reviews\ Apr 2, 2006 at 8:00 pm

The Godfather - PC - Review

The GTA-style, anti-hero genre may be getting very flooded with run-of-the-mill games, but that hasn’t stopped EA from throwing their hat into the ring to hop on this cash-cow. Not only that, but they’ve done so with a vengeance by snapping up the mother of all licenses, The Godfather. Thankfully, The Godfather plays out not so much as a GTA-clone, but rather a fairly deep and engrossing GTA-style adventure with several possible ways to play the game. While not without some pretty glaring flaws, The Godfather is a good game that stays pretty loyal to its high profile license.


In the game, you don’t play as any existing character from the movies or the book. Instead, the Godfather puts you in the role of a small-time criminal who gets hooked up early on with the infamous Corleone family, headed by Don Vito Corleone. You begin by creating your character, via a robust character creation mode. This mode is similar to the one that EA recently implemented in their Tiger Woods games, allowing you to edit your character however you see fit.



You run the gamut of missions of the game in the name of the Corleones, starting out by taking a cut of businesses and performing smaller operations and eventually taking on higher-profile missions and gaining more respect within the family and even potentially heading up the Corleones’ New York end of operations if you do well enough. The missions that you perform coincide with events that took place in the film. For example, early on during the tutorial portion of the game, you are training with Luca Brasi when he gets killed, not to mention that you’re the one who puts the famous horse head in the bed, nice touches that give you the feeling that your really experiencing the events in the film, even if your character is created exclusively for the game.


The 1940’s New York City presented in the game is very well done. The game space is very big and has a very detailed and authentic look. The entire place is very active, with lots of activity, from people talking on the streets to business, both legit and non.



The game is very open-ended, allowing you to complete much of the game as you see fit. You can be as diplomatic as you want to be, running your businesses by buying off people and being generally non-violent or you can utilize the “Blackhand”, and taking your power and control by force. You have a fair amount of resources for defeating enemies, ranging from all-out brawling to weaponry like Tommy Guns, Pistols and Molotov Cocktails. You have a lot of moves to utilize when you are trying to take someone out with your hands, and you can use the environment as well. In fact, when extorting a business, sometimes you can use things in their shop or place of business against them to “will” them into doing what you want, similar to the torture system used in The Punisher last year.


However, the game does fall prey to some pretty nasty flaws. For starters, the PC has some very awkward controls. The game demands a dual-analog gamepad of sorts; otherwise you’ll be left stabbing away at the keyboard and pushing your mouse around in order to perform basic moves like punching faces and throwing people against walls.



The AI can also be quite problematic at times. While it’s not exactly dumb generally, it does do some buggy things, as there are some instances of enemies just stopping dead in their tracks and waiting for you to shoot them.


Graphically, the game looks fairly nice. The principal characters all have their official likenesses with the exception of Michael Corleone, originally played by Al Pacino. However, while the main characters look very realistic, everyone else has a very generic look and the environments are pretty drab, and look plain.


The sound is very good. Much of the original cast members returned to do some voice work on the game, and the results are great. Even The Godfather himself, Marlon Brando, worked with EA shortly before his death on recording some new dialogue just for the game. The immortal Godfather theme song is also present, a nice touch for fans of the films.


The Godfather is a fun game that may have a few problems, but is generally a good and authentic experience based on one of the most beloved film franchises in movie history.


Review Scoring Details for The Godfather

Gameplay: 8.0
The Godfather has some great gameplay elements, and stands as an engaging open-ended game. However, the game does have flaws, like awkward PC controls and some spotty AI.

Graphics: 7.5
Graphically, the game is a bit of a mixed bag, with some very impressive main characters sporting the official likenesses of the original actors (with the glaring exception of Michael). However, the rest of the characters look pretty plain, and the environments lack a lot of graphical detail.

Sound: 9.0
The voice acting is spot on, featuring many of the original actors from the films. The Godfather theme song is also a great touch.

Difficulty:  Medium

Concept: 8.5
While the gameplay may have some problems, EA certainly cut no corners while making this game an authentic Godfather experience.


Overall: 8.0
The Godfather is a good game that keeps incredibly true to its license. While the gameplay might have some issues, the game stands as a compelling game that fans of the films should check out.


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