Mafia has always been a series that follows the trendy music that came about in the era the games takes place in. This time, Mafia III’s setting in New Bordeaux has given the team the opportunity to explore the late 60s, where music was all about rock, blues and soul music. Announced through Rolling Stones, 100 songs have been chosen to become Mafia III’s soundtrack and have been curated and selected by Creative Director, Haden Blackman.
The entire list of songs can be found in the link above. You can expect songs such as Martin Gaye’s “You”, Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Jonny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” to name a few. Many of the songs were chosen for their use in the narrative. It is noted that the game features both versions of the song “You Belong to Me,” as sung by the Duprees and the Misfits, neither of which were the first to sing the song. The Duprees version of the song was chosen because of its beautiful sombre melody during an important character development scene in the game. Later on, the Misfit’s more powerful and drum-heavy version plays during an extremely powerful ‘turning point’ scene for the same character.
Cases like above show how important an audio engineer is to game development. It’s what makes me appreciate how good a solid soundtrack composed of pre-existing songs can be, given the context. Mafia III is set for release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and October 7th, 2016.