The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. So when Electronic Arts announced that it was making a game based on the license, it made sense as a business venture, but it also seemed like a risky move to adapt such a beloved and well-known story to a video game. Luckily, that risk paid off. The Godfather is a satisfying, lengthy adventure, and more importantly, it remains faithful to the classic film while managing to create a compelling story of its own.
The Godfather puts you in the role of a peripheral character that didn’t appear in the film, but nevertheless played a critical role in the story. While the character is by no means an official write-in from Mario Puzo or Francis Ford Coppola, he manages to mesh fairly well with the rest of the story, a large part of which is taken directly from the film. When you start the game, you can create a mobster using customization tools similar to those found in the EA Sports games. You then begin the game and watch your father get gunned down in the streets by rival mobsters. Flash forward a few years to the wedding scene from the opening of the film, and your mother is asking the Don to take you under his wing and offer you work. As we learned from the film, no Sicilian can refuse a request for a favor on his daughter’s wedding day, so the Don sends the imposing Luca Brasi to look after you and teach you how to be a mobster.
You start off as an unofficial enforcer for the Corleone family, which means your job is to muscle merchants into paying you protection money. You do this by simply walking into a store and talking to the owner. Usually the owners won’t simply give in, but you can intimidate them by smashing up their stores (or their faces) until they start to see things your way. Once you take over a business, you get a payout each week, and there are dozens of shops you can shake down all throughout the five areas of New York. Some stores are fronts for illegal rackets, such as brothels, gambling dens, and illegitimate importing operations, and you can buy out these rackets to further increase your weekly income.