Mafia 3 Screenshots Reveal Dark New Orleans Setting

image descriptionSeveral brand new screenshots for 2K Games’ and Hangar 13’s forthcoming open world crime title, Mafia 3, reveal an intensely dark New Orleans setting.

It’s no big secret that ever since Mafia 3 was confirmed by developers last year, gamers have been clamoring for any information regarding the third entry in the crime-soaked series, so the release of some fresh screenshots of pre-alpha footage for the title should be a welcome surprise to fans. The new stills come courtesy of Seth Rosen, the systems designer for Mafia 3, as he used them for a presentation at this year’s Game Developers Conference called “Adding Life to your Level,” which discussed how creators can make non-playable characters more realistic within games.

In order to drive his point forward, Rosen utilized some of Mafia 3‘s more lived-in settings, all of which depict the populated streets of a 1960s New Orleans, as well as the interiors for a jazz bar that will presumably be a location in the game. Interestingly enough, each of the shots that the systems designer chose were all taken during one the game’s late night time frames, with streetlights and dimly lit neon signs shining on spirited bar-goers giving the evening scenes a dark and hazy feeling.

As seen in the gallery below, there are a lot of wonderfully done instances of NPC realism, such as Mafia 3‘s main character, Lincoln Clay, looking over his shoulder to catch a glance at a woman confidently striding forward underneath a terrace, as well as the grouping of New Orleanians standing near an entryway to have a close-knit conversation while sharing drinks on the sidewalk. In fact, a lot of the pre-alpha screenshots revealed by Rosen actually rival the game’s concept art in terms of being both gorgeous and life-like.

The above stills build upon Hangar 13’s previously released gameplay footage for Mafia 3, which was much flashier, and obviously intended on prominently featuring a lot of the title’s graphical highlights in order to entice fans. These pre-alpha images from Rosen, however, appear to be materials that more closely resemble what the final version of Mafia 3 will be like. If that’s the case, then the studio is doing a great job at maintaining verisimilitude while also injecting its own seedy sense of style for the game.

While several fans may reasonably argue that Mafia 3 looks somewhat like the GTA franchise in terms of its layout and open world approach — the mini-map in the screenshots’ bottom right-hand corner is almost identical to those found in Rockstar Games’ titles, after all — it’s best to reserve judgment since the title is still in development. Regarding the issue, though, Take-Two Interactive’s CEO Strauss Zelnick has claimed Mafia 3 is completely different from Grand Theft Auto 5, saying the two brands were “not up for comparison.” Of course, the matter will only be settled in due time once actual playable materials become released.