The Godfather Reader Review
The Godfather one of the most beloved films of all time has now been released by Electronic Arts. The game generally follows the film with you rising up the ranks on your way to becoming the Don of New York City. You will see bits of the film in the main story like the infamous seen with Luca Brasi and your character actually being there. The first thing you do in the game is create your own character using the Mob Face. This tool is similar to the one used in the Tiger Woods series and is just as deep as its counterpart. Once you're happy with your mobster you start the game with a training mission which you have to complete to be free to explore New York City however you may want to.
There are five different areas in the game Brooklyn, Little Italy, Hell's Kitchen, New Jersey and Midtown. Each area has a different family controlling it from the Tattagila's of Little Italy to the Barzini's of Midtown. Each family is different the Tattagila's are easier to take down than the Barzini's for instance. You have to extort businesses and regain control for the Corleone's. Say you want to take over a butcher's for example you go in the shop and press the triangle button to extort them. Early on in the game it's far more difficult to do this as you aren't respected enough. More lightly than not this will result in the family that owns the shop killing you and you ending up in hospital. The good thing about this though is you won't lose your weapons like in GTA so it isn't as frustrating in that respect. If you are successful a back door may be unlocked and you can extort a racket for additional income. If you want to complete the game you have to extort every business which can be very tedious if you've already completed the main story missions. The story is brief with it amounting to 18 missions in total. But you will have plenty more things to do like blowing up compounds, robbing banks (optional) and buying and upgrading your weapons. While the story mode dosen't last that long you're looking at 20+ hours of gameplay overall.
The combat in the game is satisfying and a neat touch is the specific weak points that you can target on your enemies. Say if you shoot a fellow mobster in the leg they'll wince to the ground and then they will be at your mercy. The game uses a Fight-Night style fighting system which is great if limited. You will use this to persuade owners who won't listen. With the system you can use the left analog stick to slam them into walls and counters when prompted. You will see a bar come up in the right hand corner of your screen and you musn't push them too far if it goes to the red they will fight back and you will pay the price. Then it's a case of them or you and if you kill the shop owner you will have to wait a week until you can return. The game does use a real time system so it will change from night to day as you play and vice versa. The driving is fine although there seems to be far too much traffic in New York City for one's liking. You will smash into other cars which are parked at the side of the road. Having said that the cars are modelled perfectly and really look the part of the era the game is set in. There are however only a few models which is dissapointing.
Many people have wrote The Godfather off for being nothing more than a GTA clone but it never tries to be GTA. It dosen't do cartoon violence. It dosen't do humor. What The Godfather tries to do is recreate the film and it does so effectively. I was shocked how great it captured the 1940's setting from the cars to the music in the nightclubs to the general environment. The game is missing Al Pacino as Michael Corleone which does hurt the game's story but all in all The Godfather is more than just another EA cash-in. The game is really close to the source material and while it can be repetitive if you liked the film or you like these types of games you could do a lot worse.
7 / 10