New Mafia 3 impressions: Causality, Brutality and Mortality

Open-world games and games in general these days have tried to give more freedom to players, whether that be through choices like A vs. B or simply whichever mission they'd like to get involved with now, and which ones they'd like to do later. Mafia 3 will be implementing the concept of cause and effect quite often into its gameplay, and that is making the game all the more intriguing.

During a recent demo I had the chance to view, one of the greatest examples of cause and effect came in a scene where Lincoln had to choose which underboss would run a new district he had claimed. Vito, Cassandra and Burke are the three individuals Lincoln has to choose from and each of them will have different returns when running a district.

In order to help make the best possible decision, the player must weigh the pros and cons of each underboss running a district, and this is particularly important for their empire's sake. Additionally, gamers must be aware that assigning districts to one underboss more than others will absolutely have an lasting, potentially negative impact.

The demo I saw went through the process of a Sitdown, where Lincoln weighed his options, and went through what each boss would bring to the table, had they been picked to run this given district. You could tell during the sequence from threats or cryptic messages said by Burke, that if he wasn't chosen as the man to run the district, he might rebel against Lincoln.

Sure enough, Burke had plotted a plan to take out Lincoln and gamers would have to fight off the force resulting from the betrayal. This is just one of the ways that the world of Mafia 3 will react to you and your choices, something that will not be subtle or hard to detect if it's happening.

The other element of causality that we've already seen from Mafia 3 has been the Retaliation System, which will be triggered, at no specific time, when gamers have taken an enemy stronghold or hub. What's most intriguing about this system is a Retaliation can happen at any time after you've taken over a hub.

During the example I was shown, which was for concept purposes, the Retaliation happened immediately, but Hangar 13 has stated that in the game Retaliations will be random and won't always happen at the same time. I love the idea that this game will fight back against you and just because you've taken over a certain area doesn't mean you're out of the woods nice and easy.

Mafia 3 will feature 10 districts and each seems to be massive from the map 2K showed off. Each district will have plenty of missions for gamers to partake in and they will have things unique to themselves. For example, the Bayou has groups that are more focused on guns and moonshine, while Delray Hall has individuals focused on heroine and sex reigns.

The world of Mafia 3 is not only massive, but it seems like it will hold a strong diversity of environments for gamers to experience combat in. I've seen many things, from combat on the streets to rooftops, inside bars and on riverboats. While in combat, players will be able to call reinforcements, should they begin to feel overwhelmed by incoming enemies.

The deaths in Mafia 3 are downright brutal and Hangar 13 is making gamers feel the impact of taking out an enemy. Whether you're using a handgun or a shotgun, there are many ways for you to kill an enemy and do so with a bit of flash.

One of the missions that was shown off had Lincoln infiltrating a riverboat and then taking out all of the enemies on it. Once Lincoln had disposed of them, he then sent off an explosion that blew the riverboat into pieces. Doing things like this as well as robbing certain targets and killing pimps will help Lincoln progress.

Music seems like it'll be a big part of Mafia 3, from the original score of the game to the licensed music. The tunes that played while Lincoln was moving through the riverboat fit perfectly and helped create the aura I believe Hangar 13 is clearly going for: authenticity, immersion and enjoyment.

Mafia 3 has all the makings for something special and many are thinking this will be a title we're discussing in December for Game of the Year honors. We'll see how the game ultimately comes together when Mafia 3 launches on Oct. 7 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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