The Art of Mafia III Book Review

A deeper look into the world of Lincoln Clay

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Last October, Hangar 13 and 2K Games collaborated to release the third installment in the Mafia series. Mafia III went on to receive mixed reviews from most media outlets but was also praised as the fastest-selling game in its history after moving 4.5 million units in the first week.

One particular strength found within this intriguing, yet repetitive third-person action-adventure title is the beautifully designed city of New Bordeaux along with all of the iconic characters that live within it. In an effort to drive this point home even further, 2K Games worked alongside Insight Editions to create The Art of Mafia III. Here are a few more details on this art book and why it deserves a place on your bookshelf.

The cover art is absolutely stunning.

The Art of Mafia III is a 160-page hardcover deluxe art book composed of passionate commentary from Mafia III Art Director Dave Smith and detailed artwork taken directly from Hanger 13’s offices. After Dave’s brief foreword, the reader is treated to 10 chapters full of concept art that perfectly showcases all of the creativity that went into developing this fictionally recreated New Orleans setting. The first 9 chapters provide an overview of each district in the game one-by-one while the final chapter acts as a full-fledged character gallery with alternate versions of the game’s box art. This book was released on January 3rd and currently retails for $39.99.

Having played the game extensively last year, the single best thing about this book lies within how it portrays the behind-the-scenes process for the creative team. Hangar 13 has expressed time and time again that their goal was to treat New Bourdeaux like a character and you get an even deeper sense of this shortly after looking through the first few pages of the book. I found myself reminiscing over boss encounters and business acquaintances that I made in certain districts while playing through the campaign. On top of all this, the beautiful paintings and portraits displayed all throughout makes you feel as though you are a part of that creative team and seeing the culmination of a focused vision payoff. Below is a gallery of several screenshots taken directly from this art book to further illustrate my point.

If there’s one thing that I wish this art book did have it would be more in-depth information on how the game’s narrative came together. This, of course, isn’t the proper book for that type of information, but it would be great if there’s a plan to create a separate book on this topic down the road. Mafia III’s documentary stylized storyline is one of the strongest features of the campaign and it would be nothing short of fascinating to see how the writing team got it to that point.

The Art of Mafia III is a great art book that’s worthy of being added to your collection. If you played the game that it’s based on, then you’ll certainly appreciate the exclusive look at all of the artwork that played a significant role in the overall experience. Then and only then would you truly understand the blood, sweat, and tears that each and every artist went through while creating this title.

Final Verdict: Worth Buying

What other areas or topics of interests would you like to see us cover in future behind-the-scenes writeups on your favorite or upcoming video game titles? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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Richard Bailey Jr. Editor-In-Chief
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