Mafia 3 finally releases next week on 7th October, and from what I’ve read and seen of the game in trailers, it’s shaping up to be a truly epic open-world crime saga. Here are six things we want to see in this next instalment of the excellent Mafia series.
1. A Rich Open World
It’s fair to say that games such as GTA 5 and The Witcher 3 have set the benchmark for providing players with fascinating game worlds filled with lots of things to see and do. Even when the player-character is standing still, the world continues to pass them by as if it’s a living, breathing thing.
In the previous two Mafia games which were released in 2002 and 2010 respectively, although they can technically be classed as ‘open-world’ games, hardware limitations effectively made those worlds, dare I say, boring. Cars on the road all travelled at the same speed, their only purpose to be stolen, and NPCs wandering the streets were just part of the background. There was never really an incentive to explore these worlds.
I want Mafia 3’s fictionalised version of New Orleans – New Bordeaux – to breathe life. I want to wander the streets as Lincoln Clay and have NPCs interact with me in different ways depending on how I act, and I want to see a mixture of scripted and random events that constantly surprise me. I want to be able to seamlessly walk into into buildings and explore their interiors, instead of just being greeted by a brick wall that’s disguised as a door. Most importantly, it would be incredible if Mafia 3 could take the player back to the ’60s, to make them actually feel what it was like to exist during the decade that America lost its innocence.
2. More Activities and Side-Missions Outside of the Main Story
Both Mafia and Mafia 2 hold special places in my heart; they are both fantastic action games driven by gritty and compelling plots. Unfortunately for me, that’s where the love stops. As great as these games are, once the story had been finished, there was nothing that immediately dragged you back to make you want to keep playing.
Mafia 3 has huge potential to improve upon it’s predecessors failings by filling New Bordeaux with an abundance of side-missions and a ton of activities which will make the player want to stay and sink more hours into the game. Open-world games like this absolutely need diversity in the array of options it provides the player, because the rinsed cycle of ‘drive there, cap that gangster, make a speedy escape’ does get old after a while.
After taking down a drug racket and deliberating over which one of my three lieutenants should be in charge of that territory, there’s nothing I would like better than to pull up in front of a bar in my Chevy Camaro, purchase a double shot of Jim Bean, and go through to the back room to take part in an illicit game of Texas Hold ‘Em. That’s just me though.
3. Multiple Ways To Approach Missions
I would like to see Mafia 3 offer players multiple choices when it comes to completing missions. Sure, walking into a warehouse and filling everyone inside with hot lead while walking coolly through explosions is going to be a lot of fun, but I don’t want the game to dictate to me that that is absolutely the way I have to do things. Sometimes I’m averse to front doors, thank you very much. Occasionally I like to screw a silencer onto my pistol and take the fire escape to see if there’s another entrance via the roof. There’s no denying that Mafia 3’s gunplay mechanics look stunning, I’m just hoping that the missions offer alternative entry points and methods for those mavericks of us who like to do things differently.
4. Choices That Determine How The Story Pans Out
I hope there are choices to be made in terms of the story, and it would be great if these choices actually matter in the long run. I want to be torn while making big, important gangster decisions, and I want to be able to kick myself further down the line if the consequences of said decisions are ugly, or smile smugly to myself if it turns out I made the right call. The life of a gangster is gritty and harrowing, and it would be amazing if Mafia 3 highlighted this through the choices it forces its players to make.
5. A Longer Game
You could complete the main story of Mafia 2 in about 10-12 hours, and as I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t much left to do after that so it was a real disappointment in terms of replay value. For Mafia 3, here’s hoping that the main storyline takes at least 15-20 hours to finish, with the additional content making up at least another 15 hours. If I can get around 40 solid hours out of the game, I’ll be happy.
6. Money’s Pointless If It Can’t Be Spent
America in the 1960s has always fascinated me, and I’m a big fan of the music, fashion and cars of that time period. Therefore, I would really like to be able to make my mark on the game by having access to a wide range of customisation options so that I can make a truly unique version of Lincoln Clay. There’s undoubtedly going to be a lot of money involved in Mafia 3, so it makes complete sense in providing players with loads of stuff to spend their hard-earned, or hard-robbed cash on, just like a real-life gangster would.