The Godfather, one of the greatest movie of all time, sure took a while to come to the video game world. Luckily, the wait was worth it. In The Godfather you’re a minor character whose tale interweaves with that of the movie. While not interfering with the movies plot your character witnesses and participates in key scenes from the movie.
Your character is a young wannabe gangster who witnessed the murder of his father at a young age. Don Corleone takes you in, and you begin your life as a part of the Corleone family. The first thing you will do is to create your character. Using the Mobface tool, you can alter your characters appearance within the game, from his face, hair, eyes, cheeks, ears, nose, mouth, chin, and body. There are a lot of options to choose from when designing your character, heck you can even have a mole or dimples. One neat feature is the ability to alter your appearance as time goes on. From visiting the tailor shop and buying better clothes to visiting the barber to get a different hairstyle or shave your moustache.
The world of The Godfather includes four areas of New York; Little Italy, Brooklyn, Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown, and New Jersey. You can wander the streets of these areas and do business as you like. From extorting businesses, bribing cops, beating up other gangster or even beating on the innocent civilians that litter the game. Once you have successfully extorted a business, you are then able to check if they are fronting for any illegal rackets. If they are just a front for a racket, you can buy out the Racket Leader in the same way that you extorted the store owner. Of of this allows for you to get money and move up the ranks within the family.
As you control more business around the town, you’ll inevitably gain a promotion within the Corleone family. As you rise from an outsider to ranks such as enforcer and associate, you will be presented with more important tasks such as hits. In The Godfather, there are two things that you will need to monitor constantly. These things are Heat and Vendetta. Heat is merely EA’s version of GTA’s cop system. As your Heat increases, more cops are on your trail. To lower your heat, you can simply bribe a few corrupt cops or lay low for a while. Vendetta, on the other hand, can be a bit more important. Your Vendetta monitors your relationships with the other 5 families of New York. If you kill too many of another family’s men, you could find that your Vendetta is too high, meaning that the other families will be after you.
The Godfather really integrates itself with things that occur in the movie. You’ll witness or participate in key events from the movie, from driving Luca Brasi to his meeting with the Turk and watching his death to aiding the ambulance’s race to the hospital with Don Corleone’s life on the line.
The Godfather isn’t spectacular visually, like Gears of War, but given the scale, the game looks pretty good. The accessible environments are absolutely huge and one thing I noticed is that you experience little to no load time. New York looks pretty decent externally, but with any other game of this size you’ll see a lot of repeated buildings. The people on the street are also extremely repetitive, but major characters from the film have been modeled well. Each is extremely recognizable, from Don Corleone to Luca Brasi.
Another nice feature is the voice acting for the the major characters. They got James Caan reprising his role of Sonny Corleone, Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen and even managed to get Marlon Brando to do Don Corleone’s voice before he died.
The Godfather is a surprisingly solid game, it’s definitely one of the better movie adaptation games out there The gameplay is fun and the only negative really is that the graphics are average for the 360, but on the whole, the game is a great pickup for those who love the movie.