previews\ Feb 26, 2007 at 7:00 pm

The Godfather The Don's Edition - PS3 - Preview

When the all-too-familiar strains of The Godfather theme (a Henry Mancini composition) fill the speakers, there are certain expectations from the game about to be played.

Ok, if you’ve read the review for the 360 version of the game, you have the basic gist of the latest release of The Godfather. EA has put out a new edition titled The Godfather The Don’s Edition.

At its core, this is the same game as the one reviewed back in September of 2006. Hmm, you are wondering, so why should I buy a copy for the PS3? One reason would be the graphics. They are stunning. Not only do the game characters look and sound like the actors that portrayed them on the big screen, but the whole graphical upgrade to the PS3’s 1080 resolution makes the game a much stronger bit of eye candy. There are times when you will stop and stare.

Take, for example, character customization. A person could get lost in this mode, just creating the young Italian recruited into the Corleone family.

The Godfather The Don's Edition screenshots

But let’s backstep and set up the basic game storyline.

The game essentially takes place in New York between 1945 and 1955. The initial scene takes place earlier with an “acquaintance” of Don Corleone paying his respects to the Don, reminding someone that they need to remember to be grateful to the Don, and then getting blown away by machine guns in an alley. His young son sees the aftermath, and is not only heartbroken, but rather angry. The Don shows up and comforts the boy, telling him that this is not the time for revenge, but that the time will come.

Fast forward to the wedding of Connie Corleone. Luca Brasi is outside the house while inside, the mother of that once boy is pleading with the Don to look after her son. He has taken up with those street thugs and is heading for trouble. The Don agrees and sends Brasi to find the kid. It is at that point that Brasi (bearing the likeness of the movie actor Lenny Montana) takes the kid (played by the gamer) under his wing … well, Ok, it is a short wing span. Luca is killed by Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo and you strike back violently, then have a driving mission to cross town – with the clock ticking – to a safe house.

But that is getting a little ahead of ourselves. More things are happening on the screen, in the background, and there are other side elements that enhance the overall experience of the game itself. As you gain notoriety, photographers may try to snag a picture of you going about “family” business. If you don’t react, you will find that the overall heat on you increases – which is not a good thing. Bribing is a bigger part of this scenario. You need to work to convince the photographer to NOT publish the images.

The Godfather The Don's Edition screenshots

Mob couriers can be hit, either by you or by your rivals on your couriers. Prostitutes act as go-betweens in dealings with police, and may even have information on certain police officials that will enable you to coerce them into siding with you.

The PS3 version also enables different styles of play, as opposed to the run ‘n gun linear mission pacing. New skill sets are the Enforcer or the Negotiator – two styles of gameplay that are pretty much what one would expect from the names. You can arm yourself with the weapon of your choice much easier now, thanks to the weapon wheel – a popup armory.

The Godfather The Don's Edition screenshots

Combat, which was a bit of hit or miss on the 360,  has been upgraded and the SIXAXIS controller does play a minor role. Grappling is as easy as moving the controller side to side, as opposed to using the analog sticks. Overall, the combat feels a bit tighter than the 360 version.

While the game does have a very strong mission path, players can freelance a bit more thanks to the game’s ability to interact with the citizens of New York. Yes, this tracks the same path as the 360, but with the photographers, mob couriers and prostitutes involved, the whole city seems more alive with opportunity.

Slated for release in mid-March, The Don’s Edition takes a strong next-gen foundation and certainly builds on it. There is a lot of violence and profanity, but that is just part of the Godfather’s world.

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