The Godfather: The Game

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The Godfather: The Game
Box art
Box art for The Godfather: The Game
Developer(s) EA Redwood Shores
Headgate Studios (PC)
Babaroga (Mobile phone)
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Composer(s) Bill Conti
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
Xbox
PlayStation Portable
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Wii
Release date(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 & Xbox
  • NA March 21, 2006
  • PAL March 24, 2006
  • JP March 22, 2007 (PS2 only)
PlayStation Portable
  • NA September 19, 2006
  • AUS September 21, 2006
  • EU September 22, 2006
Xbox 360
  • NA September 19, 2006
  • EU September 22, 2006
  • AUS September 28, 2006
  • JP January 25, 2007
PlayStation 3
  • NA March 20, 2007
  • AUS March 22, 2007
  • EU April 20, 2007
  • JP October 11, 2007
Wii
  • NA March 20, 2007
  • EU March 23, 2007
  • AUS March 29, 2007
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc

The Godfather: The Game is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Electronic Arts. It is the first video game in the Godfather series and based upon the 1972 film of the same name. Originally released in March 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows, The Godfather has since been released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. A smaller variant of the game has also been published for the PlayStation Portable.

The game is notable in that it features the return of several actors from the original film to lend their voice. The participating actors are James Caan as Sonny Corleone, Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen and Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Tessio, with the most notable absences being Marlon Brando (because of his ill health and his impending death, the audio producers found that the quality of the recordings were not good enough and hired an imitator, although players can hear one piece of audio that Brando recorded)[citation needed], John Cazale (due to his death in 1978), Richard Castellano (due to his death in 1988) and Al Pacino (who is absent in image as well as voice, choosing to lend his image instead to Scarface: The World Is Yours).[1] Another notable absence is Gianni Russo, who played Carlo Rizzi in the film, and who was still alive while the game was being developed.

Plot[edit]

The game starts in 1936 in Little Italy with a cutscene that shows the death of Johnny Trapani (Jarion Monroe), the father of the main character Aldo Trapani (Andrew Pifko/Amanda Moody) and the destruction of his bakery by the Barzini crime family, one of the Corleones' rivals in New York. In the aftermath, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando/Doug Abrahams) comforts the child, telling him that when he is old enough and the time is right he will have his revenge. The story then moves to 1945, with the wedding that begins the film. Aldo's mother, Sarafina (Sirenetta Leoni), asks Don Corleone to look after him, as he has been hanging with the wrong crowd, so the Don sends Luca Brasi (Gary Chalk) to recruit Aldo into the Mafia. From this point forward, Aldo is taken under the Corleone family's wing and begins to work his way up the organization.

The game then features two basic storylines; the first involves the major events from the film (with Aldo making major contributions) and the second sees a personal story arc develop. In the former, Aldo witnesses Luca Brasi's murder, kills Luca's assassin (Rod Gnapp), plants the gun for Michael Corleone (Joseph May) to kill Sollozzo (Richard Newman) and Captain McCluskey (Doug Abrahams), helps Rocco Lampone (Michael Dobson) put the horse's head in Jack Woltz's (Doug Abrahams) bed, guards Don Corleone at the hospital, witnesses the death of Sonny Corleone (James Caan), kills Sonny's assassins, appears at the meeting of the Five Families and kills the Dons of the four other families during the baptism scene. He also kills Sal Tessio (Abe Vigoda) and Bruno Tattaglia (Joe Paulino), although these deaths were not seen in the film. In the personal storyline, Aldo befriends and later kills Corleone underman Monk Malone (Jason Schombing), when he is revealed to be a traitor. Aldo also romances Monk's sister Frances "Frankie" Malone (Jennifer Copping), takes revenge for her death and kills Don Emilio Barzini (Michael Kopsa) as revenge for his father's murder.

After the story missions have been completed, Aldo becomes an underboss, and after he takes out the rival families' compounds, he becomes Don of the Corleone family's operations in New York. Alongside the story missions, Aldo participates in taking over control of New York from the rival families by extorting businesses and buying out rackets, seizing control of warehouses, performing contract hits, and fighting mob wars when the vendetta level between the Corleones and a rival family gets high enough.

Families[edit]

There are five mafia families in the game. Each family is distinguished by its members wearing specific color clothes as well as a coat of arms bearing the family's first initial in its color (with the exception of the Corleones, whose coat of arms bears a rampant lion).

These families are:

  • The Barzini family – the Barzini family hails from Midtown, and are the richest and most powerful family in New York. Their family color is green. The Barzinis are headed by the game's main antagonist, Don Emilio Barzini, who rules with an iron fist. He ordered the murder of Aldo's father, and is rumored to be in control of another New York Family (which is later revealed to be the Tattaglia family). The Barzini's consigliere is Domenico Mazza, and their underboss is Emillio Barzini Jr. Their three caporegimes are Pietro Testa, Giovanni Armanno and Big Bobby Toro.
  • The Tattaglia family – the Tattaglia family dominate Brooklyn, owning almost every business and racket on the Brooklyn waterfront. They have a serious rivalry with the Corleone family because of their business expansion into Little Italy, traditionally the Corleone's turf. Their family color is tan. They are headed by Don Philip Tattaglia, with his son Bruno next in line to become Don. The Tattaglias' consigliere is Freddie Nobile, and their underbosses are Bruno and Johnny Tattaglia. Their caporegimes are Tony Bianchi, Luigi Fusco and Donnie Marinelli. Under Bianchi are soldiers Mikey Saleri and Squeegie McNeese. Under Marinelli are soldiers Luigi Bonetti and Rocky Della Barca. The Tattaglia Family is also the easiest of the four rival Families to defeat.
  • The Cuneo family – the Cuneo family hails from Hell's Kitchen. Not as rich as the other families, they own few rackets and businesses, but hold on to what they do own with all their might. Their family color is red. Their head is Don Carmine Cuneo. The Cuneos' consigliere is Luciano Fabbri, and their underboss is Marco Cuneo. Their three caporegimes are Ronnie Tosca, Michael Costa, and Mario DeBellis.
  • The Stracci family – the Stracci family is based in New Jersey. Don Victor Stracci is their head. Their family color is blue. The Straccis are the most cruel and vicious family. Their consigliere is Jack Fontana, and their underboss is Salvatore Stracci. Stracci caporegimes include Oscar Zavarelle and Leon Grossi.

Development[edit]

Electronic Arts announced in 2005 that players could create mobsters of their own, customizing their character's physical features, build and clothing in a very in-depth program known as "MobFace." Also, the game would not be the traditional mission-style type but a sandbox game, in a huge free-roam New York City of the 1940s and early 1950s, and would feature non-linear gameplay (similar to games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise). EA also created the "Black Hand" control system as a means of pressuring and extorting business owners. Using the analog sticks on the game controller, players have a wide range of available methods to achieve their goals. These methods include punching, kicking, headbutting, strangling, etc.

The game engine used in The Godfather: The Game was later revamped and used in the science fiction survival horror title Dead Space, which was released in 2008. EA released a sequel to The Godfather in 2009.

Wii[edit]

The Wii version, entitled The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, is the highest rated version of The Godfather on GameRankings and IGN,[2] despite not faring as well with other publications. Developed alongside the PS3 edition, it was released on March 20, 2007. It features twenty normal missions, ten new hit missions, a new rival family seen only in the new hit missions, rooftop battles, new favors, and other extortion methods such as blackmail and bribery. Blackhand includes an enhanced "Black Hand" control system that makes use of the Wii's motion control capabilities, improving upon the Xbox 360 edition. Aiming is now handled by the pointer function of the Wii Remote, and allows more locational damage, although the lock-on option is still available in the game. Melee combat is handled using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, such as swinging a baseball bat, or throwing a molotov cocktail. Once the player has taken hold of an NPC, the player may then use a wide variety of hand-to-hand combat techniques. In total, there are 25 unique motion-based execution moves available in the game.

The Wii version also reworked the crew system; unlike the Xbox 360 version, the crew will accompany the player even after loading a saved game where a crew had been hired previously. Furthermore, players also have the ability to call in a four-man hit squad to assist in missions. This provides the player with an ability to call upon a total of five crew members at any time.

The Blackhand Edition also adds a second path that the player may take through the game, that of the operator (as opposed to the enforcer). The main method of progression is by blackmailing police, the FBI or members of other families. While the enforcer's goal is to destroy the other families through brute force, the operator's is to blackmail the police chiefs of the five boroughs by finding enough "dirt" on them during missions. The player then blackmails the chiefs, effectively allowing the player to take control of the police in that area. The police then fight alongside the player's family members and can also arrest or kill rival family members. The path of the operator also grants the player additional tactical abilities that are not open to the enforcer, such as enhanced and regenerating health, the ability to call in the four-man hit squad twice as often, enhanced crew damage and health, ability to plant car bombs and make instant stealth kills, and reduced price on bribing the FBI.

PlayStation 3[edit]

The PlayStation 3 version, titled The Godfather: The Don's Edition, worked off the Wii's interactive controlling, and utilized the Sixaxis motion sensor controls. While there are less moves available than on the Wii version, players can use Sixaxis to shove people around and perform special execution moves. However, unlike the Wii, these moves are generally finishing moves and thus not always available. The Don's Edition also includes the "Corleone Expansion Pack", which adds new gameplay and missions, and shipyard and rail yard transportation hubs for the player to "explore and exploit."[3] These new locations provide a few special scenarios, as well as five new hit missions.

Handheld[edit]

  • The PlayStation Portable version, called The Godfather: Mob Wars, does not feature free-roaming environments. Instead, the game is restricted to a series of story missions involving Aldo Trapani. However, Mob Wars includes a new turn-based strategy mode with the aim of controlling all of New York City by neutralizing the rival families, completed by issuing orders and executing them as real-time missions. The portable version of the game also lacks driving sections, even in the story missions, where driving segments are replaced with cutscenes.
  • The mobile version centers around a collection of minigames that guide the player through the storyline of the first movie. The mobile version was dubbed The Godfather Game.

Soundtrack[edit]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
PC PS2 PS3 PSP Xbox Xbox 360 Wii
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8/10[4] 8/10[4]
Eurogamer 6/10[5] 6/10[6] 7/10[7]
Game Informer 7.5/10[8] 7.5/10[11] 4.5/10[9] 7.5/10[8] 7.75/10[10] 6.5/10[12]
GamePro 4.5/5 stars[13] 3/5 stars[14] 4.5/5 stars[13] 4/5 stars[15]
Game Revolution B−[16] B[18] B−[16] C[17] B[18]
GameSpot 8.1/10[19] 8.1/10[19] 7.6/10[22] 6/10[20] 8.1/10[19] 7.9/10[21] 7.6/10[23]
GameSpy 3/5 stars[24] 3.5/5 stars[25] 3/5 stars[28] 3/5 stars[26] 3.5/5 stars[25] 4/5 stars[27] 3.5/5 stars[29]
GameTrailers 8.2/10[30] 8.2/10[30] 7.7/10[31]
GameZone 8/10[32] 8/10[33] 8.2/10[37] 6.5/10[35] 8.5/10[34] 8.8/10[36] 8.4/10[38]
IGN 7.9/10[39] 7.9/10[39] 7.5/10[42] 6.2/10[40] 7.9/10[39] 7.9/10[41] 8/10[2]
Nintendo Power 8/10[43]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 4/5 stars[44] 3/5 stars[45]
Official Xbox Magazine 6.5/10[46] 7/10[47]
PC Gamer US 73%[48]
Aggregate scores
GameRankings 73.32%[49] 77.12%[50] 71.78%[54] 60.65%[52] 78.34%[51] 77.06%[53] 77.15%[55]
Metacritic 72/100[56] 75/100[57] 70/100[61] 59/100[59] 77/100[58] 77/100[60] 77/100[62]

Reviews of the game were mixed to positive, praising how faithful the game was to the movie. However, the director of the film trilogy, Francis Ford Coppola, did not approve of the game's release.[63] Coppola denounced the game, saying that he felt that the makers were profiteering from his original work. The average results on GameRankings and Metacritic are on the Reception chart to the right.

On GameSpot, the game was ranked separately in each of four categories. The PS2, Xbox, and PC versions were rated positively with an 8.1, however, the game was criticized for the recycling of shops and buildings, making it difficult to pinpoint the player's location within the game.[19] Mob Wars received a 6 for poor gameplay.[20] On the Xbox 360, the game received 7.9 for its minor improvements, including better explosions and textures.[21] The PS3 and Wii versions were rated 7.6.[22][23] IGN gave every iteration of the game a 7.9,[39][41] except the PSP version (6.2),[40] the PS3 version (7.5)[42] and the Wii version (8).[2]

Where the Xbox version received the highest number of scores due to positive reaction, the PSP version received the lowest number due to mixed or negative reviews. PALGN stated that "The Godfather on the PSP is too scaled down to be an enjoyable game, and simply has too many flaws which stops the game from being a worthwhile recommendation."[64] Game Informer also gave it a negative review, stating, "This sad excuse for a port doesn't even deserve a body bag. Just toss it in the river."[9] 1UP.com agreed that the game has "a series of random mini-missions pushing you further away from feeling like you're a Corleone."[65] GameSpy stated that "The action portions of the game can be fairly called a stripped-down version of the console game, and the strategic Mob Wars mode feels poorly balanced and hinges more on its problematic action sequences than on real strategy."[26] GamePro was a bit more positive in stating, "The best thing you can say about The Godfather is at least the developers didn't just slap the console version into a handheld and call it [a] day."[14]

Sequel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pacino, Eastwood Got Game", Josh Grossberg
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External links[edit]