The Godfather Preview

The Godfather is an iconic title in the film industry-after all, it is perhaps the greatest movie ever made. Given that, it’s hard to expect that a game would be able to live up to the incredible expectations that would come along with a title based upon it. Electronic Arts found this out the hard way when they released the first version of the Godfather game on the Playstation 2, Xbox, and PC earlier this year. However, they’re giving it another shot with an updated and revised version of the game for the Xbox 360.

You’ll assume the role of a character who you are free to customize as you please. Obviously, this means you won’t be playing as one of the central characters from the film or novel, although your character will still participate in many of your favorite scenes. Playing as a character who didn’t actually exist in the movie causes much of the immersion of the game to be lost, and causes the game to lack that real sense of wonder that would have been warmly welcomed. Even if you affect the story, it still seems as if you somehow aren’t truly a part of it all. Regardless, you’ll certainly have a good time navigating the GTAesque world, set right in a 1940s New York City replica. Controls are simple enough, although they do deviate from what’s found in other affairs like the recently released Saints Row. A refined auto-target shooting system works well, and for those who wish to employ it, there is a free-aim system available. You’ll learn how to play immediately, thanks to your savior and mentor, Luca Brasi. Not only does he help to teach you teach you the finer points of combat, but he’ll also teach you the most useful tool in a mobster’s arsenal: extortion.

Extortion is done by simply applying pressure on a business in a number of ways, ranging from threats to damaging property. You can’t just expect any old form of pressure to land you the green, though. Businesses each have weak spots, and finding these will result in a bonus and, ultimately, allow you into whatever sort of shady work that business is fronting (hello illegal casinos!).

In a somewhat similar fashion to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you’ll be able to improve your various skills as you play through the game. But instead of heading to a gym to play tedious weight-lifting minigames, you’ll be allowed to spend points earned from making money or causing trouble in NYC. In addition to any random mischief you may find yourself participating in, there are plenty of missions allowing you to advance the storyline. Your character will find himself right smack in the middle of many of the movie’s infamous scenes. Whether it be when Don is shot, or a certain someone sleeping with the fishes, you’ll be there. In addition to this central storyline, scattered around the city will be various time killers that you’ve come to know and love in the GTA series (and every subsequent copycat). Heisting banks, cracking safes, locating film reels, and more also await you.

EA also decided to heist a few other ideas from GTA, including a heat-indicator. It works much like the wanted level system, except that now you won’t evade police by getting your car spray painted. Unfortunately, that sort of (idiotic) plan won’t be enough to shake these cops. So, you’ll just have to make like a mobster and do the next most logical thing: bribe ’em. They will then, in turn, give you time to get away, or they may participate in a feature new to the 360 version of the game: help you fight off your enemies. This is a nice dynamic which shakes things up in a somewhat realistic manner, as does another new feature, which allows you to recruit followers. For a price, you can have your own mini-mob that can watch your back or ride shotgun as you cruise the streets; it’s up to you to decide, so long as you can pay them.

Those aren’t the only extras Xbox 360 owners will be receiving. Nearly 40 achievements are available for your unlocking pleasure, as well as dynamic weather and new side missions, vehicles and weapons. A dynamic day/night system will affect gameplay, opening new ventures to you depending on the time. Xbox Live support will consist of only online leaderboards. Given that this still is the same core game that was released back in March, it would have been nice of Electronic Arts to include some sort of mobster-style multiplayer game, a la the one found in Saints Row. At least we can expect content to be released through the Xbox Live Marketplace at some point, but be prepared to shell over some Microsoft bucks in order to get it.

Graphically, the game doesn’t offer anything spectacular, although on high-def sets you may notice the new lighting and particle effects. The most exciting feature on the aesthetic side of things is the way in which characters will bruise. Instead of just having your bruises magically heal all of a sudden, it will take time for the bruises to begin to fade, providing the game a much more realistic quality.

Hopefully these additions-along with a more refined overall experience-will be enough of a boost to really make The Godfather something special. Film fans and sandbox game fans alike are sure to have a field day with this one, but let’s just hope that the game will offer enough new content to warrant a second purchase for gamers who own one of the previous versions.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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