Mafia III is a bit of a departure from its predecessors in that you don’t actually play for the Mob. It’s a personal revenge story, one in which a young and slightly gruff African-American man named Lincoln Clay strikes back against some criminal big-shots in the Mardi Gras town of New Bordeaux.

Lincoln isn’t dealing with nice people. These are the kinds of goons that discover a large dark-skinned man trespassing on the premises and alert the others by exclaiming racial slurs. On the flip side, Lincoln often responds with a blast from his shotgun and some brutal executions. Mercy ain’t the name of the game.

The open world that Mafia III provides is one that has meaning and history behind its constraints. Out in the bayous, almost anything can happen from blazing shoot-outs to unfortunate alligator feedings. Take Lincoln to the well-to-do districts of tall skyscrapers and you’ll find many shops only tolerate white patrons and people on the street aren’t exactly happy to share a sidewalk with him.

It’s the type of character I absolutely appreciate in gaming. The world isn’t a cartoonish blur. Instead, it has its own collective personality you struggle to understand and ultimately appreciate. Thanks for being uncomfortable, Mafia III.

Games of 2016

Throughout January, the Games of 2016 will lead the way towards The 2016 Grimmys - Horrible Night's Games of the Year Awards.