The Godfather The Don's Edition PlayStation 3
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
Launch periods can both be delightful and dreadful for those who pick up a new console as soon as it becomes available. If you do manage to secure yourself a console (which hasn't been a problem with the PlayStation 3, thank goodness) then you have the task of selecting what games you'll want to play on your console, which is never an easy choice with so few titles being available. Whilst some aren't too pleased to see games bought over from previous consoles it can be a blessing in disguise during a launch period, particularly when the game in question is as enjoyable as The Godfather.
The Godfather The Don's Edition is pretty much the same as the previous versions of the game albeit with a few exceptions which we'll come to in a moment. In The Godfather The Don's Edition your character works for the Corleone family and is one of your own creations (you get to use a character creation utility called Mob-Face which allows you to give your gangster that custom look) and there are many elements that have been created for the game. There are quite a few film sequences interwoven into the game sections and for the most part it feels pretty much like a natural synthesis, which is quite an achievement.
Whilst there is a main plot thread you are free to do what you want in the game (in the same way that you can in the GTA games). You can roam the streets, steal cars and beat up rival gang members etc. as much as you wish. Of course the 1940's New York setting gives the game a different feel to the GTA games (and to some degree a more interesting setting). You'll get to extort shopkeepers, enter brothels and do all kinds of stuff to raise heat and vendetta gauges. Police can be bribed (sometimes) and gang warfare can breakout if you antagonise a rival family too much.
Of course being able to do as you please is all well and good but does it have any advantages? Well actually it does because you can earn respect points, which are used to level-up your character and improve his attributes (such as fighting, shooting, health, speed and street smarts). Levelling-up your character makes later challenges less of a pain so every once in a while it's worth taking a rest from the main plot and spending time developing your character. Once you reach the rank of Enforcer you'll be able to recruit mobsters to fight by your side. The game is quite lengthy and should keep you busy for 20 hours or more.
The PlayStation 3 version of The Godfather does offer a few differences. You'll notice a section called Corleone Challenges which allows you to play a variety of Triggerman, Professional, Takeovers and Freelance challenges. Your performance is rated and uploaded to compare with others' scores. The motion sensing capabilities of the Sixaxis controller can be used to carry out certain attacks. The bonus videos are also a PlayStation 3 extra. There are some new locations here too. You can now form your own crew and have them fight alongside you. These may seem like substantial extras but in truth they only enhance the experience a little so if you've already completed a version of The Godfather there's not enough here to make a second purchase worthwhile.
If you're expecting the game to have a next generation look to it then you're going to be disappointed. If you're playing on a standard TV set then you won't see much difference between the PlayStation 3, Wii or PlayStation 2 versions. On a HD display things look a little better but the game still doesn't look anywhere near as good as you might hope for. Load times are quite lengthy too. Unlike the PlayStation 2 version however, the frame rate in the PlayStation 3 version doesn't become choppy when driving around.
The Godfather The Don's Edition does offer subtitles although they aren't enabled by default. The Mob Tactics (which are small tutorial videos) and other tutorial messages are shown in text. The bonus video clips are also subtitled. Cutscenes are subtitled (although there are no character names or portraits placed alongside the text) so you'll be able to follow the game's story and all the essential dialogue is shown in text. Respect and vendetta notifications are all in text. Gauges are shown during extortions (so you can see how they are progressing) and your compass will show you where you need to go at all times. The subtitles in the game aren't colour-coded although this doesn't cause any real problems. Not all speech is subtitled though. Some comments from passers-by in the street and insults you'll receive from your enemies during a battle aren't subtitled but thankfully this doesn't spoil anything. One thing I have to mention is how small the subtitles are when playing on a standard TV set. If you're sitting more than about five feet away then the text may be too small. On the Mob Tactics and bonus video clips it's also difficult to see the text at times because it's not placed in its own dialogue box and all too often it's difficult to make out the text due to the colour of the background.
Fans of the movie and indeed games such as Grand Theft Auto III will enjoy what The Godfather The Don's Edition has to offer. In terms of how it looks the game is disappointing but it's one of those games where the quality of the game-play manages to overcome the graphical inadequacies. Whilst the PlayStation 3 extras are welcome they aren't enough to justify a second purchase so if you've already played the game on another format then you may wish to give this version a miss. If you haven't played a previous version then The Godfather The Don's Edition is definitely a game worthy of your attention and is easily one of the better games to be released during the PlayStation 3 launch period.
The Godfather The Don's Edition is a welcome addition to the PlayStation 3 game catalogue. Graphically the game is disappointing in that it offers no improvements over versions that have appeared on other formats but from a game-play standpoint it's very enjoyable and even manages to make some use of the motion sensing capabilities of the Sixaxis controller.