The Godfather Review

The Godfather has taken an extra six months to make it onto the Xbox 360, but thereís a bit more to it than graphical improvements over the versions previously released for other consoles. The story is essentially the same as is much of the gameplay, and the game remains recommended to fans of the film who will appreciate the way the game weaves its storyline in with that of the movie.

For those of you whoíve played the other versions Iíll start with whatís different before I bring the rest of you up to speed on the game. The most obvious difference is the enhanced graphics that take advantage of the Xbox 360ís increased horsepower. However the gameís graphics are not of the knock your socks off, built for next gen variety. While they certainly look better than the Xbox and PS2 versions, there are plenty of better looking Xbox 360 games available. Probably of greater interest to most gamers is the addition of 28 new missions, three of which are tied directly into the storyline. Another welcome new feature is the ability to hire henchmen to accompany you on missions and provide some extra firepower. There are also a bunch of minor enhancements, including giving you the option of running missions for merchants in exchange for their loyalty. This adds some much needed variety to this aspect of the game as using the same pressure techniques over and over can get a little old. Taking all of this into account, if you played the heck out of the Xbox or PS2 version of the game you probably wonít get enough new here to warrant a second purchase. However, if you missed the game the first time around then youíre in luck because itís even better on the Xbox 360. Now that Iíve gotten that out of the way, letís look at the game in more detailÖ

Taking care of business.
In The Godfather, you play a character who didnít appear in a single frame of the film yet played a vital role in the events depicted in the movie. The game opens with you as a young kid who experiences the horror of watching your father get gunned down in a gangland killing. Flash forward a decade and it is the wedding day of Don Corleoneís daughter depicted in the opening scene of the movie. Your mother makes a special appeal to the Don to take you under his wing and since a Sicilian can not refuse a request on his daughterís wedding day you soon find yourself a foot soldier in the Corleone family.

You begin the game by creating your mobsterís look using the gameís extensive character customization feature. The look you create will not only be used for your character during the action in the game, but for all of the cutscenes as well. This sort of feature is par for the course in RPG and sports games, and it is nice to see it making its way into action games as well. The game then guides you through the initial missions as a kind of on-the-job tutorial. This is a great way to get the story moving from the start while getting you used to the controls and game features and is far preferable method to the ubiquitous boot camp levels found in military action games. Even these initial missions are tied to events from the film and your training officially ends when your mentor Luca Brasi is strangled in one of the memorable scenes from the movie.

The Godfather follows the Grand Theft Auto model in providing you with a living, breathing city in which you can initiate story missions at any time, build your reputation for ruthlessness, put the muscle on local businesses, or just hijack some wheels and explore the city, which in this case is a recreation of New York in the late 1940s. A lot is borrowed from GTA Ė you can steal any car and kill any pedestrian you see, public acts of violence raise your profile with the police, you awaken from death in a medical clinic, there are hidden bonus objects in the city, Ö the list goes on. This is not a particularly bad thing though as this gameplay model is a good fit for The Godfather. Donít be surprised by occasional bouts of dťjŗ vu, though.


Also reviewed on:
  •  · PlayStation 2 
  •  · PlayStation 3 
  •  · PSP 
  •  · Wii 
  •  · Xbox