One of the most expensive games ever made, when you first put The Godfather into your PC or console the game oozes production value. It looks like The Godfather. It feels like The Godfather. This has to be the best game ever surely? Having managed to enlist the voice of Marlon Brando before he slipped of his mortal coil (and every other living actor from the films bar Al Pacino), you can tell that Electronic Arts have tried to make sure this as faithful a representation of the film as you could possibly make.
You play a small-time mobster working for the Don, and much like Grand Theft Auto you work your way up the ranks, with the story of the film unfurling as you play, showing your characters relation to it all. Most of your time is spent roughing up the locals, specifically shopkeepers for protection money, avoiding the police and brandishing your own form of justice on rival mobs. A nice addition is the ‘respect’ system – every action you make has an effect on the game, so the tougher you act and more you shoot, the more likely other mobs will send their best men to take you out. Play the ‘cool’ character, giving the locals verbal threats will make it more likely you’ll keep your head.
Unfortunately all this can’t save the game from some glaring flaws. For me, the game crashed, stuttered, and looked downright poor in places. It detracted from the experience of the game a little. Then people in the game started running around in circles like headless chickens. This detracted from the game a lot, I was no longer playing The Godfather, I was playing generic mobster game #254. For a game that tries to bring new ideas and concepts to the table, it’s a shame they feel many simple things as this can be overlooked and glossed over.
Conclusion: Francis Ford Coppola, the director of the film was quoted as saying ‘I had absolutely nothing to with the game and I disapprove’. I can’t blame him for saying that, but I do feel the game had promise – I await the ‘improved’ version for the Xbox 360 this summer, I hope the bad guys stop shooting each other in that version.
Price: £30 from most online stores.
Score: 2 out of 5.