The Godfather

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The Godfather
The Godfather cover.jpg
Release date: March 21, 2006
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 2,
PlayStation Portable, Xbox,
Xbox 360
Media: Blu-ray Disc, DVD

Summary

The Godfather: The Game is a 2006 video game based on the 1972 film of the same name. The game is not the first Godfather game to be released. Another Godfather game was released in 1991, when U.S. Gold produced five stage DOS-based game on 6 floppy disks.

The game is notable in that it features the return of several original actors from the original film to lend their voice. The participating actors are James Caan as Sonny Corleone, Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, John Martino as Paulie Gatto, and Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Tessio, with the most notable absences being Marlon Brando because of his ill health and his later death, the audio producers found that the quality of the recordings were not good enough and hired an imitator (although at one point in the game, players can hear the one piece of audio that Brando recorded), John Cazale due to his death in 1978, and Al Pacino, due to his involvement with Scarface: The World Is Yours. In addition, Mark Winegardner, author of the novel The Godfather Returns, provided story editing and insight into the fictional world of the Godfather.

Electronic Arts announced in 2005 that players would 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 1930's style New York City, and have non-linear gameplay (similar to games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise). Electronic Arts has 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. EA has released a separate version for the Nintendo Wii titled The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, which includes an enhanced "Black Hand" control system that makes use of the Wii's motion control capabilities. There is also a PlayStation 3 version (titled The Godfather: The Don's Edition) that includes the "Corleone Expansion Pack" (adding new gameplay and missions) and added Shipyard and Rail yard transportation hubs for the player to "explore and exploit". The company has revealed plans for follow-up games.

Plot

1936 the game starts with a cutscene that shows a hit on the father of the main character (who, for the sake of reference, is called Aldo Trapani here, according to the default set name) and blowing up of his bakery by the Barzinis, the Corleones' rivals in New York City. In the aftermath, Don Vito Corleone comforts the child, telling him that when he is old enough and the time is right he will take his revenge. The story then fastforwards with the 1945 wedding scene in the opening of the film, wherein Aldo's mother asks Don Corleone to look after her son, who has been hanging with the wrong crowd. Luca Brasi is sent to recruit Aldo and teach him the ways of the Mafia. From this point forward, Aldo is taken under the Corleone Family's wing and works his way up in the organization.

Essentially, there are two stories in the game that intertwine, the first involving the major events of the film (with the character making central contributions) and a personal story arc. In the former, Aldo witnesses Luca Brasi's murder, plants the gun for Michael Corleone to kill Sollozzo and the police captain McCluskey, helps Rocco put the horse head in Woltz's bed, guards Don Vito Corleone at the hospital, witnesses the death of Sonny, kills significant Corleone rivals during the baptism, and appears at the meeting of the five families. In the latter storyline, Aldo befriends and later kills Corleone associate "Monk" Malone, because he turns out to be a traitor, romances his sister Frances "Frankie" Malone and takes revenge for her death, and kills Don Barzini in revenge for killing his father, as well as assisting in the murder of the heads of the other three Families.

After the story missions have been completed, the character becomes an underboss. After he takes out the rival families' compounds he becomes the Don of the family. Alongside the story missions, the player continues to participate in the business of taking over control of New York from the rival families. This includes 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. Completion of a series of prerequisites to reach 100% enables Aldo to become Don of New York in 1955.

Gameplay

Gameplay consists of undertaking and completing eighteen story missions while in the meantime performing various tasks such as taking over rival family holdings and carrying out contract hits. The missions are linear and follow the storyline of the first film, starting out with the player's recruitment by Luca Brasi after Connie Corleone's wedding and ending with the baptism of Michael Corleone's godchild during which the player plays an instrumental role in carrying out the killings of the rival family members. The player has to deal with police officers who increasingly pursue the player as the player's "heat" level increases. Similarly, the player also must contend with attacks from rival family members that increase in aggressiveness with the player's vendetta level, which is raised as the player attacks rival gang members and their businesses.

Players can increase their character's experience points, represented in the game by a "Respect" level. This level is increased as the player finishes missions or side quests or after interacting with certain non playable character. Increasing respect levels allow the player to increase attributes such as health and speed, while skills include fighting, shooting and street smarts.

A central part of the game is gaining control of local businesses, illegal rackets, warehouses, compounds, and transportation. Each family has a controlling interest in the game's locales of Little Italy, Brooklyn, Midtown, Hell's Kitchen, and New Jersey. The player accomplishes this by threatening business/racket owners. Racket owners can also be bought out. Each business controlled generates income for the Corleone family and the player's character. Pay outs vary depending on the effectiveness of the player's tactics and is made easier with higher "Street Smart" levels. Later releases of the game allow players to take over businesses by doing favors for business owners.

The player's ultimate goal is making his way through the ranks and progressing up the ladder through various titles within the family from Outsider all the way to "Don of New York."

Links

Official Website