|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
The Godfather is a timeless classic in modern cinema and this latest edition to the Wii's already impressive library should be considered along the same. Electronic Arts brings a gripping and powerful story to accompany the original Godfather movie. I know what you are thinking - they have already done this on the PS2 and the Xbox 360. Well, they are about to do it on the PS3 as well, but none of them will make you feel closer to the family than The Godfather: Blackhand Edition.
The story behind this edition will be the same as other versions. A child witnesses the death of his father, and Don Corleone comforts the child telling him that when he gets older he will have his opportunity to take revenge upon his father's murderers. Fast-forward a few years, and you are recruited, in a way, by Luca. Through Luca, you will begin your career as the future Don. From this point on, your storyline will intertwine with the events from the first movie and your own story. Highlighting such events as the horse head in the bed, even the pivotal scene where Michael Corleone takes his first step towards becoming the Don, but wait, this is your story. You are supposed to become the Don of New York, and indeed you shall.
You have to work your way up though. To do this, you are going to need to climb the Skill Tree to go from low-level street thug all the way to the Don's spot. It has been redefined a bit in order to give a small RPG feel to it. Instead of just working your way up, you get to determine what style you have, either the Enforcer or the Operator. Both offer different upgrades to your character. It takes skill points to obtain a certain level of either branch to your liking. You are generally given one skill point to spend after each mission. With 28 new missions, it should be possible to mold your character the way you see fit.
Now you can chat up specific characters to get the skinny on dirty cops, take down two additional updated compounds of rival families, execute five new contract hits, and call in larger Corleone Hit Squads when the going gets tough. Speaking of the Hit Squads, you can call in the four man squads that will wipe the floor with anyone around you. They will also stick with you for a little bit. Add this to the continued ability to hire someone to stick by you on missions and you have got yourself a small jaw-busting, bruiser crew. You also can pay to have the Police on your side. Still available is the bribe option, where you can pay the cop to look the other way. Now, however, you pay the entire police force to take to the streets heeding your command. Combined with your already impressive hit squad, any rival family in your path should just step aside, but they will not and that will be the fun of it.
Enough with the perks and new additions already though. How the game shapes up according to the Wii's innovative controls may surprise some of you. In one word - incredible. In a few other words - the Wii brings a new element unattainable on any other system. The controls alone make this game a definite must buy. When so many other titles for the Wii have set our hopes up for full interactive player control only to let us down, The Godfather: Blackhand Edition comes through for us in a pinch. You take a swing against a locked on character and so does your player. Hey, want to be a tough guy and choke your enemies? Just grab them and shake the Wii-mote close together to relieve them of their rivaled breath. There are several Mob Tactics you can perform with precision using the Wii. It really makes you feel like one of the family.
The driving ability in the game actually surprised me though. When everything else is Wii-mote sensitive, I expected the drive to be as well. Instead, you are able to drive just using the analog stick to steer, the B button to accelerate, the Z button on the Nunchuck to reverse, and the A button to brake. This simple driving mechanic relieves some of the stress some might have experienced with the alternative driving in other Wii driving games. These lax controls come in handy when you are in an intense chase mission.