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The Godfather Review (Xbox 360)

Published November 6, 2006 by |

When deciding to make The Godfather into a video game EA really set themselves an absolute Mount Everest of a challenge to satisfy gamers. For starters The Godfather is one of the all time great movie classics, perhaps the best gangster film there is. For seconds, well need we mention trying to compete against Grand Theft Auto? And for desserts, lets not forget the hash that EA made of the James Bond games, with the brand now defecting to Ubisoft.

However, The Godfather is a pleasant surprise. It’s actually a good game, maybe not good enough to live up to the name of the film, but lets not forget that the Godfather Part III is one of the worst films of all time. The efforts from EA show throughout the game, with detail being a massive aspect of gameplay. It’s not a simple mission based game, there are plenty of side stories to keep the player entertained. Of course there are missions to do, and for completion of the game it is imperative to complete these missions in order to show your “respect for the family.”

Aside from the missions set by the Corleone family, which all play a role in you one day becoming the Don of the family, you also find your character having to perform further underhand tasks around the map. If you’re feeling the heat from the cops you can just bribe some to keep the surrounding area a bit cooler, so basically you can perform as many larcenies as you like! You will also have the task of extorting businesses and acquiring rackets by use of aggressive tactics as well as the old mob favorite of hijacking delivery trucks. The shooting system and the fighting in the game are both impeccable and make the game much more enjoyable. However sometimes the aiming can go awry and you might aim at the wrong person and find yourself “ICED” as the game so regularly displays when you get killed.

Graphically the game is hit and miss. The cut scenes are very pretty but general gameplay finds some serious graphical issues, mainly when driving. The characters are all recognizable from the movie, and are all rendered to painstaking detail which takes advantage of the 360’s graphical prowess. Throw in authentic sound clips from the actual actors in the movie and some throwaway profanities and you have cut scenes that won’t find you frantically pressing the start button in the hope that they’re over. In fact the cut scenes themselves add to the whole immersion aspect of the storyline. The only disappointing aspect of this part of the game is that there is no Al Pacino-alike. He’s far too busy supporting the awful conversion of Scarface from movie to console. As for the main character in the game, you name him and you create him using the “MobFace” feature. This is basically the feature you find in other EA games such as Fight Night and Tiger Woods where you attempt to create a likeness of yourself.

The game is absolutely massive, with most of 1940s New York at your disposal. This can become frustrating though, getting from one mission to another can find you driving for far too long. Especially as the driving isn’t that fun an experience. The company who have brought the world NFS and Burnout could have tried a little bit harder for The Godfather. It feels not too dissimilar from another GTA clone made by EA – Simpson’s Hit and Run! The cars are limited to around six different types, and being set in an era not too far from the genesis of the automobile you find yourself driving at a mere amble. It all gets much more exciting when you crash or blow up a car though, graphics clearly borrowed from Burnout are superb, but far too much of a paradox from the driving. It is hard to find an analogy to describe it but imagine eating a sandwich using the finest Aberdeen Angus beef and taking a bite only to find that the bread is from the Tesco Value range. It will leave you feeling a bit dismayed, and perhaps you will find yourself snacking only on the beef. Well, you can’t be crashing your car the whole game or you won’t get anywhere at all!

Overall though the game is packed full of time consuming and novel ideas to make sure that it is the only game in your 360 for a good while. It is highly addictive and still as you start getting more used to the controls you find conflict situations a lot more exciting, plus your bravado goes up tenfold and you try attempting to bomb a whole warehouse on a solo job! EA have done a great job at making this game nearly as good as the film, plus there is great scope for a sequel at some point in time.