‘Mafia III’ delivers ‘60s vibe, unexpected quality

by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor

Lincoln Clay has returned home from the Vietnam War. After a quick reunion with his pre-war life, it’s all stripped away from him by the Italian Mafia.

In “Mafia III,” the player takes control of Lincoln Clay, a black Vietnam War Veteran. This third person, action/adventure game takes place in 1968 in New Bordeaux—basically a fictional version of New Orleans. Since this game supposedly takes place in the South, I feel that the developers did a good job at shining light on the racism black people faced in the South following the abolishment of the Jim Crow Laws.

The first couple missions of the game establish the player’s three main associates—Cassandra, Vito Scaletta, and Thomas Burke. Each of which provides you with favors that you can call on at just about any time by using the weapon wheel.

Cassandra is a Haitian gun and weed runner. Her favors allow the player to call a weapons dealer to almost any location, and to have phone lines cut for a short period of time.

Scalleta is an Italian who Clay saves from the Italian Mafia and has connections to Clay’s past. Scaletta can provide the player with a consigliere to deposit your money from just about anywhere, and a hit squad to come assist the player anywhere, anytime.

Burke is a drunk Irishman, and the father of Clay’s late best friend. Burke’s favors consist of car deliveries and buying off the cops for a short period of time.

These associates have their own man power and watch over the player’s “Rackets.” Rackets are essentially the different districts of the city, and there are several.

Along the top of the map is Frisco Fields, Point Verdun, and Tickfaw Harbor.

Through the middle is Barclay Mills and Delray Hollow, the two predominantly black areas of town. There is also Downtown and the French Ward. Under that is River Row and Southdowns, and, of course, the Bayou is at the bottom of the map.

For the player to gain control of different rackets, they must take down the illegal businesses in that district and place one of Clay’s associates in charge. Although there are many ways to play the game, I almost always go stealthy when I’m attempting to sabotage that Racket leader’s products or assassinate one of their lieutenants. I love playing stealthily, and I did not expect “Mafia III” to deliver on that so well.

There are quite a few different enemy takedowns that Lincoln can perform, ranging from non-lethal to lethal. My only problem with this is that the player has to completely pause the game and scroll through a couple menus to switch between the two options.

That being said, I am constantly stringing silenced-headshots with different takedowns, and it’s really a lot of fun.

The story is fun. It’s narrated by a couple people who were close to Clay. This works well and kind of plays out like a documentary.

Every time I turn on “Mafia III,” I feel immersed in the 1960s. The developers did an awesome job with the soundtrack, clothes, guns, and, especially, the cars.

I would assume that the vehicles in the game very closely resemble those of the actual ‘60s as far as appearance and handling. One of my favorite small details in “Mafia III” is that the radio stations will broadcast time-relevant news, such as the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Mafia III” is “Grand Theft Auto” meets the ‘60s, and it works very well. I give “Mafia III” 4 out of 5 stars.

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