is it his Britishness? Do you think black people can’t be properly British?

      Does it bother you when 007 drives an Aston instead of a Bentley?

      Also, to blow your mind a little, Sicilians are neither white nor were the mafia as well-dressed and well-mannered as shown by Coppola. It’s all make belief.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I don’t think the author’s intent can be disregarded that easily. According to Wiki anyway, Ian Fleming had Hoagy Carmichael in mind as the model, and “Bond’s parents were given as Andrew Bond, from the village of Glencoe, Scotland, and Monique Delacroix, from the canton of Vaud, Switzerland.”

        You can shoehorn a black James Bond into that history with some effort, but does every classic story character have to be capable of redefinition? Why not create new stories with Black, Asian, Hispanic or whatever heroes? Which is what this game is doing, I guess.

        • GWOP says:

          Bond never had Scottish parents originally (or have a sense of homour). Fleming inserted those bits after watching Sean Connery in the films.

          The films, in turn, don’t give a rat’s ass about continuity, switching actors and time periods willy-nilly. If Moneypenny can be black and Q be younger than Bond and M can be a woman (unthinkable in the 50s), why can’t Bond be ethnically different?

          I mean, it can’t be a bigger blasphemy than Bond driving Germans cars for a decade in the films.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Generally I agree with you, seeing other ethnicities replace established white characters is no different than the opposite happening. And it often did in the past, being that we live in our western society filled with white people. But the Mafia series isn’t an established story, and just because the name has italian roots, it doesn’t preclude it’s usage even as it happens today, the Mexican Mafia or the so called Black Mafia in the 60’s. I think I would have also liked another reboot into the 1930’s Italian mafia again, but I can see this being a pretty cool setting for a game that hasn’t been explored much too.

  5. Kefren says:

    I’d be more interested if it was first person. I’m tired of staring at someone’s back. Also of seeing people spin away from you when you barely touched them as you walk down the road.

    And in the game.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Wait, you see real life in third person? Trippy.

    • Stevostin says:

      Agreed. Shooting seems exceptionnally well done for 3rd perqon view but if I have to see that car from behind to drive it’s a no fo for me. It feels slow, it’s not immersive and it’s way less efficient anyway. Don’t vet how people fan even cope to spend half the time explaining the game that yes, they so want to see where they’re going…

  6. Frosty Grin says:

    I think they nailed the art direction. The game looks very distinctive. The rest seems kinda meh so far – mostly because the genre is so played out.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The art direction looks good, but on a technical level the textures don’t look that great. Not much surface detail on flat areas. Maybe this is console, and the PC version will have a higher res setting?

      Or maybe I’m just spoiled by playing Assassin’s Creed Syndicate lately, where the textures just look better.

  7. Laurentius says:

    It looks very alike to Watch_Dogs. I mean bar the years it is set in but strangely similiar and as usch basicly not looking good…

  8. Pliqu3011 says:

    It all looks rather generic to me to be honest.
    The shooting gallery gameplay, the character animations, the angry-psychopath-but-also-a-really-cool-guy protagonist, the city filled with soulless automaton NPCs that just walk in a straight line or loop the same animation,… It’s like they’re all copied and pasted from other games with a slightly different lick of paint.

    There’s also something weird about the graphics outside in the city, but I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly. Something with the shadows, or the reflections I think. Was bump mapping turned on?
    And everything looks so flat and clean for some reason. Streets are usually a lot dirtier than that. Hopefully this will be fixed later in development.

    It might very well be a great game, but this gameplay trailer most certainly didn’t show anything that would set it apart from any other open world-ish third person action game.

  9. raiders says:

    Sooooo…you can blow up cars…but the car you’re driving at the time is indestructible.

  10. Koinzellgaming says:

    I love how the IGN guy ignores what’s going on in the gameplay..
    The one who plays the game shows off the physics, explosions, and that if you shoot legs the AI will react differently. (@9:30).. IGN guy kept talking about Mafia 2..

  11. Lethys says:

    I’d like to play a 3rd person open world action crime game where shooting people is actually a very difficult thing and killing more than like 2 people at a time would be really hard. Not impossible because it’s not impossible in real life. But just simulate the difficulty of shooting more realistically, and make it appealing to drive around in a way that’s more realistic (not running people over), and make people feel like their game’s world is more real than a GTA game or something. That might actually be refreshing enough to really change the whole genre, instead of just more “we wanted to make you feel like a stuntman” type talk.

  12. Flank Sinatra says:

    I’ve never played a Mafia game before but as someone born and raised in New Orleans, I can’t wait to check it out. They keep saying it’s “they’re version” of New Orleans. I’ve already noticed in the video that Bourbon street is twice as wide as it should be, but at least it’s more accurate than Left 4 Dead’s version of the French Quarter. I want to see if I can drive around the city without looking at the mini-map.