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The Godfather – The Game

EA delivers big on an open world game to challenge top dog Grand Theft Auto.

So I like to open up open world games with map sizes if I can find them. That was a major selling point back in the day – it was one thing to make an open world but as gamers became more accustomed to them they began wanting more. Bigger and better as with anything else. So I have spent the better part of two weeks looking for the actual map size of The Godfather and have hit a wall. Even going as far as contacting EA directly about it.

Thanks for your help by the way, T

During my quest I stumbled upon a very cool website called: How Big is the Map. Over there they specialize in walking, running, driving, flying and doing whatever else a game allows across a map and timing it. So even though it’ll be fairly inaccurate, given how many variables (speed, scale size of worlds ect) I’ve decided that I could still probably put together some crude math and ballpark the game’s size.

Every business on that map can be and should be extorted

Size of New York City in The Godfather: On it took them 3:30 to drive across the entire map. Knowing that Liberty City is 8.12 KM we can apply the same correlation to their trek across The Godfather’s NYC. That trek took 6:24. Which we’ll round up to 6:30. So exactly 3:00 longer to drive across. So with awful math we can assume that the world size is exactly double the size of Liberty in GTA making it: 16.24²

Size of Liberty City in GTA 3: 8.12 km² – Liberty City, loosely based on New York City, is spread out over three islands linked together by tunnels and bridges. All three islands have different gangs that control different areas of the city. The largest gang and also largely considered the antagonists of the game, being the Colombian Cartel

Size of Lost Heaven in Mafia: Approximately 10.2 The game also features a countryside outside of the city. The total area of the countryside measures between 30 and 40 square kilometers (18.75-25 sq. miles)

Size of London in The Getaway: 10.0 of photorealistic depiction of London. Burroughs in The Getaway include: Marylebone, Mayfair, Westminster, Soho, Bloomsbury, St Pancras, Holburn, Lambeth, Southwark, Borough, Finsbury, Clerkewell, Shoreditch, Barbican, Broadgate and City Of London.

A nearly flawless hybrid between the cinematic sun of the Mafia franchise and over-the-top mayhem of Grand Theft Auto, The Godfather – The Game ticks a variety of boxes making it a superb use of the license and a gaming experience most film adaptations don’t even come close to.

The game begins with you as the father of main character, Aldo Trapani, in a brief tutorial/prologue that finds the elder Trapani being gunned down by rival gang members. It cuts to a young Aldo, witnessing it all being comforted in the street by Don Corleone (Brando). Telling Aldo to remember this pain and hatred and make it work him. Ten years pass and like the movie, the Don’s daughter is being married. Aldo’s mother is granted a moment with the Don Corleone and she asks him to get her son back on track as he is now an adult mixed up in shitty street gangs. The Godfather sends his enforcer to go retrieve you and thus your life of crime begins employed by the Corleone family.

The game does a great job of covering all of the memorable moments from the film and adding your “non-canon” character into the mix. Generally, Aldo will be in the Church or the Restaurant watching from afar when the shit hits the fan but it does feel a bit more immersive and is a new angle to enjoy more pivotal parts of the story from.

Somebody is not going to finish their Stromboli

The driving feels fine enough, like Mafia with the game taking place in the 40’s and early 50’s the cars really don’t have a gigantic difference in feel and in fact the variety of vehicles in the game seems very limited but it’s not very noticeable.

As far as fisticuffs are concerned the fighting engine feels good – and is basically a scaled down version of Fight Night’s engine. With a simple targeting system it allows you to access both analog sticks to bob, weave and land small jabs or wild haymakers at other wise guys that picked a fight.

Targeting for shootouts with multiple adversaries can get a little hairy but I have yet to play a game from this era where multi-targeting quickly isn’t a bit of an issue at times. Besides, The Godfather offers a much smoother targeting system then any GTA game at the point of release (2006).

Another interesting feature besides being able to essentially extort everything with a pulse in the game is the crime war/ law enforcement bribe system. If you pick one of the four other families too much you will put your entire syndicate at risk starting a gang war. Then you have two choices, either bomb a warring families business or find an F.B.I. Agent to bribe – for $3000 he can use law enforcement to press the other gangs harder, essentially ending the War.

Electronic Arts managed to secure some of the talent to reprise their roles for the game including a small part by Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and James Caan. Al Pachino unfortunately could not commit to the project as he was already working on Scarface: The World is Yours. Having the real voice actors and likenesses is such an important piece and really legitimizes the entire project.

The largest complaints about the game were that the story mode was too short, which is true – it doesn’t seem to take much longer then 7-8 to complete all of the missions and that the constant cycle of extortion and gun fights to control warehousee can become repetitive and boring. I can see that as well, even though I am still enjoying it thoroughly. I feel as though one way the developers cleverly counteracted that repetition is by creating a level based system allowing you to upgrade either: Fighting, Shooting, Speed or Street Smarts. Also by creating each family’s thugs differently, some gangsters are much more difficult than others, forcing you to return once you have leveled up to have a better chance.

I’m a big fan of the films as is so maybe I’m fan-boying a bit but I really do believe this is one of the strongest open-world crime titles for the PlayStation 2.

Overall: 95% (Platinum)

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