The Godfather Impressions

EA's open-ended movie game gets pushed back to next year, but at least we know a little more about it now.

Earlier today, Electronic Arts announced that its upcoming game, The Godfather, was getting pushed out of this year and into next. But enough about that. The company also revealed some interesting new details about the game that make it sound like it'll be worth the wait.

The game runs concurrent to the plot of the film and crosses paths with moments in the film a handful of times, too. You'll play as an up-and-coming mobster in the Corleone family, and you'll be handling a lot of tasks that were referenced, but not necessarily shown, in the original movie. But there's more to the game than just filling in the blanks. There will be a wide-open city to explore and lots of turf--turf that's run by one of New York's five crime families. You'll be able to run the other families out of town by taking over their turf, shaking down their businesses, hijacking their smuggling trucks, and, eventually, taking over their warehouse and running their entire operation.

Respect will play a big part in the game. As you attempt to rise through the ranks of your family, you'll want to do it quickly and cleanly. Well, maybe cleanly isn't the right word. You'll earn more respect if you get up close and personal when doing your dirty work than you will if you take a distant approach. Killing a man with your bare hands earns you a much better rep than just blasting him from behind cover. You'll also have to bribe cops, and they'll respond to you much better if you aren't a total psycho.

The Godfather also takes a few pages out of the books of other recent EA games. Much like how some of the company's sports games have the "game face" feature, which lets you create your own characters, The Godfather will have "mob face." To fit with the story, you'll always be creating an Italian male, but beyond that, you're given a choice of jaws, chins, hair, brows, facial hair, hats, glasses, clothes, and so on. Along the way, you'll earn money that can be spent upgrading your character's look with better clothes.

While you'll be capable of some pretty violent acts in the game, restraint seems to be key. A business owner can't split his profits with your family if he's dead. And a dead cop won't help you out in a fight...but an intimidated one might. Knowing where the line is between scaring a mark into submission and straight-up killing him sounds like it'll be pretty important knowledge.

Though the game was only shown on video, the footage was said to be from a recent Xbox version of the game, and it looked pretty good. The characters are defined and appear to move well. The standout effect, most definitely, is the fire effect you'll see when using Molotov cocktails or blowing up vehicles. It looks really, really rad.

While the delay of the game means that EA can get away with showing off less of the game at this point, the portions on display definitely look interesting. The developers seem committed to holding off on shipping the game until it's done right, so we'll have to wait and see how it comes together over the coming months.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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