Once released, “Mafia III” will transport its gamers to 1960s New Orleans with its narrative. However, despite the time period, the title is still infused with long-standing issues related to racial diversity, especially with its lead character Lincoln Clay, who happens to be an African-American war veteran.
“The Mafia experience is about organized crime,” game director Haden Blackman told Polygon with regard to the forthcoming game. “It’s about crime with a hierarchy, with traditions and rules. So we’re very focused on that for the story. But at the same time, we didn’t want to shy away from the reality of the time and the place. There are quite a few moments in the story where race is referenced and race is part of the story, part of the plot. It’s part of who Lincoln is.”
In the third installment of the “Mafia” series, the main storyline follows Lincoln who is a biracial orphan who just came back from fighting in the Vietnam War. He became involved with a mob that eventually hunted and killed his whole family. He then becomes obsessed with revenge forming an armed group of his own with the intention of taking justice into his own hands.
Blackman has previously pointed out that having Lincoln differentiates “Mafia III” from any other action-adventure video game in the market. He cited his relatability of being a flawed man which is very rarely depicted as the main protagonist in video games.
“We’re trying to be authentic to the time period,” Blackman added. “A bunch of gangsters are at war with one another. There are racial slurs that are used in order for their language to sound authentic.”
While the game was originally crafted to make sure that it fits the social issues of the time period, the sensitivity of the situation can’t be more relatable in the 60s as it is right now. Racial diversity has been at the forefront of conflicts that spills from differences in religion and political beliefs.
“Mafia III” will make its public debut on Oct. 7 with three variants standard ($59.99), deluxe ($79.99), and collector’s edition ($149.99).