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2K Games and Hangar 13 Studios have been making some waves with Mafia III. The game has been receiving fair reviews and there's a lot of chatter generated around the net about the game, but not all of it is positive and some people in the UK want to ban the game.
According to Eurogamer, certain members of parliament in the United Kingdom are not happy about the game. Democratic Unionist Party MP Jeffrey Donaldson says that the game could be very impressionable to people based on how it depicts the Irish terrorist group known as the IRA.
Donaldson is referring to one mission in particular. In Mafia III, main protagonist Lincoln Clay has the option of taking on a side-quest by one of his under-bosses, the drunk Irishman Thomas Burke. Clay is tasked with bringing cars to Burke so that he can get them fitted for the purpose of being turned into car bombs. Their use? As bombs for the IRA over in Ireland.
Burke has some anti-Unionists sentiments and there are some anti-Unionist images used in the game as well. Some members of parliament feel as if the game could negatively impact the perception of players and they are calling for the game to be banned from shelves over worries of how the IRA is depicted in the game.
They state that the game glorifies the IRA and treats them in a fashion that is "grossly offensive".
According to Eurogamer, they state that they did not receive a response from 2K Games about the matter but that Hangar 13 Studios attempted to make a game reflective of the time period and try to maintain some element of accuracy of motivations, people and societal norms during 1968, even though it takes place in a fictionalized version of New Orleans called the New Bordeaux.
There is an actual warning at the start of Mafia III from Hangar 13 about the language and the attitudes depicted by the characters in the game being designed to replicate the authenticity of that era, even though they found the characters' attitudes and treatment of others "disgusting."
However, the disclaimers were mostly in relation to the racism depicted throughout Mafia III and not necessarily the other unsavory elements of crime and nefarious behavior associated with the criminal underworld. For instance, there's an entire segment in the game centered around forced prostitution and the sex slave trade but there's no explicit warning about that going in.
Another character, CIA operative John Donovan, is staunchly anti-Liberal, labeling them as "Commies" and other unpleasant names. The game takes no moment to pause or pull punches when it comes to the harsh reality of humanity and all of its divides.
In the case of Thomas Burke and the IRA, he's a depressed, angry fatalist who lost his son due to the events that transpire throughout the course of the game. Part of the theme of Mafia III is that everyone loses in some way and it all depends on how they react that defines the outcome of the story. In particular, the game centers around the shades of corruption, villainy and nuances of criminality. At the end of the day, all of the main characters are villains, even the supposed good guys.
It will be interesting to see how 2K Games responds to the pleas from the U.K. MPs to have Mafia III pulled from store shelves.