The Godfather

By on October 29, 2006

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First Impressions
My reaction is

The problem with a game like GTA : San Andreas is that it redefines the whole free-roaming genre so damn well, that every single game daring to follow the same chemistry gets branded as a “GTA clone” even before the goddamn thing makes it to the shelves. This is a pretty sad thing, as some games which do tend to follow the same mechanics turn out to be really good in their own way. Case in point : The Godfather – EA’s take on the classic 1972 motion picture, featuring Marlon Brando & Al Pacino. A real mammoth task, if you ask me – recreating the setting and feeling of that era, bringing to life all those characters which made the film the hit that it was, and nailing the storyline to the tee. So, is the game a worthy counterpart of the movie ? Can EA faithfully reproduce the concept and give all the gamers/critics an unforgettable experience ? Or will this game just remain branded as a “GTA clone” and burn in hell ? Read on to find out.

The storyline of The Godfather is pretty solid, and remains fairly faithful to the movie. The game begins with you, a kid, watching his dad get dragged into an alley by a bunch of mobsters. The mob boss then has a few ‘words’ ( the angry, pissed-off type ) with your dad, before ordering his scumbags to fill him with lead ( the Tommy-gun variety ). They leave your dad looking like a blood-soaked piece of paper with 50 punch holes. Capichè ? Good.

Enter Don Corleone, the most feared and respected Don in all of Little Italy. He sees your plight and takes you under his care, promising to help you get your revenge, but only when the timing is right ( 12-year-olds wielding Molotovs ?!! Mebbe in the year 2050 ). And there you have it – the basic outline of the story. From here, you’ll move on to create your character to depict what he looks like once he grows up, give him some threads ( don’t want our hero kicking Italian ass in his undees, do we ? ), and then undergo some basic training before you can join the Corleone family. From there onwards, you will meet various people and undertake a series of missions for the family as you earn respect and moolah, with all your focus on only one thing : becoming the Don of NYC. The story also features some good twists along the way, and even gets a little emotional at times ( in a good way ).

Control wise, The Godfather plays pretty much like a 3rd person action title, save for a few of the mechanics, such as aiming and melee combat ( more on that later ). You have your basic W-S-A-D keyboard layout, which will make all FPS / TPS fans feel right at home. The mouse too, controls well enough, save for minor sensitivity issues – it doesn’t feel as tight as it should, however, you’ll get used to it in no time.

Coming to the moves, your character can perform a variety of them, which include sprinting, crouching, vaulting over ledges/walls, and taking cover behind certain objects. Surprisingly ( and most annoyingly ), you cannot jump in this game !! Yeah, you read that right. Looks like the dev team at EA consisted of a bunch of legless retards who wanted us to feel their pain. So because of this, there are times when you have to go all the way around something, just because it’s a foot taller than you, and you can’t jump and climb over it. Totally weird.
 
Anyways, coming to the aiming mechanics which I mentioned earlier on, all I can say is that this

department needed some solid tweaking before the game released. Instead of using the traditional crosshair, EA decided to implement a lock-on system for ‘greater accuracy and ease of play’. However, in practice, this mechanic is nothing short of irritating. The longer you hold down the right-mouse button ( default lock-on binding ), the smaller the reticule and hence the greater the accuracy. This actually poses no problem when you’re facing a single enemy. However, if you go in guns blazing with multiple enemies, see how fast your sorry ass gets kicked into oblivion as you frantically mash your right mouse button in an attempt to lock on to one target after another !! During intense fights ( mob wars for example ), this can cost you a lot of health, and end up with you getting “Iced” ( read ‘killed’ for all you illiterate folk ). Of course, you can always use the ‘free aim’ mode, but the reticule is horribly inaccurate, which forces you to return to the lock-on system.

Another weird thing regarding controls is the hand-to-hand combat. By default, you gotta move your entire mouse back and forth to throw punches. Anyone with a little gaming knowledge can tell that this is the result of a direct console port ( namely, the PS2 : wherein you move the right analog stick in different directions to punch ). Thankfully, you can just ignore this and assign a few keys for this particular action, and you’re set.

Controlling vehicles in the game is a breeze, as the cars handle pretty well, although they have a slightly ‘arcadey’ feel to them ( in a good way ). However, the disappointment comes in the form of variety : there are just 4 types of cars in the entire game.Apart from these few control issues, everything else controls very well. Even these issues should not bother you once you’re into the game for an hour or so. 

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The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
7.5
Decent variety in terms of missions. Hit List contracts offer a good diversion from the main storyline. However, business takeovers & extortions tend to get very repetitive.
GRAPHICS
9
Amazing graphics throughout. Highly detailed character models and environments. Great fire and weather effects.
SOUND
8.5
Original film soundtrack combined with fast paced background scores during fight sequences and car chases sound pleasing to the ears.
VALUE
7.5
Loads of secret film clips to be collected and hidden weapons to be bought will keep you hooked even after you’ve finished the story.
FUN FACTOR
7
Gameplay gets slightly repetitive. Other than that, it's all good.
OVERALL
8.5
A great remake of the classic film with plenty of interesting elements and graphics & sound to match make this game an excellent buy !!

About

Loves video games lots, but loves video game development even more. Has a Bachelor's degree in the field, yet the technical complexity behind those billions of interactive pixels boggles his mind. His brain will either conjure up the next best game or turn into gravy in 5 years time.

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