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Platform

PSP

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Page 44 Studios / EA Redwood Shores

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q3 2006

 

 

- Good graphics, music and dialogue

- Great voice acting

- Some fun fighting mechanics

 

 

- Camera is a bit funky

- Locking-on to an opponent can be tricky

- No exploration elements

 

 

Review: The Godfather (XB)

Review: The Godfather (360)

Review: Metal Gear Acid (PSP)

 

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The Godfather: Mob Wars

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

Despite being half Italian, the whole mob theme has never been my thing when it comes to movies, shows, anime or games, but lately I have been having trouble avoiding them. After playing The Godfather: Mob Wars, it has left a pleasant if somewhat unremarkable taste in my mouth. It is one of those games that could have been much better with some tweaking and minor improvements that could have put the whole package together quite nicely.

 

godfather mobs wars          godfather mob wars

 

The storyline is not completely original, but it is still entertaining thanks to some good dialogue. I also like that they do not overuse the “f-word” to the point where it becomes annoying. Basically, you start off the game watching a cutscene with your character as a kid witnessing his father’s murder. The Don tells him that once he grows up, he should seek the Don out so he can get revenge. Years later, you see your character’s mother talking to the Don because she is worried about him. Your character, now grown up, is nothing but a lowlife until he meets members of the mafia. Eventually, the Don gets shot and it is up to you to protect

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him while he is being treated at the hospital. Eventually you make new connections and finally you can start making your way up the ladder.

 

I was not expecting very much from fist fighting except for maybe a couple punches, but I was wrong. By tapping the attack button “x” you can unleash a pretty lengthy flurry of

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punches and if you hold circle, you pull your fist back and then press x for a power attack. Not only that, you can grab an opponent and shove them into walls or pick them back up on their feet to deliver even more punishment if they just so happen to fall to their knees. My favorite though is smashing enemies’ heads against environmental objects (even if it doesn’t take off as much health as it should). Another useful skill is the square button icon that may appear nearby an injured enemy. Pushing square will cause your character to finish off your opponent.

 

Sometimes to take over businesses and such, (which allows you to take some of the profits) you must intimidate the owner. Intimidation is the key and sometimes you will have to rough somebody up to get a little respect. Similarly, you can also demand protection money from people by intimidating them. When you have to rough someone up, a pressure gauge will appear. There are 3 regions. The one on the very left means no respect, the middle one means respect and the third means you have pushed too far. What you obviously want to do is knock some sense into the guy until the pressure bar creeps into the middle region earning respect from the person that you are beating senseless. Once you have pressured the dumbass into the respect region, you can then talk some sense into the guy and get your money. Do not overdue it though because a dead man tends to not be much of a help, unfortunately.

 

Of course you get a gun in this game, but surprisingly, not right off the bat. When you eventually acquire your first firearm, you must participate in a quick training session out in an alley. You can either free aim or lock-on to an opponent. Unfortunately, the lock-on system can be a bit tricky because your character may not always lock-on when you want him to. This is a flaw in the game where it wants you to be a little too precise. This can be very frustrating, especially against some enemies with better weapons. Free aim controls work well, but it’s not quick enough to get a swift kill without receiving a bullet through your gut. There are many weapons that can be purchased at the black market. From pistols, shotguns, Tommy guns, Molotov cocktails, dynamite and more!

 

godfather mob wars          godfather mob wars

 

After completing a mission you will get results based on your performance. The better you perform, the more points you get. You can use these points to improve your statistics which basically act as skills. For example; you can upgrade your fighting skills which increase attack damage, grab time and negotiation pressure. Upgrading shooting skills increase aiming speed, precision and having a better chance to disarm an opponent. Increasing your health points increases health and health recovery time. Increasing speed points lengthens your sprint duration time as well as attack and movement speed.

 

Now where this game really hurts is the lack of exploration. I have never played any of the console versions, but I have read that the console version has more of an open-world exploration element to it. It would have been nice to see this in Mob Wars or at least be able to drive some vehicles. It is too bad because everything feels a bit too linear.

 

There are two modes in this game. There is a story mode and a Mob Wars mode which I will discuss now. Even after the tutorial, Mob Wars can be quite confusing at first and it has a little bit of a learning curve (okay, I’ll admit it took a little longer than it should have for me) , but when you get the hang of it, it can actually be quite fun. I originally thought it would just be side missions with mini side stories that set apart from the main game, but it is actually a card based system that is turned based. Basically, you can use cards to assign a gangster to rob people of their money or to take over some businesses/territories. The cops can catch on to you though, and same with rival gangs so you got to be careful or else you will have swarms of enemies looking to bring you down. When you want to expand your territory by sending gangsters to other territories, you must complete a mission that is not card based, but rather plays like the main mode. These missions can be quite hard due to the lock-on system and the camera being hard to maneuver. You only have one chance at a mission and the fact that some enemies have a shotgun which can deliver a one shot kill does not help. Mob Wars is definitely an interesting mode and if it was a little more polished, it could have been something very exciting.

 

Graphically, the game looks pretty nice. The character models look pretty damn good and some hard work was put into the heads and face expressions. The environments are not too shabby either.

 

The game is pretty good graphically, but the music and great voice acting is where it really shines most. It gives you the realistic feel of being part of the mob. It is not one of those games where there is a few standout or decent voice actors because every character has a good voice and feels very fitting.  

 

All in all, I have to say that fans of mob games will find enough in Mob Wars to keep them entertained while on the go, but people who just want to play a good action game might want to look elsewhere first. The Godfather: Mob Wars is definitely not a bad game, but it could have been so much more if a bit more time was spent on it before its release.

 

- J'Tonello

(December 20, 2006)

 

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