02 Oct, 2006

The Godfather Review

360 Review | An offer you can't refuse twice?
It's fair to say that when The Godfather launched for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC in March this year it was a surprising game. All along we had the idea that the game was going to be a quick cash in on the existing license, but EA surprised everybody by developing a thoroughly enjoyable game that stayed enjoyable even upon completion. Six months later the Xbox 360 version has made it out, after a bit of a delay we're pleased to inform that the game is a pretty faithful port, although there is very little difference between the Xbox 360 version and the original games we reviewed earlier in the year.

The game begins with a cut-scene where your character witnesses the death of his father. Don Vito approaches you and informs you that your time for revenge will come. After this you actually get to customise your "mod face". You can modify a lot of aspects of your look and your character will appear in every cut-scene from then on with the look you've given them. After you've created your mob face the game picks up a few years later where Luca Brasi finds you in an alleyway and leads you through the basic controls. The first half an hour or so lets you run around the town becoming accustomed to the controls.

Who is there left to kill?

Who is there left to kill?
The storyline in the game is rather linear, despite the promise of branching storylines. The character you take control of is not really a main character from the movies and has his own story, which is told throughout the game. As with any sandbox game, it is not essential to play through the entire story to progress - there are numerous other ways to keep busy in the town as well. One of the first things you'll become acquainted with extorting businesses. There are hundreds of small businesses around New York and you can get them onto your payroll, all you have to do is walk up to any business that isn't owned by the Corleone family and talk to the owner. If they refuse your offer of protection then a bar will appear below the health bar. You can intimidate the owners by breaking objects or by beating them up. After you do this they should cooperate and they'll be on your payroll. If you beat them up too much then they won't cooperate, so you need to be careful with what you do.

Once you finish the story missions your next task is to takeover the other families. To do this you have to take the family compound, which is guarded pretty heavily. You need to fight your way through the enemy forces with the objective of bombing the two strongholds. This is a massive task and you'll need to be prepared with lots of ammo to take the families down. Although it is a massive task, it is required for you to become the ‘Don’ of the city.

Aside from taking over other families and getting businesses on your bankroll you can also pick up "contracts" that require you to "take care" of people who have betrayed the family. There are bonus conditions in each of the contracts and if you fulfil the condition then you'll get a big bonus. Due to the open-ended nature of the game you're also able to explore the city as much as you want. There are buildings, alleyways and safes to be explored, as well as a few extra secrets. The money you earn from the extra tasks can be used to buy safe houses, change clothes or buy weapons and ammo. There are also some well-hidden dealers located around New York who have some very powerful weapons.

Dance buddy, dance

Dance buddy, dance
Your character is also able to level up. Just about everything you do will gain you some respect, such as completing missions to blowing up safes. As you gain respect, you’ll also gain levels and points that you can distribute between five attributes. Obviously as you gain levels, your shooting becomes more accurate, your fighting stronger and aspects such as negotiation skills become much successful without needing to resort to violence. Two other minor aspects of the game are Heat and Vendetta. Heat is a measure of your illegal activities that will get the attention of the cops. Too much heat and they’ll be after you, or you can simply bribe them to avoid it in the first place. Vendetta comes about as you knock off rival family members and destroy their stuff. Too much will cause a gang war.

The game still has a few problems that haven't been ironed out for the Xbox 360 version. The vehicles all appear to handle relatively similar to each other and this makes the driving segments rather bland. It seems that EA didn't take on board any of the feedback from the previous versions.

The fighting engine from the current console versions has made it into this game as well. You use the L trigger to lock onto an enemy and you can throw by tapping forward on the right analog stick. You can actually grab onto your enemies or kick them to the ground or against environmental hazards if you're feeling particularly brutal. New to the Xbox 360 version is the ability to hire crewmembers to fight alongside you. Once you reach the rank of enforcer you can actually hire a thug to follow you around and kill your enemies, you can also bribe the police to fight alongside you, which does help to change the gameplay a little bit. The actual AI is pretty intelligent and shoots at the most threatening targets as well, so once you reach the rank of enforcer you'll quite regularly use your recruited team members.

The Xbox 360 achievements have been scattered out well, so you won't just be able to earn them if you just play through the story missions. There are 38 achievements in total and some of them include getting to a certain respect level, with other achievements needing other requirements, such as earning different execution styles or bribing a police chief. The game also connects to Xbox Live to enable you to download additional content, at the moment there is no content on the marketplace but there is a message that says content is coming in November 2006.

I said dance..

I said dance..
Visually EA have enhanced the graphics a little bit, but in comparison to other Xbox 360 titles the game doesn't really look up to scratch. The city of New York has been faithfully recreated and you'll even notice a few different areas, but it's clear from the beginning that this game has been touched up to look passable on the Xbox 360. The Godfather soundtrack sounds brilliant but it is used sparingly, the voice acting is impressive and all of the actors sound very authentic. We had encountered some sound glitches on the Xbox version but we're pleased to report that this appears to have been fixed for the Xbox 360 version.

There is enough content in the game to keep you going for an extraordinarily amount of time. The story mode doesn't take too long to complete but after that you've still got quite a few side missions, as well as a whole heap of achievements to unlock. By the time you finish everything the new content will probably have been released on the live marketplace as well.

The Godfather is just as enjoyable on the Xbox 360 as it was on the original Xbox six months ago. Unfortunately though, EA didn't really take the time to enhance the game all that much, you can now hire crew members and the game has had some minor graphical enchantments, but aside from that the game hasn't really changed all that much. That being said, the game is still a lot of fun. EA has had to make a few variations from the source material to make The Godfather enjoyable and thankfully it is.
The Score
The Godfather for the Xbox 360 isn't a huge upgrade from the previous generation versions but despite a few problems the game is thoroughly enjoyable.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related The Godfather Content

New Godfather premium content released
24 Oct, 2006 Buy $250K for 150 points.
The Godfather coming to Wii and PS3
14 Jan, 2007 Two different editions.
The Godfather Review
02 Oct, 2006 How does the PSP version hold up?
7 years ago
Pity they havnt really changed the game. Could have been really good if they had tweaked it a bit
7 years ago
I can refuse this! My god this was worse than Mafia and Mafia was made a long long time ago. I wish they made a sequel to Mafia.
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