The Godfather games have never been perceived as anything more than another set of just-below-average games-after-movies. Other than a few exceptions, movie games have never impressed on consoles. EA went back to scratch to try to legitimize the Godfather experience on the Wii. The biggest advantage on the Wii: the motion sensing controls. EA does a very respectable job at incorporating the new controls, and making The Godfather: Blackhand Edition on the Wii an enjoyable, worthwhile experience.
The storyline of the game comes right from the movie series for most of the missions. To sum up the plot, you will be playing as a character whose father got shot by a rival family years before. The game drops you in at the wedding scene from the movie, where Don Corleone is given the task of looking after you—thus you become his recruit. Long story short, you’ll be working for him and trying to heighten your status in the Corleone family.
You’ll do this via many methods which will seem familiar for an open-world game. You’ll be trying to amass different establishments and take them over, thus bringing them under the Corleone name. You won’t do this without a fight from the other mob families, however, so you’ll be fighting them off in bunches along the way all over New York. Of course, there will be all kinds of weapons for you to use and upgrade in your quest (think anything mob… shotguns, tommy guns, bats, Molotov cocktails, punching, etc.). The game moves along in a mission format, but thankfully, you’ll be able to roam around New York at your leisure quite a bit as well. In case you think this is just another GTA rip-off, think again. You can’t just kill without consequences. The cops will come after you… but of course you can pay them off with some persuasion.
As far as the characters and actors in the game, several actors from the movie are present, along with many new characters that have been put into the story to contribute to the experience. The actors and voices in the game do a great job of representing the style and mood EA was going for, and for a Godfather game, it couldn’t be much better.
As expected, the aspect of this game that makes it special is the control scheme. The Wii boasts some great potential in its motion sensing control, and for the most part, this game takes advantage pretty well. There are tons of motions you’ll be making, and they’re all going to execute a different result in the game. To punch, simply hold the two controllers like fists, and punch away. To choke, simply move your two hands apart and together repeatedly. You get the idea. Most of the time, they work very well. Every once in a while, you may have to repeat an action, but it doesn’t happen very often. The aiming is the only part of the controls that is frustrating, but with a little practice, it becomes manageable.
As far as the visuals are concerned, this game isn’t half bad for a Wii game. It doesn’t look anything like the 360 or PS3 versions, but it does the job. The environments are attractive, and the framerate holds up decently despite some tripping when the action gets heavy. The character models could be better, but you’ll be having so much fun with the controls that it won’t bother you. As far as music, just think of the movie and the music is very similar. The sound effects are average, and the voice acting is fantastic.
If you’re a fan of the Godfather, The Godfather: Blackhand Edition on the Wii is a must-have for your collection. It boasts plenty of game-time, because even when you finish there are always more collectables to go find… in the middle of driving games and, of course, you can always go back and fight people for the heck of it. It’s not perfect, and the controls aren’t perfect, but it’s good enough to justify the game as a sequel to one of the greatest movie franchises of all time.