Mafia II is one of the best story-based games ever, if not the best title about the life of mobsters. What we know about Mafia III says that the game might be leagues better than its already fantastic predecessor.

In a private presentation at E3 2016, I watched gameplay for Mafia III which displayed several brand new mechanics and storytelling devices new to the series. Mafia II is an incredibly immersive title with a sprawling cityscape and brilliant, era-themed dialogue. In Mafia III, both these parts of the game will get a huge upgrade.

In Mafia III, the player takes control of Vietnam war-veteran Lincoln Clay who comes back home to Mafia III’s spoof of New Orleans, “New Bordeaux”. From there, he goes on to building his own mob empire.

The player is going to have full control of Mafia III’s mob unlike Mafia II in which you were only a member taking on tasks to aid the building of the empire.

Lincoln will have to take over individual sectors of New Bordeaux in order to grow his empire. These sectors are all themed, giving every inch of the city its own unique feel. During the presentation, Clay moved around the map at breakneck speed, so whether the map isn’t as expansive as it appears is yet to be seen.

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Taking over the different sectors of New Bordeaux takes place through what appears to be pseudo-story missions in that they can be handled however the player wants whenever. Whether the player will be forced into each individual mission one after the other similarly to Mafia II is unknown.

When you take over these sectors, you have decide which member of your family gets to control it. This is where the “Underboss” mechanic comes in. You have three underbosses which you have to manage. These underbosses have different strengths when controlling the city, and its up to you to decide how and who controls which sector. However, whats important is that these underbosses have personality that will respond to the decisions of the player, so when you neglect one underboss, they could abandon your family and turn on you as one did during the presentation.

When the underboss turned on Clay, it led to a unique mission where Clay had to go after the underboss and convince him to return to the family.

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This story-telling device could either be a great way to make each player’s playthrough unique, or it could be a great nuisance that derails the story or creates a block for the player when making decisions.

So Mafia III seems to be taking a huge turn with its storytelling and gameplay compared to previous titles, and although these updated mechanics looked ambitious, they didn’t seem impossible whatsoever.

The video played during the presentation (minus extra details from a 2K representative) can be found in below.

Mafia III is looking good for a game due in four months. Whether the game retains the shine we saw at E3 can only be told by time.

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