Mafia 3 is set in 1968 New Orleans – a place and time with a less than enlightened approach to different skin colours, as I’m sure you all know.
As such, developer Hangar 13 never made any secret of the fact that their open world crime game would not shy away from some of the meatier issues of the day.
Hell, there’s even at least one mission that sees the protagonist – an African American – encounter a Ku Klux Klan rally.
With all the weighty content floating about in Mafia 3, Hangar 13 clearly decided it would be a good idea to let players know what they’re in for from the beginning.
As such, the game opens with a line of text explaining the importance of depicting the ‘shameful’ realities of the American south in 1968, and that certain in-game characters you encounter will have ‘abhorrent’ beliefs.
Here’s the full statement:
Mafia III takes place in a fictionalized version of the American South in 1968. We sought to create an authentic and immersive experience that captures this very turbulent time and place, including depictions of racism. We find the racist beliefs, language, and behaviors of some characters in the game abhorrent, but believe it is vital to include these depictions in order to tell Lincoln Clay’s story.
Most importantly, we felt that to not include this very real and shameful part of our past would have been offensive to the millions of who face–and still face–bigotry, discrimination, prejudice, and racism in all its forms.
All of this of course, is to explain that Mafia 3 isn’t just a game about racism, but that it’s an issue that would have been impossible to stay away from without causing some serious offence.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.