Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather movie is a jewel in the crown of 70's cinema (as some describe it, the Golden Decade), The multi Oscar winner tells the story of the Corleone family. Itialian immigrants, caring people, and mafioso. It is the ultimate hood movie and over a quarter of a century after its original release the film is still as scary as it is intelligent and as funny and touching, as it was at it's release. The Godfather is a prime example of how great movies can really be.
EA take on the mammoth task of recreating the definitive mob movie as a GTA style RPG title. When I first got wind that this game was in development I thought "no way will the game reflect enough of the movies mood" but I have to say the achievement of developers Redwood Shores is something quite stunning. Cars, danger, girls, guns and money â that's what gangsters like.
Even though you play as a brand new character the game unfolds just like the movie and all your favorite characters and scenes have been lovingly re-created.
When you start you can customize the look of your character with the usual EA game-face mechanic then the game begins with a cut scene of you as a kid witnessing the death of your father at the hands of rival Mafioso. Your mamma asks Don Corleone to take you under his wing at the wedding of his daughter. The Don puts you under the watchful eye of Luca Brasi. Luca will teach you all you need to know.
So you are now an unofficial enforcer for the Corleone's. Firstly you must lean on the local stores to get some protection money flowing. There are many stores in your area and the best way to get protection money from the owners is to start smashing up their stores, or even their faces, until they see things your way. Some stores also run backroom gambling dens or other illegal rackets. You can muscle in on these as well - to further up your weekly income.
As I mentioned above, this game is very similar in it's game-play to the now infamous GTA series and what made those games fun is all available here. You can jump into any vehicle, after ejecting the owner, drive up the sidewalks, mow down pedestrians, shoot up anybody who crosses your path and obviously as the random violence escalates so does the police attention. The good old "heat meter" is in effect and one to five stars shows how badly the cops want your ass.
On to the story missions, there are plenty of missions to undertake and some of the movies greatest scenes are re-enacted this way. From the attempted assassination of the Don in which you must drive him to the hospital to reenacting the famous horses head scene, planting a shooter for Michael to use in the Sallazzo hit and all of your other favorite moments.
So this is the rise of a new mobster. Once you've killed many, extorted your fortune and completed the missions you will gain more and more respect points and skill points which you use to further develop your shooting, fighting, speed and health stats. As the missions become more and more challenging the better weapons and skills all help.
Graphically the game is a resounding success. All the characters have been created lovingly as well as the Italian ghettos of New York. Steam rises from grates in the streets, trash whirls about on the wind, all the clothing, cars, guns and scenery look perfect. I really cannot fault the way the look of the movie has been recreated for the game.
The sound is also very impressive. Everybody can hum Enno Morricone's classic Godfather theme tune and the theme tune is very prevalent in the game. As the tension builds the music kicks in and the mood just feels right. There are lots of other nice chunks of audio thrown in to keep the atmosphere alive â like tunes from the 50's and 60's as well as some classic Italian sounding stuff. When it comes to voice acting, again, I cannot fault it.
Overall there isn't really anything in Godfather that you haven't seen in GTA or other similar titles. But the richness of the subject matter has been utilized fully and that is what makes this game such a pleasure to play. EA's Redwood Shores development team have proved they are feared enforcers in the world of gaming.
8.5 out of 10