The Sopranos: Road To Respect Review
The Sopranos: Road To Respect Box Art
System: PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: 7 Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov 2006 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Review by Adam 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
The road less traveled.
by Adam Brown

The list of video games based on popular movies and television shows is a long one. Companies have continually made incredibly horrible games using these licenses as justification. From the abysmal E.T. on the Atari 2600 (game crash of 84 anyone) to the recent crapulence of X-men The Official Game, very few of these titles have actually been good. Recently though, some of these games have actually not been completely unplayable such as The Godfather, Scarface, and now the Sopranos: Road to Respect.

The Sopranos: Road To Respect screenshot

In Road to Respect, you will play the part of Joey La Rocca. Joey was orphaned when his father was whacked for snitching on the mob. He is forced to grow up without a father and turns to a life of petty crimes. At least until Tony Soprano sets him straight and takes him under his mob boss wing. The game’s storyline follows Joey on his quest for respect, redemption, and to get his life back on track. To do this, he works for Tony as a hired goon by cleaning up “messes”, offing the occasional rival, and constantly trying to prove he is not a rat like his father. The storyline is good and really drives the positive experience of this game.

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The mechanics of Road to Respect’s combat are fairly decent if not too simplistic. Players have both light and heavy attacks as well as the ability to grapple and use weapons. There are several combos using the light and heavy attacks although you won’t really need to learn them in order to progress through the game. The meat of the combat comes in the form of grappling. While grappling, players can continue to punch and knee their opponents or use special attacks to help finish them off quicker. Every wall in the game can be used to smash your enemies’ heads. Joey can also use things like table-saws and refrigerators to make quick and brutal work of rival baddies. There are also a host of special moves that Joey can use at any point to demolish an opponent. These consists of choking, breaking arms and feet, smashing heads off of the ground, twisting of family jewels, and straight out execution style shootings. Joey will also find a wide variety of weapons just lying around that he can use to punish his enemies. Everything from shotguns to sledgehammers can be found and used to dispose of your enemies quickly.

Did I forget to mention that Road to Respect was a very violent/adult-themed video game? It is incredibly vicious at times and comes complete with topless pole dancers, lap dances, and more cussing than a night spent with a drunken sailor with anger issues. This game is clearly not meant for anyone under the age of seventeen. But if you are of age, this game is a great adult experience, at least for awhile. After the initial brutality shockfest, you will come to the realization that this game is not incredibly deep. You will perform all of the game’s super-violent moves over and over again. These begin to become less spectacular and more tedious every time you do them. The game attempts to remedy this by being fairly short and by adding a couple of mini-games to distract you from the repetition. Road to Respect will allow you to play slot machines as well as some poker with your favorite mobsters. The slots quickly become boring and the poker, while fun, is a little too easy to win.

The Sopranos: Road To Respect screenshot

Respect is the name of the game, yet it only plays a small role in the actual gameplay. Joey has a respect meter, if this meter reaches zero your family will whack you. He will lose respect if he is too much of a tough guy in conversations or if he pulls out his gun in an inappropriate location. During conversations, Joey will occasionally get the option to reply with a tough, neutral, or smooth response. Unfortunately though, these responses really don’t affect the game that much. Although you are a mobster, using a gun in this game can be fairly dangerous and inefficient. While it may help you finish off opponents, many areas of the game will quickly sap your respect meter if a gun is used. I played through this game using a gun less than five times. Most of the time, it just wasn’t worth it. However, if your respect meter runs low you can always just pay a tribute to Paulie to refill it and also to unlock concept art.

Road to respect is definitely not a Grand Theft Auto clone. There is no driving and no open world in this game. Players are mostly confined to indoor locations and many of this game's areas are reused several times. The graphics in this game however, are fairly good for a PS2 game. Character models are close approximations of their real life counterparts. The voice work is also very well done. Players can expect to hear a seemingly endless series of F-bombs from most of the show’s cast members. The music in the game isn’t that great with a few exceptions. One of my favorite moments in the game came from beating up a pimp and his crew to the sweet tune of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back.

The Sopranos: Road To Respect screenshot

Although this game isn’t really a gem by any means, it is surprisingly better than most movie/television based video games. While that isn’t necessarily a ringing endorsement, this game is actually worth playing. The combat is at least fun initially and the storyline will keep you playing until the end. Fans of the series should definitely play through this title. Anyone who is looking for another Grand Theft Auto-like game however, would be better off playing a game like The Godfather, Scarface, or Saints Row.

Features:

  • Punishing specialty combat moves: A deep, visceral melee combat system with a variety of brutal attack variations (arm break, nut twist, etc.).
  • Improvised Weapons: The mob is known for using "any means necessary," and each environment allows ordinary objects to become weapons for your advantage.
  • Location-specific intimidation: Use your sadistic streak to get your point across, with the help of a meat slicer, filing cabinet drawer and other devices.
  • Performance and cosmetic damage: Inflict damage on your opponent's body, leaving him with impaired or broken limbs, deep swelling cuts/bruises and more.
  • Dynamic verbal intimidation: Break down opponents by either being hard or playing it cool, as you are able to impact the story in real-time by changing your line of attack.
  • Interact with the show's top talent: Earn your stripes working for Tony Soprano's crew, reporting to your captain, Paulie Walnuts, as well as Silvio, Christopher and Vito on your way to becoming a "made" man.
  • Compelling story: Storyline created in collaboration with show creator David Chase and voiced by the show's key cast members.
  • Play in The Sopranos world: Carry out orders in familiar locations such as the Bada Bing!, Nuovo Vesuvio, Satriale's, and even the newest Season 6 locations.

    By Adam Brown
    CCC Freelance Writer

    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    3.9

    Graphics
    All of your favorite mobsters look fairly good even on the PS2.

    3.4

    Control
    The combat controls decently as long as you can get the camera to cooperate. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done sometimes.

    3.7

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    While the soundtrack isn't very thrilling, the voice acting is topnotch.

    3.5

    Play Value
    While initially entertaining, this game's combat eventually becomes tedious. There are also no unlockables besides concept art, and no real reason to return to the game once it has been completed.

    3.6

    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images

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