The Godfather Review
The Godfather: Mob Wars is essentially a portable version of the game that first appeared on the Xbox and PS2. If you’re familiar with the console versions then you can think of Mob Wars as the same game except with the free-roam aspect replaced by a strategy component. I’ll let you know if this change works or not right after I bring the rest of our readers up to speed on the Godfather gaming experience…
Mob Wars’ campaign is centered on your character, an up and coming gangster in the Corleone family. Your father was a soldier for Don Corleone who was gunned-down by a rival gang when you were still a child. Out of loyalty to your father, Don Corleone has taken you under his wing and assigned Luca Brasi to show you the ropes of the family business. Your goal is to work your way up the mobster corporate ladder until you eventually reach the pinnacle as the “Don of New York”. If you’re familiar with The Godfather movie, then you’ll appreciate the effort that went into tying the game’s story into that in the film. The game’s story follows the major events of the film, but rather than trying to pry you into each of the famous scenes it places you at the center of the off-screen action. For example, when the Don is beseeched to restore the honor of a man’s daughter on the Don’s daughter’s wedding day, you’re one of the goons that is sent to exact revenge on the kids that roughed up the poor woman. You’ll face a variety of different missions, but each one feels tied to the film’s story and makes you feel like you’re a part of a bigger picture rather than merely working your way through a set of mission goals.
In Mob Wars this aspect of the game has been scaled back a bit by the removal of the free-roam feature. You begin each mission right at the mission location and end them by returning to the starting point, so there’s never an ensuing chase after a mission and the transition between missions feels disjoint in a way that they did not in the console versions. The missions in Mob Wars are also hindered by the fact that the controls are not as smooth or natural as they are in the console versions. Camera control can be an issue in the game’s many interior locations, especially when trying to lock on to enemies as you turn a corner or enter a new room. Combine this with the fact that the camera swings a bit slowly and you’ll find yourself being gunned down because of the controls more often than you’d like.
Between missions you’re taken to a set of status screens from which you can use cash gained during the missions to purchase ammo and weapon upgrades or spend skill points earned on various attributes such as your speed or gun skill. The status screens also allow you to jump back and forth between the story mode and the game’s mob wars mode.