The Godfather, just saying that name brings back memories of one of the worlds greatest movies to ever grace the big screen. We are of course not here to talk about the movie, but instead I have in my hands an Xbox 360 controller and in my 360 the latest movie to game tie-in The Godfather.

The film is like the movie world version of Halo 2, a pure masterpiece, but the real question being is this new game worthy of the title ‘Godfather’. Sadly we doubt that the game could ever be that good and if EA are anything to go by then this game will be nothing more than an Xbox port released to bring in a little bit of spare change for the guys at EA. Even so lets take a look at EA’s latest title.

The game puts you in the shoes of your very own wannabe Don whom you can sculpt to make him look that little bit more unique. The first scene in the game sees your father being killed in what has to be one of the bloodiest scenes on an Xbox 360 title thus far. His corpse is quite literally riddled with bullet holes and EA weren’t scared to add a lot of blood to the numerous holes.

The game then goes forward in time when you’re character is in his late teens and it shows your mother asking the Don to look after you, watch your back, and be a father to you. Of course the Don accepts and sends one of his most trusted men Brasi to teach you the ways of a mobster.

Like many GTA esque titles you start of as a simple thug, your job is to simply collect protection money and in this comes your first taste of violence. Sometimes when you ask shopkeepers to pay up they decide to decline and that’s when you must use a pretty little thing called aggression to force him to pay up. There are loads of ways to punish shopkeepers, you can smash their heads into the shop till, use your fist, hold them out of windows or push them all the way if you like making a scene. Another way is to smash up their shop, smashing windows, destroying tables, you name it, anything to scare the shopkeeper will help you get their protection money. You have to be careful though, for one, if you go to far you can either scare them to much and they turn into a human rattlesnake (as in when cornered they strike) and he will start attacking you and the only thing you can do is kill him as you won’t get any money out of him. Once you have the so called trust of the shopkeepers they will sometimes offer you a cut of their business in exchange for help getting rid of drug dealers, hitmen or whoever else might be scaring away the customers. You will also find that some of the shops you visit are really just covers for drug trafficking firms or other companies of that nature, and again you will find yourself being able to make money out of these hidden businesses.

There is a lot of money to be made from these side missions, I mean you could spend week’s making your own little fortune without ever touching the story mode. Of course that isn’t a good idea as the story mode is immersive and great fun to say the least. The game faithfully recreates missions from the movie itself, things like escorting the Don to the hospital after he is gunned down is just one of many missions you will be facing. You will also find yourself taking revenge within the first half an hour as your mentor Brasi is assassinated (in a rather bloody scene), of course your character is naive and is seen looking through a window so you can only do one thing, kill everyone in the room (which is rather satisfying in fact). You will find yourself killing a lot of people as the game progresses.

As you can probably tell fighting plays a huge part in this game and the main reason being that it’s so much fun beating rival gang members up or un-cooperative police officers. To be completely honest 90% I found myself opting to go fist first into room filled with rival gang members rather than doing the whole wall cover move with a gun, even if I only managed to kill one guy its still worth it just to watch those rather awesome finishing moves that has been created in the game.

You will yourself find that fists are a lot better as the aiming system on The Godfather is a pain. It uses an auto lock-on system that always seems to dodge the required target, instead it makes you kill all the minions first, which if you’re low on health and running out of bullets can be the death of you! It’s not like there’s a shortage of guns as you will find shotguns, pistols, Tommy guns and more, it just feels so much better crushing their skull with your fist, like you’ve earned the right to kill him.

Next thing to worry about is the various vehicles, and this is no GTA. By that I mean in total there’s about six or seven different vehicles compared to the fifty plus you find in GTA. Handling wise the cars aren’t exactly amazing, in fact they are pretty terrible. A couple of the cars feel exactly the same and some cars accelerate at a snails pace, then in an instant they’ll be bombing it down the road like the cars just jumped three gears. I mean the cars don’t play a huge part in the game, but even so they could have made them a little nicer to drive.

The surroundings look very nice, you won’t realise it but really a lot of the streets are simple copy and paste jobs. What has been done is a simple change of a few colours here and there to make the same shops look unique and by god it works. You won’t notice just how the similar the shops are unless you look really, really close, it’s a cheap way of dodging a lot of work but it still looks great. As for the actual streets they are all there, you will find yourself passing through Brooklyn, Little Italy, Hells Kitchen and many more locations taken from the movie. It actually feels quite weird as it sometimes feels like you’re in your own little Godfather movie, I mean awesome or what? [Yeah that’s pretty awesome!, ahem – Ed]

One of the things I didn’t like was that I was constantly dieing. At first I thought it was simply because I wasn’t very good at the game but after asking a few fellow gamers they confirmed that it’s maybe a tad to easy to die. I mean we don’t want one shot kills in a game like this, we want to be able to go into a room of twenty mobsters and come out with nothing more than a bruised knuckle. I did say that I opted not to use the wall cover move, but in the harder missions you will have no choice but to use cover as you will find yourself walking towards a white tunnel before you can cock your gun and turn the safety off.

Graphically the game looks ok in high-def, nothing special and standard-def doesn’t really look any better than the Xbox version of the game. The cut scenes do look pretty awesome especially ones involving lots of bullets, blood and death, they are pretty intense and have the feeling of a movie. The explosions also look immense, as well as gun fire. I mean despite it not being graphically next-gen it still looks awesome just because it looks like you’re in the movie, and to feel that is just amazing.

Overall the game is still a next-gen port with a few side missions added to make it look fresh. It doesn’t look next-gen and at times doesn’t play like other next-gen titles. The thing is it’s the Godfather, it feels like the Godfather and the fights and cut scenes make you feel like you’re the Godfather and just for that it’s at least worth a rent if not its full £50 price tag. The side missions will have you playing for weeks and the story mode is immersive and very addictive and will add even more playing time. If you’ve already bought this on the Xbox I’d steer clear, but if you haven’t this is definitely worth a look…The Dons are back and back with one hell of a bang.

Originally Written By: Lee Matthews

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