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2K has finally let the cat out of the bag, or perhaps they've stuck the feet into the cement. Mafia III has officially been announced. 

It took long enough, with 2K Games dodging rumors and holding off on announcements over the years until something official finally bubbled to the surface. Today, 2K Games tweeted a tease for when and where the third installment in the popular series might be taking place, and sent out a press release confirming that we'll see the official reveal trailer on August 5 at 5 AM PDT/8 AM EDT. 
There were no further details explicitly announced then, but a quick visit to the Mafia III website reveals that Hangar 13 will be working on the game, headed by Haden Blackman, formerly of LucasArts in the '90s and early 2000s. 

"Mafia III is the next installment in the popular series known for immersing players into a world of organized crime through rich narrative storytelling and a beautifully crafted game world featuring period-accurate cars, music, and fashion," 2K detailed in its press release. And while normally you might write off what PR representatives send out in these messages as fluff, the period-accurate cars, music, and fashion part is totally correct. That's one reason why Mafia II did so well upon its release and remains one of my favorite open-world adventures to date. 

It didn't start with Mafia II though, of course. The original game, Mafia, was both a critical and commercial hit, though the console ports did tend to disappoint. Around that same time, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City made the scene, and not even the fact that you could hop into the driver's seat of over fifty classic rides swayed gamers tempted by the voracious sound of the eighties or the vulgar language of Vice City. Fast forward to 2010, where sandbox gaming enjoyed copious amounts of success. People loved to mess about for a couple of hours doing donuts in the sand in Grand Theft Auto V

Perhaps now that the genre isn't completely dominated by Rockstar titles (though admittedly they do it justice), the upcoming Mafia III from 2K Games can flourish and attract the audiences it deserves. There'll certainly be plenty of details emerging about Mafia III during Gamescom, so as they develop we'll follow the story. Hopefully we see more of Vito Scaletta this time around instead of the game swinging around the focus on a new family man. 

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