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The Godfather Blackhand Edition
Out now!

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The Godfather Blackhand Edition - Review ( cont'd )
Written by James Hobbs

That said, once you get really stuck into the game, the graphics do begin to take second-place to the rest of the game. The Godfather, as with most EA games, sports a character creation system that allows you to personalise your mobster, and after youíve entered the game properly there is a vast degree of customisation available to you. As you Ďlevel up,í by earning respect, you have the ability to develop your character in certain key areas. If you like smashing people around the head with weapons, you can develop your more violent skills Ė if you prefer negotiation, you can develop the relevant skills to improve your success rate. Itís a well-thought out and easy to use system, and it does have an effect on the gameplay. Respect is earnt by killing people, completing missions, or by finding hidden items, all of which occur naturally throughout the game, so levelling up is a simple case of progression through the story, tied in with your progression as a character. It doesnít feel particularly tacked-on and pointless, as perhaps it could, and itís one aspect of the game that really pleases.

In addition to roaming the streets, you can also Ďjack people up, yo.í That is to say, you can run up to their vehicle, fumble about with the A button, and eventually get inside. For some reason, itís somewhat tricky to actually get inside vehicles. Itís not a major problem, but it is symptomatic of The Godfatherís controls in general: ever so slightly tricky. The camera is rotated by using the D-Pad, and it really doesnít work that well Ė the D-Pad is far too high to be manipulated comfortably, even with my freakishly long fingers. I also had problems with the aiming system Ė inverting the controls resulted in the Wii remote ceasing to function almost entirely when in Ďfree aimí mode. This may well have been due to my left-handedness, but as far as Iím concerned thatís the fault of the developers. Donít invert the controls, and in general the control system is good.

Itís undeniably satisfying to sneak up behind someone and throttling them by shaking the Wii remote and nunchuck together, and the ability to perform execution moves is a nice touch Ė thereís a multitude of weapons and a multitude of ways in which to use them to kill people. Whether youíre extorting businesses, taking over illegal rackets, bribing the police, or performing missions for the family, thereís something strangely satisfying about the whole affair that makes The Godfather seem like a Ďproperí game, instead of a collection of minigames that are loosely tied together. The absence of loading screens as you move around the city is also a massive bonus, and certainly adds to the experience Ė you can play uninterrupted for quite some time, and thereís plenty to do.

The Godfather Blackhand Edition is a solid title that could have been far better if more time had been spent on it. Whilst itís not graphically up to scratch, itís clear that considerable effort has been put into the rest of the game, and this does shine through as you play. If youíre a fan of the films and youíve been hankering for a bit of GTA-style violence on your Wii, then itís definitely worth investing in.

The verdict:

An immersive and generally solid title that will please fans of the film and those who like GTA.


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