The Godfather Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

To write a review of The Godfather without mentioning the Grand Theft Auto series would be an impossibility. Rockstar’s criminal franchise has spawned many capable copycats, and EA’s gaming adaptation of the Mario Puzo novel and 1972 movie of the same name just so happens to be one of them. This 360 version is basically the PS2 and Xbox versions with some additional content.

Yes, this isn’t a straight port over by any means, as additional missions, new executions, and AI tweaks amongst other new features assures this. One of the biggest new features is the ability to hire crew members, who follow you around and help you out during missions, this pleasing addition makes criminal life that little bit easier for you. There’s not really enough content to barter with your cash if you have already laid down some notes for the PS2 or Xbox version, but there’s no denying that this is the ultimate version of what was already a great game.

Production values were obviously high on the agenda when EA decided to adapt The Godfather into interactive format. Many of the actors that were involved in the movie have recorded dialogue and lent their likenesses to the game, including the late Marlon Brando, as well as James Caan and Robert Duvall. This means that the cut-scenes are bolstered by excellent voice acting and wonderful visual recreations of the stars.

Following a brief session, in which you control your father, you then witness him being brutally gunned down and killed, but before pursuing your thirsty desire for bloody revenge the MobFace feature is your first stop. We all know that EA are good at doing stuff like this, so it may not surprise you to tell you that you can create your own character through an expansive set of options. Having so much to play around with is always pleasing, and When you have raised enough cash you can even buy your hopeful future don a new suit, hat, or even a pair of glasses if you feel the need for a short-sighted mobster.

On foot The Godfather is a more than capable melee and shooting game that is definitely one of the best of its kind for showcasing painful looking punches as well as a great targeting system. Melee combat works in a way not too dissimilar to EA’s very own Fight Night games, as you make use of the stick to dish out the punishment and rough up some faces. Something that the fighting and shooting have in common is some rather grisly execution moves, and an on-screen prompt followed by a button press later you’ll be stamping your authority on brutality with nastiness such as snapping necks and shooting people in the face at point-blank range.

To break down the game even further, proceedings take place beginning in 1945, so obviously the games more modern peers are totally different in feel. 1945 New York has been brought to life to such a satisfying degree, that you’ll feel like you have hopped into a time machine (if there was such a thing) and landed in a ungodly place. As the game is set in the 40’s the classic motors are about as stylish as the hats that the characters wear, in that we mean not very stylish at all! Fortunately these classics are enjoyable enough to drive (although perhaps a little twitchy), and some can even peak at surprisingly rapid speeds.

There’s quite a lot to do in this intimidating New York and it always feels very much alive as friction between your family and another can lead to massive unrest, resulting in a decisive mob war. Besides the story missions you can receive hit contracts, which reward you handsomely with cash rewards and respect upon assassinating your target, even more so if you achieve the attached bonus task. Other side missions have you hassling businesses for protection money, which often requires the use of a little gentle persuasion involving a pair of knuckles and the destruction of their store or face. This extortion puts the fear of god into anyone who disagrees to your propositions, forcing them to surrender protection money and often even politely opening their back doors for you. Behind these innocent looking doors lie illegal rackets, such as brothels, money counterfeiting operations and gambling dens, which can be bought into to make your weekly pay packet a little fatter. There’s nothing quite like taking over a virtual New York city block-by-block, climbing the criminal ladder and waving enough cash around to bribe cops and end mob wars without having to resort to blowing up another families joint.

Much kudos must go to EA for managing to build a living city that not only looks great, but it rarely needs to pause to load either. Walking from the street into the interior of a building couldn’t be any more seamless then it is here. The increased horsepower of the 360 has also been tapped into a little, with improved explosions, particle effects and textures, although there’s not as much showing for it as we would have liked.

If you like Grand Theft Auto and you are hungry for more criminal action then The Godfather should give you your fill. There’s much to do on your journey to reach the rank of don, and when all is said and done The Godfather is a more than competent GTA copycat that uses its licence well without compromises to the game itself. If you already own the PS2 or Xbox version, then this 360 port doesn’t really offer enough to purchase the gaming adaptation for a second time, although for those new to the game this is definitely the version to own.