The Godfather is perhaps the greatest movie of all time, one of Al Pacino’s most iconic roles as Michael Corleone along with Marlon Brando as “The Godfather”, Vito Corleone. The movie in summary follows the Corleone family, headed by Don Vito Corleone with his sons Sunny and Michael Corleone along with Fredo Corleone serving as underbosses and civilians. After a attempted hit that proves fatal on Vito Corleone, Sunny takes the Don position in the crime family but later is taken out by a firing squad at a toll booth. Michael takes control of the Corleones after a fatal heart attack takes out Vito, Micheal then takes out all Don’s and other loose ends in the conclusion of the film.
Electronic Arts (EA) would announce development for The Godfather in early 2004, leaving EA Redwood Shores with the task of developing the game. The game would launch in early 2006 on Playstation 2, Xbox and PC. The game was in sense a clone of Grand Theft Auto, a open world game set in the 40s and 50s retelling events that took place in the film such as Vito’s hit, Sunny’s death and Michaels checkmate. You play as the son of a baker who is killed by the mob, conveniently Don Corleone is there and takes a young boy named Aldo into the family. From their you rise the ranks from soldier to don, but this game had a unique feature that also stayed with me. Being the Godfather means you must take over business, crack some eggs to make a omelet, so in the game you have to contend and fight to take businesses from the other 4 families during the war between all 5 rival families. So you would plant foot soliders at your owned businesses and invade other familes operations to interfere with their cash flow. Now the story would play out different in a way that your customized character is also in the story, so all those major scenes from the film also co-star you in them.
Now leading into Godfather 2, the game follows the film pretty closely too. But to give you a summery the film follows Michaels rise from being a war hero to a Don of his Corleone empire while also telling the tale of the late Vito Corleone, from his Sicilian childhood to how he began his empire in Hells Kitchen New York. The film also saw Fredo Corleone betray his brother Michael by plotting to have him killed with Hyman Roth.
The game would begin development in mid 2007 and was hosted by EA and left to EA Redwood Shores to develop. The game follows Dominic, a member of the Corleone family that is being reformed by Michael. You start at Hyman Roths “retirement party” in Cuba but Michael and party find themselves dead smack in the center of a revolution. Michael takes a backseat and you become don right after the first few missions. It plays very similar to the first game but the biggest difference is the giant fuck you that happens when you get to Miami. So since the movie does take place in different locations other than New York, the game allows you to go to Cuba and Miami. But after you’ve played in Miami for a while you get set up by Hyman, which is expected but the game makes you hate this man Hyman Roth, introducing the Granados, they come in and have a cutscene showing them taking pretty much all your businesses and killing some of your men in your for family, for me my 2 level 3 capos were killed. After the long rebuilding you eventually get Roth back, nothing felt better than shooting that bastard myself in my suit and fedora.
Both games highhandedly kept me busy and entertained. I feel Godfather 1 was the best game for the retelling of a familiar take on a old tale but game-play wise I think Godfather 2 had a more entertaining experience, offered a fresher and improved system that i wish more games had used. I found Don’s View really well, Don’s View pretty much is how you build your family, select where to send soldiers to attack and more. But both games are fun, if you never watched the film it’s an even more fun game, I had played the first Godfather video game when I was 4 and can remember how shocked I was when I did the mission to leave a dead horse in Mr. Woltz bed, shit was crazy. If you never played these classics, do it, please because it is a fun experience to revisit and view a timeless classic that defines the mafia genre.