There are a lot of games on the market at the moment that are vying for our attentions. Many of them are downright clones of the Grand Theft Auto style of gameplay and feature various spins on that style. EA have taken an ambitious step towards the melding of interactive entertainment and movies with the re-release of the Godfather on the Xbox 360.
If you have the Xbox version already then you probably want to swap it out for the Xbox 360 specific version of the game. It has tweaked graphics and gameplay along with extra missions and better controls.
I don't go into technical details because I feel that you want to know how the game plays, if the game's fun and if the replay value is there. For me the game plays well enough controls well enough and it has a definite style over the Xbox version graphics wise.
The Tiger Woods character creation utility is pretty cool, it's certainly got more options on the 360 version and it controls a lot better. I am particularly impressed with the ranges of character types you can make with a little patience and definitely love the direction games like this are taking.
I loved that about Saint's Row.
I feel that the game is an adequate one for a game that tries to emulate the movie. It isn't a brilliant or great game by any means; it probably has 15-20 hours of gameplay in it. Seeing your own character in the game and interacting with the cast of the Godfather is about as strange as it gets, it sent shivers down my spine since I really love the movie.
You can see that EA have spent a lot of time adding new content into the 360 version of the game to improve it over the first. There are hireable homie-like gang members (thugs) and cops that you can bribe, these will fight alongside your character and can give you a good edge, since the AI for them works well enough.
There are new Blackhand attacks, and I won't spoil this for you, you'll have to play the game to find out more.
One area where the game really shines is the way that it drags you into the story; you never feel apart from it, you are a part of it. It will put you in cut-scene wise as close associate or someone important, you feel as though you're riding along with the story rather than just another joe-schmo out on the street.
These narrative parts are great, but the game does have a bit of a problem when it comes to key parts of the Godfather. Being a fan of the movie probably doesn't help there but there are some scenes that aren't quite caught right by the game, this is a small thing in the end and doesn't detract from the game too much.
As far as I am concerned I'm pleased to see the core story of the Godfather hasn't been massacred by the game. Although there's no Al Pacino and some of the female characters from the movie aren't in it.
You will love the game if you like free-roaming, do anything games. The Godfather is set in a sprawling urban metropolis rife with things to do, cars to steal and money to be made. You can get money from businesses either by extortion (using a mini-game system) or other means, you build Respect and the more you have, the more things are unlocked and of course, the further you go as a gangster.
The gun combat system allows for specific targets, a little like the Everything or Nothing game and is a lot better than a lot of the lock-on systems in games of this type. I love knee-capping bad guys and then letting rip with a brutal execution killing move (Jack Thompson would not love this game) - there's also a fight system for hand to hand that allows you to interact with the environment, beating thugs off the scenery never gets old.
The rest plays out through the story of the Godfather, it's a lot like GTA and you can go anywhere, do anything, dodge cops and blast anyone you like. Actions have consequences and that's all I am going to say regarding that.
Now onto the look of the game, the Godfather is a nice looking game and it's got passable graphics - much better than the other version of the game and it definitely shines over that. There are some nice shadow and lighting effects, textures and character definitions. The weather effects are nice and explosions are jaw-dropping in their intensity.
The animation in the game is slick, the characters are well defined and their movements are pulled off without a hitch. There are no dodgy looking animations and there are some pivotal moments from the movies that are very well put together using the in-game engine.
The sound is also good, there's a lot of various spot effects and the like that bring the city to life - gunshots are varied depending on the weapons, same with the vehicles and there's a lot of various screams and groans from combat.
The music is likewise of great quality, with the score from the movie itself played at the opening of the game.
All in all there are a lot of GTA style games out there and if you already own Godfather for Xbox, you probably won't want to buy the 360 version. But it does add a fair bit and offers a lot of varied gameplay, it isn't quite in the league of the GTA series but it's up there as a solid and enjoyable game.
It has Leaderboards for Xbox Live and there is a lot to see and do beyond the main storyline, with some of the best missions that come from a mission offer on the side. This is nice to see as I have always felt a lot of games have barely average side missions.
The Don should be smiling thanks to EA.