Many people lambasted Mafia III for being repetitive in its gameplay. True, it is to an extent, but that is standard for gangster-related games. Where this game truly shines is its narrative. Mafia III is the most important game this gen, and maybe the most important game to come out in the past 10 years or so. The narrative is top-notch and while it takes place in the ’60s, it is actually scary how it is a reflection on what is going on in our society today. It was brilliant to have the main character not only be African American, but also a Vietnam veteran. That’s not something you see in a video game very often and Hangar 13 took a real chance with this and the end result was nothing short of astounding.

I’m not one to get into politics. In fact, this article is not meant to be political. But there were aspects of this game that truly jumped out at me and is the reason I name Mafia III the most important game this gen, or even in recent memory. At times it even made me feel very uncomfortable in a profound way. I grew up in a middle-upper class home. I’m caucasian. To walk around as a black man and be stared down, being told to get out of a “caucasian” neighborhood? It’s disgusting first of all. But I was so immersed in the game I felt the discrimination Lincoln (the main character felt). Yes, I am white, and there’s no way I can feel that exact discrimination. It felt so real though. My sister actually lives in New Orleans, where the setting of this game is based on, so it hit close to home. From the Ku Klux Klan to other forms of racism, I was appalled. The game was so realistic in its portrayal of the forms of racism African Americans faced in the ’60s.


The most startling thing about this game though is the police. Now I have no problem with law enforcement; most cops are good people just doing their jobs. But when I walk around as Lincoln and the the police stare at me, a blue cursor appears on the screen as a warning. Yes, Lincoln Clay is involved in criminal activity, but the police present aren’t witnessing a crime or even know about Lincoln’s activity. They simply stare him down due to his race. This made me so uncomfortable. Now I love this game to death, but its portrayal of racism in the south is straight on, especially ’60s in New Orleans. I felt like the cops were staring me down personally, as I was playing the role of Lincoln and was immersed in the game. It was an eye-opening experience. As a white man, yes I cannot truly understand what African Americans go through. But I was still taken aback by it.


The scariest thing is that the game is very much a reflection of today. It may not be as bad as it was 40 years ago, but this game brings up so many issues that we as a society need to address. This isn’t political; it’s a reality. Gaming has reached a point where it has become an art form and the stories that are told are a reflection of the world we are living in. This is why Mafia III is the most important game this gen. It tackles these issues head on, and has been praised for it. The narrative in Mafia III is as good as it gets.

Considering recent events, without naming them, this game is the bravest game I have ever played, especially in wake of what we are facing today. I only hope that people take heed to the message the game presents. We need it more now than ever.

About The Author


Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over six years and has written over 2,000 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

Related Posts