45 years after the first film was released, we find ourselves with a free-to-play strategy game based on The Godfather. Is it needed? Not at all. Is it any good? Not really, no. It’s a fairly formulaic take on a format you’ve played many times before. It also happens to be a waste of a potentially pretty great license.
In the same vein as Game of War, you should know roughly what to expect of The Godfather Game. In this case, you’re an Underboss of Don Corleone, working your way up the ranks by completing a series of fairly tedious pieces of busywork. While the movies make being a gangster look pretty exciting and eventful, there’s actually a lot of maintenance involved if The Godfather Game is anything to go by.
You find yourself regularly having to go between shops and establishments in order to upgrade them. As is customary for the genre, you’re mostly just tapping on a few menu options and leaving the game to do the rest. It’s all very hands-off. Occasionally there’s a timer that you have to wait for, but there’s always the option of using a speed-up power-up which improves the process.
As you progress, more choices open up. Combat plays a bigger role. You’re a gangster after all, meaning you need to assert your authority. That forms the basis for a series of combat missions. You’ll find yourself gathering together a group of lowly gangsters in order to beat up and kill another bunch. By enlisting these Capos and Soldiers, you show who’s boss in your area and the game moves on. It sounds like it could be gripping but it’s mostly described through a series of sliders and fairly unexciting menu screens. Much like the rest of the game, unfortunately.
There are daily rewards to pick up, as well as simple missions to work towards, but it’s all distinctly run of the mill. There’s some satisfaction in completing things and gaining some rewards, but invariably, your biggest reward is doing things all over again. The Godfather Game never feels like a game where you can truly achieve or win at much, as it’s all so neverending.
Where things get a little more interesting is in the form of alliances. You can join together with other players and end up stronger than ever, or something like that. Working as a kind of guild, you can co-ordinate your efforts, plus you can always chat to like-minded players. By being able to make deals with each other, the social gaming side of things proves more interesting than you’d expect. Teamwork, after all, is always more satisfying than going it alone. Eventually, you can declare war against rival families too.
It’s never enough, though. You’ve played The Godfather Game before. You’ve played numerous clones of this sort of game before, too. It’s all been done to death, and The Godfather Game doesn’t add anything better to the formula. While it might pretend to be like the classic movie franchise, it’s hard to see here. Outside of the basic theme and the use of some familiar names, this is a fairly tepid experience. It could be any other free-to-play strategy game, and not a particularly good one at that. It doesn’t even look very stylish, appearing really quite dated. Needless to say, you’re better off giving this a miss. It won’t pull you back in.