The year is 1968 and the city is New Orleans. Lincoln Clay, a lonely soldier, comes back from Vietnam with nothing waiting for him – no family and no place to call his own. Growing up as an orphan he tried to find a place to fit in, but never quite managed. As a favor for a friend, he joins the black mob and suddenly he finds his niche in the world. For the first time, he no longer feels like a lonely orphan, but ¬†a member of a family, with a father-figure and brothers who accept him and appreciate his talents. Of course, in the world of Mafia nothing lasts forever and Lincoln’s happiness is short-lived .The Italian mob makes a move on New Orleans and wipes out the black mob and Lincoln’s new family. So begins a quest for revenge and the total annihilation of New Orleans’ Italian underworld.

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Lincoln is not alone on his quest, but rather joined by three lieutenants of his own: Cassandra, Burke and Vito Scaletta who you remember as Mafia 2’s protagonist. In Mafia 3’s Gamescom 2015 presentation, we’ve seen a gameplay demo showing off an unscripted takeover mission. In this mission, Lincoln infiltrates a jazz club which also servers as a drug distribution center. There are many ways to approach the task, even before entering the club. Obviously, the location of the stash is a well-guarded secret, and Lincoln has to locate drug dealers and interrogate them to piece together enough intelligence. The interrogations we’ve seen were a rather violent hand-to-hand altercation and a vehicle joy-ride during which the dealer had to be intimidated to the point of telling everything he knows.

Knowing the location of the secret stash is only half the job, though – now is the time to plan an assault. Each enemy safe house has its level of difficulty which can be lowered by some preemptive actions, like killing off the local boss’ lieutenants or bringing in some muscle of your own. For the demo we saw, Lincoln went straight for the jugular – sneaking through a poorly-guarded side entrance, one of 3 possible routes. What followed was a beautiful segment of stealth which could easily have come from any major stealth franchise. We saw Lincoln use cover for concealment, throw a loose bottle or brick to distract a guard and generally skulk about quietly. Isolated guards were effectively eliminated using a series of brutal hand-to-hand takedowns with Lincoln’s trusty knife, demonstrating the army techniques Lincoln picked up during his tour in Vietnam.

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Once Lincoln reached his target, though, all bets are off. Since he did not kill off any of the lieutenants, the room was packed with several armed guards. It was time to pull out the big guns. If Mafia 3’s stealth was on par with any major stealth franchise, Mafia 3’s combat is likewise a beautiful and visceral romp through a hail of bullets. From Lincoln’s Colt M1911 pistol to the array of shotguns, rifles and SMGs, every weapon feels different and unique. We’ve also seen some creative use of a shotgun in melee when instead of reloading, Lincoln rushed a guard and clobbered him to death in several bloody blows.

When the smoke settled and the headquarters was claimed, one last bit of business remained: assign a lieutenant to guard and run the newly acquired business. With each territory assigned, Lincoln’s lieutenants grow stronger and their bonus abilities more advantageous; those abilities can be called upon from any payphone and they range from bribing the police, to a reinforcement of armed thugs or even deploying a sniper at a location of your choosing. Just remember, there’s very little honor among thieves and should you give one lieutenant too much power, the resulting friction might be detrimental to your overall progress and goals.

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Of course, the mob doesn’t just sit back and let Lincoln take its¬†territory – they retaliate. In the demo we’ve seen, retaliation took the form of several vehicles packed full of armed men all trying to shoot Lincoln dead. Vehicle combat is as developed as the stealth and shooting mechanics, with tires that can be popped and gas tanks that can cause explosions galore. It’s important to note that all the cars are physics objects with different properties between the models which should lend a unique feel to every car you’ll drive.

Mafia 3’s release date is somewhere around 2016 with nothing more particular announced as of yet. We can confirm that the game will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.


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