Mafia 3 was announced in August, and 2K surprised and intrigued fans of the organised crime series with it’s bold new direction. But according to developer Hangar 13, Mafia 3 is a true sequel which is connected to it’s predecessor and ties up loose ends.
“At the end of the day, you’re going to feel like this is a true Mafia experience and a true Mafia story,” said creative director Haden Blackman in the latest Game Informer issue. “People are worried that we are just ignoring Mafia II, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. From a narrative standpoint, we are absolutely committed to making sure a lot of your questions about Mafia II are answered in Mafia III.”
Taking place in 1968 New Orleans, Mafia 3 places a great deal of emphasis on depicting the racism and prejudice against black people that was present in the deep south during that time. Player character, Clay, will face oppression in the form of racial slurs and police prejudice. “The police definitely reflect the times,” lead writer William Harms said. “This is 1968 in the Deep South; the cops are going to come down on you like a hammer,” added design director Matthias Worch.
“We are not trying to be sensational,” explained Blackman. “But thought-provoking is something that art is. All good art makes you think and stays with you. If we can be thought-provoking in some way without being overly provocative, then I think we’ve done our job.”
Also during Game Informer’s interview, Blackman was asked why the development team decided to make Clay a mixed-race character when Mafia III places such a special emphasis on the black experience in the south. He says it comes down to story reasons; chiefly, it helps drive home how Clay believes he is a true orphan in the world.
“We wanted to continue to develop the sense that Lincoln really wrestles with any sense of belonging and doesn’t really fit in anywhere,” Blackman said. “For all intents and purposes, he’s treated black by the majority of the city, but even when he’s working with the black mob there’s still a little bit of this, ‘Do I belong here?’ Lincoln is this guy who’s a complete outsider.”
Mafia III will be released for PS4, Xbox One, and PC sometime after April 2016.