The Godfather

a game by EA Games
Platform: Playstation 2
Rating: 8/10

the Godfather is one of those movies that defines modern cinema. A tale of loyalty and respect set within the world of organized crime. The movie has become an American icon, ensuring that anything that bears its name will be held to the highest scrutiny imaginable. This rings especially true in the world of videogames, where the fans can be a jaded and discerning lot, likewise ensuring that The Godfather, the videogame bearing the movie's name, has some awfully big shoes to fill.

The Godfather is essentially Grand Theft Auto set in the world of the Corleone family. In typical GTA-influenced fashion, you can roam the streets of little Italy, causing havoc with your fists and six-shooters while jacking cars to run over pedestrians in a completely nonchalant manner ' and all without giving the main storyline much attention. Its stuff you've all seen before, sure, but The Godfather ups the ante a bit by using the movie license extremely well.

While the videogame doesn't take you through the movie's main storyline or let you play as any of the main characters found in the movie, it does answer questions not addressed in the movie. Ever wondered, for instance, about the origins of that famed horse head? Well, that, along with many other small tidbits is answered within the game, ensuring that any buffs of the movie will absolutely eat up every moment in the game.

Plus, the mechanics of the game are all pretty sharp, too. The various controls are all fairly tight (the gunplay especially so), which is better than most GTA-inspired game can say. The missions are, for the most part, well-structured, with a few really notable moments pepped throughout the game. There's a few times when the game really hits its stride, offering up an engrossing experience when you play a key role at pivotal moments in the movie.

The visuals and audio do a decent job of creating a believable world found in The Godfather. The visuals won't blow you away, but they're also not distracting, except in cases where the likeness of a character isn't used (as with Al Pacion's character). The audio is a bit hit and miss, as well, with some excellent voice-acting provided by the late Marlon Brando, but in cases where the original actor weren't used, it suffers notably.

The Godfather had some big shoes to fill, and in many ways, it did a great job. Fans of the movie can't go wrong here, and likewise, fans of free-roaming, non-linear action titles have a lot to love here as well. It might not be an offer you can outright refuse, but it comes pretty close.

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