The Godfather The Don's Edition Review
I have to give kudos to Electronic Arts for adding new content to The Godfather when bringing it to the PS3. Most of the multiplatform titles available on the PS3 are simple ports and don’t really take advantage of the PS3’s advanced processing power. While The Godfather: The Don's Edition does go down the easy path of porting when it comes to the game’s graphics, adding more missions, Sixaxis support, hit squads, and integrating online rankings makes the game a richer experience than it was on other consoles.
First things first, though; let’s begin by looking at the game’s story. The Godfather is based on the 35 year old or so Oscar-winning film of the same name. If you haven’t seen that movie, then you really should take the time to watch it – not just because the game does a great job of tying into the movie’s storyline but also because it is a masterpiece of filmmaking in its own right. You can certainly play the game without ever having watched the movie, but you’ll miss out on a lot of the references to the film and you won’t be familiar with the movie characters with which you’ll be interacting in the game. Your role in all of this is that of a small-time hood who is brought into the Corleone family as a special favor to your mother. You start out as a foot soldier in the family and must work your way up through the ranks until you eventually take over as the Don. The game’s designers made of the wise decision of not trying to shoehorn your character directly into the movie’s plotline, instead making you a key player in the action that took place off-camera. For example, you’ll witness the murder of Luca Brasi by watching it through an alley window, and then fight your way past the killers’ mob goons to report the killing to the Corleone family. It all works quite well in that it lets you be a part of the film’s story without having to make any changes to the events from the movie.
The Godfather’s gameplay follows the Grand Theft Auto model. You’re put into the middle of a living, breathing city filled with pedestrians, traffic, and rival mobsters – in this case a condensed version of 1940s New York. When playing the game you’re given the freedom to take on the next story mission whenever you’d like, leaving you free to muscle in on the local merchants or rival gangs’ territories or just explore the city at your leisure before advancing the game’s storyline. In fact, you’ll need to do work outside of the story missions because part of your advancement to Don will depend on how many businesses you can bring under the family’s “protection” and the number of illegal rackets you control.
Bringing a business into the family’s fold involves putting the muscle on the shop owner. The trick is that each owner will respond to a different type of pressure, be it physical violence, damage to the shop, battered customers, or something else. You’ll need to find out what each merchant responds to and then apply the pressure to the point where they’ll acquiesce. You’ll also need to be careful not to push them too far or they’ll react violently and you’ll lose the opportunity to take over. This aspect of the game is pretty interesting at first, but after you play the game for a bit it will become pretty routine and thus a little repetitive and boring. Once you’ve muscled your way into a few businesses, they begin to look and feel the same. Things get a little tougher and correspondingly more interesting when you begin to target the city’s warehouses and distribution centers. This usually begins with some truck hijackings and then eventually escalates to a full-scale assault on the central warehouse. Sure you can make some money on an illegal booze racket, but you’ll make a lot more supplying all of the city’s rackets with their hooch.