Now if you're telling me that you don't know the saying "We'll give him an offer that he cannot refuse", then you really need to brush up on your great Mob movies of the past. In 2006, EA released The Godfather for PC, PS2, and Xbox. For a movie game, it had some good controls, good smooth graphics and decent gameplay. Now, a year later, EA gives us an update to The Godfather with the Wii entitled the Blackhand Edition. Could EA really make a good game better for a popular next-gen system?
Fortunately they did.
For those who haven't played the original, The Godfather is another Grand Theft Auto style game that takes you around a city that is free to explore in the third person. There are some big differences though. What makes this game less like GTA and more The Godfather is that there are plenty of side quests that are quite different from what you do in any of the GTA games. You are able to go to stores and markets to extort the business owners so that they pay you for protection. Once you do that, you can buy out the racket or the illegal business being run in the back of the establishment or in the basement. It's one of the main ways of making money so you can buy weapons, safe houses and ammo. The more businesses you own, the more money you make each payday. Too bad there aren't more businesses to extort, because New York is a large city, and there are a lot of empty spaces on the streets where there are businesses that you can't interact with. This isn't a huge problem, because it would take a lot more time, and sacrifices would have to be made to be able to fit the entire game on a DVD.
The plot of this game, of course, is that of The Godfather Part I. Now a good portion of movie games aren't done that well, and end up selling at low prices at your local Wal-Mart, but what makes this game different is that you are not playing as a character from the original movie. You play as a young Italian boy who gets the opportunity to work for the Corleone family and work his way up through the ranks in the family. The plot takes you through the first movie as you work behind the scenes helping out the family. You rise up through the family ranks starting out as an Outsider, and then eventually you will become the Don of NYC. You do the dirty work for the family by running missions for different members of the family. You hide the gun in the Italian Restaurant for Michael to find in the bathroom so that he can shoot Salazzo and the Inspector. Then you drive Michael to the docks so that he can leave for Sicily. There are so many things that they make you do for the family; it just makes you feel like you're a part of the family. This really draws you into the game because it gives you another perspective of the movie that adds a much deeper look into the Corleone family business in the 1950's. The whole behind the scenes idea really makes this game interesting. You are a part of every little thing that happens through out the movie.
EA took the time to add a huge amount of extras to make the game much more interesting and deep. One of the additions includes an RPG style character development scheme that lets you upgrade your characters skills by building up respect from missions. When you get enough respect, you can upgrade your character with new skills like planting car bombs, run faster, more health and a huge amount of other upgrades. There are also more missions, hit contracts, weapons, cars, and many other things so you won't get bored of the game.
Another huge addition is, of course, motion-sensing controls with the Wii Remote. The control scheme is awesome, and you can use a lot of different motions to do anything from opening a door to strangling your opponent. It is quite easy to learn and almost master these controls at the beginning of the game. The in-game tutorials are great, as Luca Brassi teaches you quickly and easily. A great thing about the tutorials is that when they teach you the controls, you're actually executing a mission and you learn how to use the attacks easily. One thing that was quite noticeable was how the tutorials weren't boring at all. The tutorials were fun because they had a real bearing on the story.
Aiming was extremely easy with the Wii Remote because EA gives you two options for aiming and shooting. You can shoot by targeting an enemy or object and you can move the Wii Remote to point at points on their bodies. It's like an updated Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess targeting system. The other option is a free-aim mode where you can just aim at the screen, which takes a bit more skill. But even though the second free aim style is fun, it's not that great compared to the first option as the targeting makes taking out people and setting up executions much simpler. The amount of options that are given to you for types of attacks and executions makes the game a lot of fun to play with just the motion-sensing. Beware though, if you don't like serious animated violence, the executions are brutal; but that's the way executions are supposed to be. It's The Godfather, there's no mercy.
The motion controls are quite intuitive, meaning that what you do with the controllers will do what it's supposed to. If you are too jittery while playing this game, you will find it annoying because if you swing the remote three times, he will punch three times. Doesn't matter how fast you do it. It makes the game require much more precision. This control scheme is definitely going to set standards for future action games that come to the Wii.
The overall graphics weren't really that well done. The detail on the faces is half decent, you can actually make out who the characters are, but that's not the problem. When you're driving you may notice it looks like the end of the earth is approaching, and it makes the game look not so seamless when you're running or moving throughout the city. EA could have taken the time to work with the Wii graphics engine a little more. There aren't any serious glitches when you're in a mission, like you won't be able to see your enemies through the walls when you walk up close enough. Even though the graphics may not be the greatest, but the game isn't lagged by any of the little glitches. The loading times aren't that long, which means less time waiting to start a mission, and when you're driving through the city; there aren't any load times in between different areas of the map or when walking into a business.
Overall, the game was a great special update for the Wii and has really fun gameplay with the whole intuitive motion-sensing for different styles of attacks. The RPG elements make you want to get the most respect you can out of every mission and the amount of additions to the Wii version are quite substantial. Overall, the game is a great mobster game that everyone has to try if they liked The Godfather movies.