The Sopranos: Road to Respect PS2 Review

In four hours you can do a lot of things, but to complete a game in this little amount of time is just criminal. There, we’ve done it, and told you right off the bat one of this gaming adaptations biggest downfalls, although even if the length of the game had been considerably stretched, we think there’s much better titles that are more deserving of the warm hospitality found under your consoles lid.

Joey LaRocca (the bastard son of Big Pussy from the show) is the newest member of the Soprano clan. Tony catches him snatching purses and offers him a job and the chance to make something more of himself opposed to his earlier pitiful existence. It has to be said that mixing with popular characters from the show is going to give fans a real thrill (James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico, Steve Van Zandt, Joseph R. Gannascoli and Vincent Pastore also lent their voices to Road to Respect), but the rest of the game unfortunately feels half-baked and lacking in personality.

In a nutshell Road to Respect is a linear brawling game that doesn’t do things terribly, but it’s certainly shown up by superior titles in the genre. Yes, there’s nothing broken about this one, but the execution could have been much better.

The fighting has all the usual nuts and bolts, meaning fists, weapons and brutality. Special moves and environmental attacks are particularly cringe worthy and include such unsightly things as twisting an enemies testicles (it hurts just thinking about it!), breaking a limb, or throttling someone with your bare hands. The environmental attacks give you such niceties as slamming your victims into walls, bashing their heads against solid stuff, stabbing them in the eyeball with a pen, pushing their heads down toilets and other very illegal things.

The game also gives you the liberty of using a gun, although utilising it will contribute to you losing respect, and repeatedly killing someone in such a way will eventually get you iced by the family. You can donate money to the Soprano “cause“, which increases your level of respect, a very good thing if you have been a bit trigger happy with your firearm.

Also tied to the respect system is the manner in which you converse with people. You can get Joey to act all tough, neutral, or smooth when prompted following the appearance of these options on the screen during the games story sequences. It’s not really difficult to decide what attitude to use in each situation, although it’s a nice touch all the same, albeit a soulless one.

There’s a lot of sandwich filler that sees you running around and conversing with people before the fighting, and even the opportunity to play some Poker in the Bada Bing Nightclub, but we felt that there was nothing engaging enough about the game to hold our interest, yes perhaps that four hour completion time is more merciful than anything (if you’ve spent £30 on it opinions may differ).

The Sopranos: Road to Respect is enjoyable enough, but when compared to similar titles it just can’t escape from being a very average game. In a few months this is one of those titles that will most likely be forgotten and relegated to the bargain bins where it belongs.