Check it out â€“ Iâ€™m not going to open this review with a cheesy paraphrasing of a famous quote from the Godfather movies. Instead, Iâ€™ll skip right to the point, which is that the Godfather videogame is a fun, though sometimes flawed, attempt at combining a legendary series of movies and books with the open-ended city-based gameplay of Grand Theft Auto.
The development of this game has been quite drawn out, with numerous delays and setbacks plaguing it - most crucially, the unfortunate the death of Marlon Brando during recording, and Francis Ford Coppolaâ€™s public disapproval of the game. Electronic Arts have been hyping this game up for a while now, hoping to create their own GTA killer. Unfortunately, all of this build-up raised everyoneâ€™s expectations of the game, to the point where they couldnâ€™t possibly be met. This is a shame, as The Godfather is a solid title â€“ it just isnâ€™t the instant classic that EA were obviously hoping for.
The game starts with the murder of your father by a rival gang and a younger Don advising you to save your anger, and unleash it when the time is right. Fast forward a few years, and you are now a young adult being led astray by a few low-life criminals. Your mother pleas with the Don to step in and put you on the â€˜rightâ€™ path; the game begins as one of the Donâ€™s trusted henchmen finds you and teaches you how to fight (against your former companions).
A number of tutorials follow, teaching you the basics of hand-to-hand combat, shooting, driving, and extorting shopkeepers. The most interesting elements of the game are the ones that stray from the typical GTA fare, such as the combat, which takes a page from the Fight Night series and uses the right analog stick to control your actions. It feels fluid and flexible, allowing you to grab enemies and punch or kick them in a variety of ways. You can even smash people into nearby walls or other objects. Shooting is fairly bland in comparison, but isnâ€™t so bad when you realise you can shoot people in the kneecaps. The driving isnâ€™t as good, but still gets the job done. The car physics are a bit too â€˜floatyâ€™, and every car pretty much drives the same.
The game does a nice job of tying into the films and books, acting as a companion to the other Godfather works. While purists will no doubt find quite a few things to be picky about (such as the absence of Al Pacino), it recreates the feel of the source material with a good deal of success. The game is at its best when youâ€™re following the main storyline, and it is generally more captivating than a typical GTA plot. The side missions, though, arenâ€™t as appealing â€“ after a while they feel a bit bland and uninspired.
Graphically, The Godfather is a mixed bag. The character models are spot on, but the environment around you isnâ€™t so impressive. Granted, Iâ€™m getting used to next-gen graphics, but it seems like a bit more variety in the backdrops would have helped. The sound and music, though, are great. The voice acting is generally of a high standard, whether or not original cast members reprised their roles, while the music really places you in a gangster movie.
If youâ€™ve been desperately waiting for this game, and are expecting quite a lot from it, you may be disappointed. While itâ€™s an enjoyable game, The Godfather suffers from a number of small flaws which, while not too significant on their own, add up to a less than perfect title. Still, if youâ€™re not yet tired of GTA-like games, and want to try something that deviates slightly from the formula, you can do a lot worse. Itâ€™s not going to make you an offer you canâ€™t refuse, but it will at least make a suggestion that sounds quite inviting.
Sorry, I couldnâ€™t resist.