Information, gameplay details, heck even artwork has been desperately hard to come by Mafia 3 since its reveal last year. As it is we’ll grab what we can get for this debut from Hangar 13, the studio which has taken the reins since the closure of 2K Czech. The last we heard it was slated for an April launch, although I think we can be sure that’s not happening now, but we can at least take comfort in a brand new batch of Mafia III screenshots which have leaked.
The screens in question come from some leaked pre-alpha footage so they’re certainly a bit rough around the edges, but they do give us a good idea of where Hangar 13 and 2K are heading with this one. Being set in and around New Orleans means Mafia 3 is a massive departure from the previous games in the series, with a colourful flair that’s often missing from its New York counterparts. It’s all smoky jazz bars, dusky streets, and feeding body parts to alligators.
Originally the footage was shown as part of a GDC 2016 presentation called “Adding Life to Your Level”, designed for the development team to highlight just how far they’ve gone in bringing 60’s New Orleans alive. While Mafia 3 certainly isn’t the most visually stunning game we’ve ever seen, there’s certainly an impressive amount of detail for an open-world title. Mafia II was light on the little touches so it’s nice to see Hangar 13 pay heed to environment building.
Announced back at Gamescom in August last year, Mafia III shifts proceedings to 60’s New Orleans, where Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran, is looking to avenge the murder of his friends by the local mob by forming his own criminal organisation. An eye for an eye and all that. At the moment Mafia 3 is tentatively scheduled for a 2016 launch, but I’m sure we’ll hear plenty more at E3, where 2K owner Take Two has said it will be "in a big way".