Godfather Blackhand review.
I decided to post my own little review on a game that puts the punch back in gaming... literally.
Before playing this gem, I'd read a few reviews and one thing all reviewers seemed to agree on is that the actions in this game are just plain and simply some of the best to grace the Wii platform. Well, it's true.
Put plain and simple, if you'd like to know what it's like to strangle the life out of a ballsy wiseguy, you're in the right place.
I'll start off by saying that this game is a last gen port, so the visuals are probably the most lacking area of the game. Fair enough however are the fire and explosion effects. I was quite blown away by the effects during a store front bombing that I was responsible for. Add to that the main character (and any poor sap near by) being blown off their feet by the shockwave, it's pretty fulfilling and well executed.
But how about the gameplay?
Well, I will name first the driving. It's probably the least noteworthy aspect of the game although it has it's highlights. There are plenty of chases in this game and thanks to a not so smart AI, the accidents are much like in the movies although on a much less grand scale. If you are being persued by a car of gangsters, you can just give them a nice nudge into an oncoming car and that will lead to some alright visuals and excellent crunching sounds.
Although the driving in the game wont leave you sweating at night just wishing you were behind the wheel again, it's certainly not a tedious activity either. I don't often find myself cursing the poor physics or button layout of Godfather's driving the way I have some other sandbox style games.
Simply put, the driving isn't spectacular, but it works and it works well.
Now the missions.
This game is a spinoff of the movie, the movie is something to behold in the method that the mob caries out it's various workings. You're completely a part of that in the game and not every mission is just a go and fetch quest disguised with some weak gimmick. No, the missions could have you bombing drug fronts, highjacking transport trucks, or sending messages to otherwise noncompliant family interests through means of vicious threats or events.
The missions in this game do a great service of keeping the action together at all times and you're very rarely left wondering what to do next.
How about the extras?
This is afterall a sandbox title at the heart, and what would a sandbox title be without added joys and mischief?
Fortunately, the team responsible for Godfather spent a little time listening to the fans and thinking about what makes a game in this genre fun. You're placed in a replica old style city with stores and fronts everywhere. There're a tonne of shops to extort and behind those are rackets selling everything from drugs and guns to alcohol or gambling. Each store you obtain gains you a steady if not somewhat meager profit. One store isn't going to make you rich, but an entire district under your thumb can bring in some serious cash.
Aside from just the stores, almost every shop is a front for something a little less legal going on in the back. Put simply, these shop owners are as dirty as a bachelors suite after a playoff game. This is where the big money comes in, you take over a racket in the back and you're looking at some serious cash and another area of domination under your control. However, don't expect to just waltz into every establishment and take what you want, there'll be resistance from other families for you to take out. Thankfully there's the ability to sneek along and slide up against the wall, targeting enemies in joinding rooms while aiming at keypoints of their bodies, only to reach around and put a bullet in their pie hole.
The gunfights and fist fights in this game are the bread and butter. They're messy, they're sometimes long, and they're diverse enough to hide the fact that the environments are pretty generic after a while. Although one shop might have the same layout as another you "aquired" earlier, you'll not often find yourself dismayed with this fact as taking over shops is very fulfilling and fun. I often find myself proud of the fact that I cleared out a shop and racketeering business of 10 men with just my guns and my wiimote. Very nice indeed.
Lastly and certainly not least importaint is the fighting and controls of the game. As I stated before, although the driving isn't too much to get all giddy over, the fighting in this game is just great. Imagine grabbing a guy by the collar, throwing a few shots to his head, pushing him down to the ground, giving him a head massage with your knee and then executing him with a nice toss to the ground and a head stomp. The game's fighting is brutal but it's got the total "@#$@ yeah!!" gangster feel through and through.
Add to that a smart leveling up of all your skills and you've got the potential to become a terminator style, force to be reckoned with. This game has loads of dimension and all in less than overly exploited areas.
All said and done, this game isn't perfect and it's not the answer to next gen gaming, but if you're itching to try something different and you're inclined to enjoy a good old mobster bash with all the italian dressings, this is your sure bet. A truly solid title I'm happy to see on the Wii.
Last edited by autobot; 04-30-2007 at 02:21 AM.
04-29-2007 07:51 PM