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Unionists want Mafia 3 banned for "sick glamorisation of terrorism"

IRA Don't Ask side mission in the firing line.

Unionists have called for Mafia 3 to be banned for "glorifying" IRA bombing.

Mafia 3, developed by 2K studio Hangar 13, is set in 1968 in the city of New Bordeaux, a fictional recreation of New Orleans.

Unionists are upset over a number of aspects of the open world gangster game, (there is dialogue in the main story about Irish Republican politics), but they're particularly angry about a mission in which players steal cars to be used by bombers in Belfast.

The mission in question is actually a side mission called IRA Don't Ask. A character in the game called Thomas Burke has to deliver three cars to his IRA connections, and charges player character Lincoln Clay with stealing them for him. During a cutscene, Burke suggests the cars will be used as part of a bombing campaign by Belfast "heavyweights".

Burke tells Lincoln his IRA connections are after serial numbers and "parts to throw in" to "keep the Belfast law guessing when things go boom". You can watch the mission in full in the video below.

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When you turn the side mission in, Burke says: "While we'll have a lot of regular folk missing their wheels, the brothers back in Belfast really appreciate your help."

There's also background graffiti in the game that features a defaced Ulster banner.

Democratic Unionist Party MP Jeffrey Donaldson called on 2K to withdraw the game from sale, telling The Irish News he was "very concerned" about the impact it could have on "impressionable" minds.

"The IRA were a terrorist organisation that murdered very many innocent men, women and children in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK," he said.

"Whilst this game may seem to be a work of fiction for some, it could be seen as trivialising the suffering of innocent victims and the evil that is represented by all forms of terrorism.

"I invite the makers of this game to come to Northern Ireland and meet some of the innocent victims of the IRA and then consider whether the contents are appropriate. I hope they can be persuaded to withdraw the game and think again."

A similar sentiment came from Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister, who accused Mafia 3 of a "sick glamorisation of terrorism".

"When they use the name of an actual terrorist organisation in this fashion they are being even more insensitive as victims were directly impacted by actions such as those portrayed in this game.

"This game would appear to treat the IRA in a fashion which is grossly offensive to the many people who suffered as a result of IRA bombs.

"This may be viewed as another clever way of earning money by some but it is most insensitive to victims. I would urge all involved in the production of this game to consider how they would feel had they lost a loved one or a limb in a Provisional bombing."

2K has yet to comment on the accusations (we've asked), but developer Hangar 13 has previously insisted Mafia 3 is an attempt to create an "authentic" experience that captures the time and place in which it is set.

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