E3 is about half hands on demos, and half theater’s showing hands off demos, so I wasn’t surprised that this year 2K brought their much anticipated Mafia III game to the convention, with a huge booth, complete with a french quarter and a live band and free beer. Unfortunately (at least for us) they did not bring a playable Mafia III demo. Instead they showed about 30 minutes of game play in a private theater, which all thought it wasn’t live was directly captured from in game.
The footage started off with a quick explanation of what was going on in the Mafia III world, we are going to play Lincolin Clay, a man on a mission to avenge his mob which was betrayed and killed by the local Italian mob. Now hes now alone in this quest got three lieutenants to help him out and he’s going on the war path.Your three capo who will help you to rebuild are: Cassandra, who is the leader of a local Hatian gang, Thomas Burke -A man the Italian mob betrayed who now hates them with a passion and wants to get revenge., and Vito Scaletta – a former mob boss now turned against his former colleagues. These three underboss or capo will help you take back your city from the Italian mob who betrayed you. These capo will be responsible for managing your districts which you can take over saints row style, and will give you more money or influence or bonuses based on who manages them. With these three capo you will set out to rebuild the criminal empire that was taken from you.
Mafia III is set in a representation of NewOrleans in 1968 amidst a time period when the south was none too kind to people of Mr. Clays persuasion. The city is a central character in the game and 2K showed us a few of the districts, and said that in the final game theree will be 10. The mission in the demo video took place in the famous french quarter then ended out in the Bayou, so clearly missions will span the districts. Hayden Blackman, who is the creative head for the game, talked about how the city is one of the games main characters, and emphasized how each of the districts has its own look and feel. The demo showed off a short driving segment so travel seems to mostly be car based between the maps massive districts.
The demo showed quite a few neat game mechanics, I was most reminded of Saint’s Row 3, since there are districts you can conquer. The mission that was demoed showed you taking down one of the districts bosses by first doing a series of small tasks to starve the district boss of his money, each act of killing, or shaking down, or seizing drugs, made a little counter in the left corner increment down untill you took away all of the bosses income, and he had to come out of hiding in a special sort of event. Specifically for this demo we were taking back the famous French Quarter from its current controller Lou, who is the brother of the head of the Italian mob in the area. We did a series of tasks that eroded Lou’s control of the French Quarter which then triggered an event at which we were to kill Lou himself.
The event took place on a river boat, and was a good show of different mechanics, the person doing the demo used all manner of weapons, in combination with stealth to take down a huge force of enemies and get to the target. I watched as the demo cycled through stealth kills, brutal weapon finishers, and standard shooting kills all in the name of getting to the underboss who you were supposed to be killing. Health seemed to be of the regenerating type as after we took damage, we just ducked up to cover to wait it out. Prior to each of the shown mission segments we were given a bit of background, and the game world really feels fleshed out and complete even just based on the limited slices that we saw of it. Story I think will be the main driver of this game, even though it is advertised as open world, it seems to not have the eternal open world problem of not being able to fit the story in to the world very well.
After we killed uncle Lou, control of the French Quarter was given over to our organization, and we got a small look in to how managing the cities districts will work . We sat down with our three under bosses and each told us why they should be in charge of the newly obtained district. In the demo that was shown we had a rocky relationship with Burt who we had I guess left out of previous deals, and again we chose not to let him manage this district. This was the last straw for B, and our demo closed out with Lincoln having to go to Burts home base and kill him, demonstrating that there is a chance that your three under-bosses could become two or even one if you really fuck up.
Over all despite this just being a theater demo my interest was peaked, the game looked great, no question about that, since I wasn’t able to play it I can’t tell you how it handled but the shooting looked smooth enough, cover seemed to be needed, and it seemed like wood and other “soft” objects could be penetrated by bullets. Mafia 3 releases October 7th