Review by idiotman7
"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
I love mob movies. Gangsters, the mafia, made men, vengeful Italians, they have always appealed to me. The Godfather is a classic among not just mob movies, but in all of Hollywood. One of my personal favorites of all time, it makes up for the disappointment that was Part 3. EA knew going into this that making a Godfather game was going to be tricky. One mistake and they could have an entire fan based going for their throats. While they did a decent job at creating a good game, it just felt like they were afraid to take any chances at all. This is understandable, but felt a bit, lack luster while playing the game.
The game starts with a scene years before the Godfather movie. As a child, your father was gunned down by a rival to the Corleone family, the Brazini's, and hid shop set ablaze. Before you go off to seek revenge, and an emanate death, Don Corleone stops you, and tells you to wait for the right time. The story skips ahead a bit, and picks up at the beginning of the first movie, Connie's wedding. Your mother is begging the Don to take you in, for you have fallen in with a bad crew and you will die within time.
Soon enough you are entered into the family, and are on your way up the ladder. Easier said than done though, The Godfather game has two main stories, the movie story and your story. You'll help go through events from the movie, everything from driving Don Corleone to the hospital after being shot, to placing the gun in the restaurant for Michael, to the killings of the other Dons. At the same time, you'll have your own personal life to attend to, a life that isn't really brought to life in this game, and felt very short and unfulfilled. With mostly everyone dieing around you, it's hard to create a good story.
The great part about the Godfather though is that you don't need the story to have fun in the game. Most of the play time isn't even with the story, but what you can do around New York City. Feel free to stop into any store around, and negotiate protection for it. Most of the time after making a deal, or breaking down the store owner, and back door will be opened allowing you to not just take over one shop, but am underground gambling ring, drug trafficking ring, or call girl business. But don't expect these back door businesses to come to you willingly. They are owned by rival gangs, and there are always soldiers guarding the goods. If you're just not getting fulfillment from that though, you can always attack another gang's warehouse.
Starting Mob Wars are always fun too. If you attack a certain gang for to long and to many times, they will get pretty tired of your disrespect, and a mob war will start. Mob Wars are when your family and the other family, bomb each other's businesses, and kill each other on the street. Be prepared to constantly be running or driving really fast, because they will not stop chasing you until it's over. The only way to stop a Mob War is to bomb one of their buildings, or bribe the FBI to cool things down.
But fear not, for a quick trigger finger will take down these thugs, that is if you can handle the two different forms of targeting system, the lock on way or the move it yourself form, or you don't die first. You will die a lot in this game. You will die so many times, sometimes just from trying to take down one business, that it will seem like it's just a useless battle. Your health bar drops drastically from the smallest things, and the only way to regain it make is by the magical blue drink, or going to the doctors. You can acquire the help of a gun for hire, which is a lot more helpful than you might think, to try and lead a helping hand in handling taking over. What I didn't like though is that you can only have one buddy helping you. If I could have run a four man squad, you could easily take control of any Warehouse or gang headquarters.
Sometimes though, you have to know when guns aren't the answer, and punching a man's face in is. Hand to hand combat is very easy and simple to use, and is a lot more simpler when trying to keep the stealth element alive, or facing one or two bad guys. Baseball bats, lead pipes, or police baton can also help in hand to hand combat, but choking the poor sap to death never hurts either.
Graphically, Godfather stands pretty good. The environments are beautiful, character models are fantastic, with life like facial expressions and great lip sync with their words, something a lot of games don't have. They aren't going to make games like Gears of War or Oblivion cower in fear mind you, and for next gen. it's nothing to awe about, but it gets the job done and I had no complaints, minus the fade in.
The biggest problem I did have was voice acting. Some of these guys are coming back years and years later to do a voice they did way back when, and its kind of sad to hear, even worse are the imposter voice actors. I understand that they wanted to get the closest possible but it was just sad to hear some of these famous characters from the movie, sound like whiney punks. Plus guns and cars were mediocre at best, and didn't excite me in the least. I did though enjoy the famous theme, and all the classic songs and tunes from the original Godfather movie.
The Godfather is one of the most brilliant, and ground breaking pieces of work Hollywood has ever seen. The game, while fun and pretty lengthy, just doesn't meet the standards its put up against. The developers we're just to afraid to take any big chances, in fear of the publics reaction to a great. I will say that it is a worthy pick up if you're a fan of the movie, but I suggest watching the film first before jumping into the game. A very gripping story, classic music, and overall great atmosphere for the game gives The Godfather a respectable video game transfer, but lets just hope that they don't dab their hands in it again, and go for Part 2 or God forbid Part 3.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/12/07
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