The Godfather: The Game is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Electronic Arts. It is the second video game in the Godfather series and based upon the 1972 film of the same name. Originally released in March 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows, The Godfather has since been released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. A smaller variant of the game has also been published for the PlayStation Portable.
The game is notable in that it features the return of several original actors from the original film to lend their voice. The participating actors are James Caan as Sonny Corleone, Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, John Martino as Paulie Gatto, and Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Tessio, with the most notable absences being Marlon Brando (because of his ill health and his late death, the audio producers found that the quality of the recordings were not good enough and hired an imitator, although at one point in the game, players can hear the one piece of audio that Brando recorded), John Cazale (due to his death in 1978), Richard Castellano (due to his death in 1988) and Al Pacino (who is in fact absent in image as well as voice, choosing to lend his image exclusively to Scarface: The World Is Yours[clarification needed]). In addition, Mark Winegardner, author of the novel The Godfather Returns, provided story editing and insight into the fictional world of the Godfather.
Electronic Arts announced in 2005 that players would create mobsters of their own, customizing their character's physical features, build and clothing in a very in-depth program known as "MobFace". Also, the game would not be the traditional mission-style type but a sandbox game, in a huge free-roam New York City of the 1940s and early 1950s, and have non-linear gameplay (similar to games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise). Electronic Arts has also created the "Black Hand" control system as a means of pressuring and extorting business owners. Using the analog sticks on the game controller, players have a wide range of available methods to achieve their goals. These methods include punching, kicking, headbutting, strangling, etc. EA has released a separate version for the Wii titled The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, which includes an enhanced "Black Hand" control system that makes use of the Wii's motion control capabilities. There is also a PlayStation 3 version (titled The Godfather: The Don's Edition) that includes the "Corleone Expansion Pack" (adding new gameplay and missions) and added Shipyard and Rail yard transportation hubs for the player to "explore and exploit". The game engine used in The Godfather: The Game was later revamped and used in the science-fiction survival horror title Dead Space, which was released in 2008. The company released a sequel in 2009.
Plot and overview
The game starts in 1936 with a cutscene that shows the death of Johnny Trapani, the father of the main character Aldo Trapani (The sequel confirmed that this is the canon name) and the blowing up of his bakery by the Barzini crime family, one of the Corleones' rivals in New York. In the aftermath, Don Vito Corleone comforts Aldo, telling him that when he is old enough and the time is right he will have his revenge. The story then fastforwards with the 1945 wedding scene in the opening of the film, wherein Aldo's mother asks Don Corleone to look after him, who has been hanging with the wrong crowd. Luca Brasi (Terry McGovern/Gary Chalk) is sent to recruit Aldo and teach him the ways of the Mafia. From this point forward, Aldo is taken under the Corleone Family's wing and works his way up in the organization.
Essentially, there are two stories in the game that intertwine, the first involving the major events of the film (with the character making central contributions) and a personal story arc. In the former, Aldo witnesses Luca Brasi's murder, plants the gun for Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) to kill Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey, helps Rocco Lampone put the horse head in Jack Woltz's bed, guards Don Vito Corleone at the hospital, witnesses the death of Sonny Corleone (James Caan), appears at the meeting of the five families and kills the Don's of the four other families during the baptism scene. In the latter storyline, Aldo befriends and later kills Corleone underman Marty "Monk" Malone, because he turns out to be a traitor, romances his sister Frances "Frankie" Malone and takes revenge for her death, and kills Don Emilio Barzini as revenge for killing his father, as well as assisting in the murder of the heads of the other rival families.
After the story missions have been completed, Aldo becomes an underboss. After he takes out the rival families' compounds he becomes the Don of the Corleone family's operations in New York. Alongside the story missions, Aldo continues to participate in the business of taking over control of New York from the rival families. This includes extorting businesses and buying out rackets, seizing control of warehouses, performing contract hits, and fighting mob wars when the vendetta level between the Corleones and a rival family gets high enough.
Gameplay consists of undertaking and completing eighteen story missions while in the meantime performing various tasks such as taking over rival family holdings and carrying out contract hits. The missions are linear and follow the storyline of the first film, starting out with the player's recruitment by Luca Brasi after Connie Corleone's wedding and ending with the baptism of Michael Corleone's godchild during which the player plays an instrumental role in carrying out the killings of the rival family members. Similarly, the player also must contend with attacks from rival family members that increase in aggressiveness with the player's vendetta level, which is raised as the player attacks rival gang members and their businesses.
Players can increase their character's experience points, represented in the game by a "Respect" level. This level is increased as the player finishes missions or side quests or after interacting with certain non-playable characters. Increasing respect levels allow the player to increase attributes such as health and speed, while skills include fighting, shooting and street smarts.
A central part of the game is gaining control of local businesses, illegal rackets, warehouses, compounds, and transportation hubs. Each family has a controlling interest in the game's locales of Little Italy, Brooklyn, Midtown Manhattan, Hell's Kitchen, and New Jersey. The player accomplishes this by threatening business/racket owners. Racket owners can also be bought out. Each business controlled generates income for the Corleone family and the player's character. Pay outs vary depending on the effectiveness of the player's tactics and is made easier with higher "Street Smart" levels. Later releases of the game allow players to take over businesses by doing favors for business owners.
The player's ultimate goal is making his way through the ranks and progressing up the ladder through various titles (Outsider, Enforcer, Associate, Soldier, Caporegime, UnderBoss, Don, and finally Don of New York City).
In the game there are five mafia families that have been adapted from the The Godfather. Each family is distinguished by its members wearing specific color coats as well as a shield bearing the family's first initial in its color with the exception of the Corleones, whose shield bears a rampant lion.
A PlayStation Portable version was released, titled The Godfather: Mob Wars. Unlike the console versions, Mob Wars does not feature free-roaming environments. Instead, the game is restricted to a series of story missions involving Aldo Trapani. However, Mob Wars includes a new turn-based strategy mode with the aim of controlling all of New York City by neutralizing the rival families, completed by issuing orders and executing them as real-time missions. The portable version of the game also lacks the entire section of driving, even in the story missions, where the driving segments are replaced with cutscenes.
The Wii version, entitled The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, is the highest rated version of The Godfather on Gamerankings and IGN,despite not faring as well with other publications. It features 20 normal missions, ten new hit missions, a new rival family seen only in the new hit missions, rooftop battles, new favors, and other methods such as blackmail and bribery. It was developed alongside the PS3 edition and released March 20, 2007. Improved upon the Xbox 360 edition, it includes brand new controls designed for the Wii Remote. Aiming is now handled by the pointer function of the Wii Remote, and allow more locational damages, though the lock-on option is still in the game. Melee combat is handled using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, such as swinging a baseball bat, or throwing a molotov cocktail. Once the player has taken hold of an NPC, the player may use a wide variety of hand to hand combat techniques. In total, there are 25 unique motion-based execution moves available in the game.
The Wii version also reworked the crew system; unlike the 360 edition, the crew will accompany the player even after loading a saved game where a crew had been hired previously. Furthermore, players also have the ability to call in a four-man hit squad to assist the player in missions; the gauge that is needed to be recharged can be automatically refilled if they did not sustain too much damage before the last save point, allowing player to instantly call upon them. This provides player with an ability to call upon a total of five crew members at any time.
The Blackhand Edition adds a second path that the player may take through the game, that of the operator. The main method of progression is by blackmailing police, the FBI or members of other families, and what the player does or says affects the outcome. While the enforcer's goal is to destroy the other families through brute force, the operator's is to blackmail the police chiefs of the five boroughs by finding enough "dirt" on them during missions. The player then blackmails the chiefs, enabling the bribe gauge to fill to the top for free every time the player talks to the chief, effectively allowing the player to take control of the police in that area. The police fight alongside the player's family members and can also arrest or kill rival family members. The path of the operator also grants the player additional tactical abilities that are not open to the enforcer, such as enhanced and regenerating health, the ability to call in the four-man hit squad twice as often, enhanced crew damages and health, ability to plant car bombs and make instant stealth kills, and reduced price on bribing on the police and FBI.
The PlayStation 3 version, titled The Godfather: The Don's Edition, worked off the Wii's interactive controlling, and utilized the Sixaxis motion sensor controls. While the moves available are less than those available on Wii version, players can use Sixaxis to shove people around and perform special execution moves. However, unlike the Wii, these moves are generally finishing moves and thus not always available.
Additionally, the PS3 edition has two special locales, a freighter and a train yard, that serve as transportation hubs, providing a few special scenarios, as well as five new hit missions.
The Mobile version centers around a collection of mini games that guide the player through the storyline of the first movie. The mobile version was dubbed "The Godfather Game".