Mafia three might be the most ambitious title in the series yet.
Set in 1968 in a fictional New Orleans, Mafia three tells the story of Lincoln Clay a biracial Vietnam veteran who returns from the war to find his home in shambles.
The black mob the only thing he has ever called family has been torn down and the Italian mob has set up shop.
With the help of the Irish mob, a self exile Italian mob surf from up North and may well connected leader of the Hessian gang, Lincoln will tear down the organization from within and perhaps find a place to belong Recently I got hands on time for almost three hours of Mafia three and here's what I saw that I liked.
This is the first truly open world mafia game and it allows you to tackle each mission in many different ways.
Similar to how you could in Rise of Tomb Raider...
Shadow of Mordor.
These missions all take place in the city of [UNKNOWN] which is broken up into nine districts.
Each district also has its own crime racket going on.
Extortion, using and reselling gasoline and construction materials, drug and prostitution rings, moonshine brewing, it is all there.
Get the job done, you can do a number of things.
From sneaking into back entrances to running in guns blazing.
Depending on what path you take, you'll also see different story content.
For example, when infiltrating the hotel where a particularly despicable mobster lives, I had two choices.
I could go to the garage, steal a car, and engage in some subterfuge and sneak up into the hotel from the basement.
Or, I could have walked into the lobby and just started shooting.
Each choice offers different scenarios.
And in some cases, how you chose to enter a mission can mean life or death for other characters.
Time and place matter to see some parts of the story.
By the way, I went in guns blazing.
Another cool thing you can do is wire tap areas to reveal the location and type of enemy.
Wire tapping essentially unlocks Lincoln's intel vision which shows you where you're target is and which enemy is going to try and call for reinforcements if they see you.
Through gifting your three subordinates That's Vito, Burke and Cassandra with the districts and safe houses you conquer, you can unlock new tools for dealing with these situations.
Vito gives you better guns and inventory, Burke will provide you with Irish mob members for you to call into fights, and Cassandra will give you the ability to cut the, Phone lines in specific areas so enemies can't call reinforcements.
There's a ton of tools at your disposal, and they don't just link to combat.
As you unlock access to more vehicles, yes, those amazing 1960's muscle cars, Lincoln can have them delivered to him wherever he is in the city.
These cars handle like boats, too, similar to how they handle in real life.
And if you can't be bothered to call a car, you can always steal one but you can't keep it.
And I can't talk about Mafia 3 without mentioning the soundtrack.
Developer Hanger 13 has packed the game with license tracks from artist of the time.
Like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Aretha Franklin, Lonnie Youngblood, Sam Cooke and more.
And [UNKNOWN] The Rolling Stones' Paint it black came on On the radio.
It's an amazing experience to ride around with these songs, on the radio, or to walk into a bar and hear them playing.
It really grounds the game in real life.
I had a lot of fun during my time with Mafia 3. It feels like it was built from the back like Tomb Raider and Shadow Shadow of Mordor, where players unlock skills and resources at their discretion and have a delicate balancing act in deciding what to prioritize and what to forgo.
You can even choose to kill or spare the enemies you interrogate, building up your empire, or taking no prisoners.
There's a lot to do and a lot to keep track of.
Which is perfect for the open world setting.
In the brief time I had I really felt like I was making my mark on fictional New Orleans.
This time around Mafia's story is really up to you.