reviewed on PC
There was a time when games based on movies were aberrations designed only to squeeze money from the few fools who liked the film so much that they would spend another $50 on it. But over the last few years a surge of games that don't really suck has started to change that trend; The Godfather, the latest of those recent games based on movies, mixes lots of gameplay features from the Grand Theft Auto series with some fresh ideas.
As soon as you start the game you will notice that EA really worked on the interface and it looks clean and elegant. The menu music is based on the Godfather's soundtrack and it in fits perfectly and helps improve the grim mood of the game a lot. The options menu contains one of the few auto-configuration video setups which actually works, but it is overshadowed by a buggy options screen which won't let you adjust sound or controller options without freezing once every three times.
The game begins with a video where your father gets killed right in front of your eyes. After that you are taken to a character creation screen similar to EA Sports' games where you can really bring to life any kind of character you want, down to the mole in the forehead. Actually, the character creation mode is a fundamental part of the game which adds lots of depth and strategy to the game. Changing your character's look isn't important as far as gameplay goes, but I always like making a character as similar to myself as possible.
Once you finish changing your appearance you will be able to dress your character up. At the beginning of the game you will only have very few outfits to choose from, but as you progress you can buy more clothing. Dressing well is important because it earns you respect which is very important in negotiations (more on that later). The character creation goes a bit further with the skills you can improve as you gain more respect and complete the game missions. For every level, you get one point which you can spend on skills like fighting, shooting, running or health. After a deep and interesting half an hour creating Maguzzio, he was ready to become a productive member of the Corleone family.
Initiation to Mafia
After creating your character, you will be treated to another video where your mother asks the Don himself to look after you. A short time later you will be assigned as an enforcer of the Corleone family and will receive missions such as extorting a business to make them pay you some protection money. This reminded me of the few Grand Theft Auto missions where you have to make people 'look at things your way', but the Godfather pays a lot more attention to these kinds of missions. Men from the other families protect the doors of businesses that you can take over. After you dispose of them you can enter the building and make the owner understand it is in his best interest to be protected by the Corleones, rather than the gang that let you in so easily.
You can achieve this by beating the owner around, breaking stuff, murdering his customers, etc. Sometimes even some combinations of the above are allowed. For example, you can grab the owner and break his cash register with his own head for some extra persuasion. But you should also be careful in this part. Naturally, the more you persuade him, the more money you will get for the protection, but if you push the guy too hard, he may choose to rather die than pay you any money. Negotiations, as they are called in the game, are one of the most interesting and fun parts of the Godfather, I actually found myself spending hours just finding new ways to persuade people to see things my way.
No Pros and Cons at this time