Mafia 3 Begins With Statement About Racism

2K explains why it was "vital" to include characters with racist beliefs and actions.

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Now Playing: Mafia III Early Campaign Livestream

For a long time now it's been known that Mafia III's story would tackle racism. Now that the game is out, it's come to light that there is a line of text at the beginning in which developer Hangar 13 explains the importance of not shying away from depicting the "shameful" realities of the American south in 1968.

Some of the characters in Mafia III have racist beliefs and behaviors, which Hangar 13 says it finds "abhorrent." At the same time, racism is key to telling the story of Lincoln Clay, a mixed-race Vietnam war veteran, Hangar 13 said. You can read the full statement below.

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Mafia III creative director Haden Blackman wrote this note, and he told GameSpot that he hopes it comes across as being "heartfelt."

"It really was just to acknowledge, 'Hey look, we are attacking a subject that makes people uncomfortable and we felt like we needed to in order to capture the sense of time and place,'" he told GameSpot.

Lead writer Bill Harms added that Mafia III is not a game about racism at its heart.

"It's just part of the game, but it's not the primary focus," Harms said. "Mafia III is really about Lincoln Clay just destroying the entire mafia. Because of who he is, those racial elements do come in and are reflected in the world as you make your way through it."

Mafia III Opening 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."

For more on Mafia III, check out the video above in which we play through the game's opening chapter. You can also watch this GameSpot video in which developers talk about the game's depiction of racial tension. Keep checking back in the days ahead for GameSpot's full Mafia III review.

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