The Godfather Xbox 360 Exclusive Hands-On

We pay our respects to a near-finished Xbox 360 version of The Godfather and check out some of its new features on the next-gen console.

Currently scheduled for release in September, the Xbox 360 version of The Godfather promises to improve upon previously released versions of the game with a host of new features. We recently had an opportunity to spend a few hours with a near-finished version of The Godfather, and although that wasn't nearly long enough for us to become the Don of New York City, it did afford us a good opportunity to check out some of the promised new features and improvements for ourselves.

One of the first things you'll need to do in The Godfather is create a mob face for yourself by adjusting more than 25 different attributes using sliding bars. After settling on your appearance, the first time you'll see yourself, you'll be laid out on the ground with four disgruntled gang members kicking the crap out of you. It's at this point that enforcer Luca Brasi, acting on the orders of Don Corleone, steps in and not only saves your hide but also takes you under his wing and offers you some combat tips. The combat controls in The Godfather are unusual but uncomplicated: You'll use the trigger buttons to lock onto and grab targets, while the right analog stick is used to throw punches in a way not entirely different to the system employed in Fight Night Round 3. Combat with firearms is equally intuitive, and although the lock-on system that lets you tweak your aim to target specific areas of the enemy worked well in every situation we encountered, a free-aim mode is also available with a touch of a button.

The other important lesson that you'll learn from Brasi before you're let loose in the city is the art of extortion. Specifically, you'll learn how to apply pressure on business owners so that they agree to pay you protection money regularly. There are at least 10 different ways to apply pressure in The Godfather, which include various hand-to-hand techniques, property damage, harming customers, or simply making threats. Apply the wrong kind of pressure, and you'll get nowhere; apply too much pressure, and the business owner will resort to violence. Every business owner in the game has a weak spot for a certain kind of pressure, and if you find out what it is and use that information correctly, you'll find that every protection payment you receive (and which the family takes a large percentage of) comes with a bonus. Many of the businesses in the game are fronts for various illegal rackets, and once you've earned the loyalty of a business owner, you'll have an opportunity to explore the rest of the building and add any rackets that you find to your growing list of business interests. The butcher shop that agreed to pay us protection money after we started trashing the place, for example, had an illegal casino upstairs.

Marlon Brando now features more polygons than ever before.

If you're not wandering or driving around New York looking for opportunities to make money and/or trouble (both earn you respect points that can be spent on improving your skills), it might be because you're taking on missions that advance the storyline and which, in many cases, see you taking an active role in memorable sequences from the movie. When you witness Don Corleone getting shot and he needs to be taken to the hospital, for example, it's you that will get to drive him there and subsequently assist Michael Corleone as he patrols the hospital to thwart any further attempts on his father's life.

Other activities you can partake in as you explore the city include bank heists, prize fights, cracking 100 safes, locating 100 hidden film reels, and buying 24 safe houses. Earning achievement points will also be a consideration in the Xbox 360 game, of course, and we're pleased to report that the 38 different achievements in our version of the game appear to run the gamut from effortlessly easy to extremely challenging. One of our favorite achievements thus far was completed by killing enemies using a number of different execution styles, as determined by the weapon used and the point of impact. The game recognizes 47 different ways for you to execute an enemy, which is more than double the number in previous versions of the game.

With all of the illegal activities that you're involved in, you can expect the police to get involved at some point, but the good news is that they can often be convinced to overlook your discretions with a bribe. When you bribe the local law enforcement, your heat indicator (which works in the same way as the GTA series' wanted-level system) will be replaced with a timer that shows you how much police-free time you've bought yourself. Bribed cops in the Xbox 360 game are even more helpful than their counterparts in other versions of the game and will fight alongside you if you get into trouble with a rival family while they're in the area. New to the Xbox 360 game is the option to hire a crew to roll with you once you earn the respect of the family. These hired guns don't come cheap, but they'll watch your back when you're on foot, and you can instruct them to fire out of car windows when you're driving.

The detail level of the game's building interiors has been significantly enhanced on the Xbox 360.

Other noticeable additions to the Xbox 360 game include persistent (or at least longer-lasting) facial damage on your character, dynamic weather, side missions that involve doing favors for various characters, and a number of previously unseen vehicles and weapons. Xbox Live will also come into play, of course, and although there's no multiplayer content, you will be able to compare your stats against those of other players on online leaderboards. Electronic Arts has also confirmed that it plans to release additional content for the game on the Xbox Live Marketplace, although no specifics have been announced at this time. We look forward to bringing you more information on The Godfather as soon as it becomes available.

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46 comments
np1001
np1001

I can't wait to play it! I've seen the movie but I haven't played the other versions! It looks awesome! Already beat saints row! Looking to beat this next!

thrifty1
thrifty1

does it have a chance with saints row coming at tyhe same time

bahamut_032
bahamut_032

Other than the fire and particle effects, I dont see anything next-gen about what EA did with this version...., unlike the job they did with fight night.

mrdogg
mrdogg

not bad not bad at all ;)

Tom1Kaskla
Tom1Kaskla

Legend_O_Dragon this looks a lot better than for the xbox or ps2.It has hi-res textures ,new lighting effects,better explosions etc.It looks a lot better.

human_fx
human_fx

Based on EA Game's target renders for this game on the 360 and the reality, I'm pretty disappointed with the visuals of the "Near finished" version of this mostly mediocre game. If it looked like the target screen shots, at least you'd feel more like the characters are real... But the animation and the overall look of the characters is terrible and the game does no justice to the amazingly good film. (A tough act to follow) Somewhere, a very, very large spirit of Marlon Brando is crying that his last contributions to his already tarnished (for example The Island of Dr. Moreau.... very crappy) legacy are in this game....

M4NI4K
M4NI4K

they shouldnt even bother with this game

guthwulf_de
guthwulf_de

anything gta-like is good for me, saints row or godfather... i don't care, i'll buy them all... :|

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

Godfather was an ok game. 360 version looks better.........

wenbin09
wenbin09

WOW!!! So much features!!! Gotta get it!!!

Legend_O_Dragon
Legend_O_Dragon

This game (graphically) looks the same as last gen. :? The game was fun on th ps2/xbox and these new features sound cool.

hotplayer220
hotplayer220

Looks like fun....and a small in advertant stab at the GTA franchise...but not really. :P

Fauij
Fauij

some of these new features look pretty cool

Fauij
Fauij

better b good not like last gen.

Ocram_Zepol
Ocram_Zepol

I hope they really improve on this game. The PS2 version sucked. It was horrible... there were only like 4 types of cars, the map wasn't helpful at all, the graphics weren't the best, and most of the buildings looked the same. If none of this is improved, then there's no reason to buy the game.

dkidfrmdbx
dkidfrmdbx

well i played d ps2 version was in my opinion better dne all d grand theft auto bcuz they it was similar but also different in some aspects it didnt feel dragged out , but the graphics could have been better but dont let dat get to u i bet the 360 version would b better

thebill1979
thebill1979

I loved the PS2 version of the game. And from what I've read, I'll love this one even more.

menzflod
menzflod

The xbox version pretty much sucked. I doubt this will be any better.

AntoniustheGrey
AntoniustheGrey

This game looks like it's going to be really good, the graphics are pretty amazing. I wonder how it's going tp lay though...

Phil709
Phil709

must. get. this. game. O_O

slyydevil
slyydevil

This doesn't look too good. Look if you will the textures on the clothing it looks like nba live '05 jersey textures. This doesn't warrant a 60 buck purchase....

mYslead
mYslead

why couldn't these improvement be in the freaking PC version.

Hellisunreal
Hellisunreal

MS at its greediest.... now with 100% more EA

bat_boro
bat_boro

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Linkin_Park28
Linkin_Park28

Its still essentailly the same game, which ive beat so for me to get this one is just a waste of money. I hope for all the people that havent that they added more missions near the end, since, in the pc version, there's only 2 missions as underboss of the family.

jjhmvandewouw
jjhmvandewouw

yes more cars one of the bad things about the first game was that there where not many difrent cars.

tdsgrl
tdsgrl

I'm a lil iffy on this one hopefully I'll like it more than I think I will.

mark_unix
mark_unix

how in the world could they have made it look worse then the PC version?

metaljeff
metaljeff

One of the funniest moments in movie history is when Michael comes up with the plan to kill Salazzo and they all sit around laughing.

dhjohns
dhjohns

On the day of my daughter's wedding, it is released! I am grateful.

the_spartan_11
the_spartan_11

Cant wait for my favorite game ever to come ot my favorite consloe ever!

abstractreality
abstractreality

this games graphics still suck. You cant even see into the cars? I mean come on, what kind of next gen game is this? Answer....it's not. It's barely last gen.

ColoradoKindBud
ColoradoKindBud

I've been dying to play this game but have held out for the 360 release. Glad to hear it was worth the wait with the extra content & upgraded graphics.

zeroking420_666
zeroking420_666

YAY! I played it on the PS2 I so going to go and picked this one up :)

catsimboy
catsimboy

Too bad I already bought it for the PC, although the PC controls sort of stink for melee combat so you just rapid fire light punches at them.

FarKiller
FarKiller

Meh I'll just get Saints Row. Last gen game with improved visuals, or a game built from the ground up as a next gen title? Should be an easy choice.

chex81
chex81

meh...doesnt impress me one bit. Ill be sticking with my excitement...Saints Row.

spydrman5472
spydrman5472

I made a similar post on the Just Cause demo thread, and honestly, as a huge fan of sandbox games I am completely torn as to what to buy. Saint's Row, The Godfather, and Just Cause are all being released within a month of one another (give or take a few days) and I have no idea which one is going to be worth my money. The problem is I dunno if I can wait for the latter of the two and I will probably end up springing for Saint's Row and at least one of the others. It's so hard to game on a budget when so many appealing, albeit similar, games are being released. Then again, that's not necessarily such a bad thing, haha.

gamefreakwill
gamefreakwill

The Godfather on last gen was pretty cool and a lot of fun. I'm sure the Xbox 360 version will be much better with its editional content and beter visuals that take advantage of the 360's power.

Benny_is_here
Benny_is_here

Sounds interesting. I never played the Godfather on last gen.