E3 06: THQ whacking Sopranos on 360, PS2

New crime game based on popular HBO mob saga shipping in Q4 2006; will feature original storyline overseen by show creator David Chase.

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THQ is bringing TV's favorite mafia family to the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 2. The company today announced a game based on the hit HBO series The Sopranos, which will feature the likeness and voice of star James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. The storyline is also being developed with the input of the show's creator, David Chase.

The game itself will put you in control of the illegitimate son of Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero, played by Vincent Pastore on the show. As a mob war brews between New Jersey's Sopranos and a rival Philadelphia family, you must take on jobs and earn the respect of Tony Soprano. This involves earning money on collections, protecting your turf through intimidation, and moving up in the ranks of the organization.

The game will feature familiar locations such as the Bada Bing! strip joint and Nuovo Vesuvio's and Satriale's restaurants. Missions will be handed down from recurring characters besides Tony, such as Paulie Walnuts (played by Tony Sirico on the show), Silvio (Steve Van Zandt), and Christopher (Michael Imperioli). However, THQ did not name any specific actors other than Gandolfini, saying only that there will be "key members of the all-star cast who will lend their voices and likenesses to the game."

The Sopranos is being developed by 7 Studios, who brought the Fantastic Four game to consoles. It is currently set to ship this coming holiday season, and, given its TV-MA-rated source material, will almost certainly be rated M for Mature.

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