January 18, 2007 - Last March, EA released what it had hoped would be its answer to the open world genre dominated by Grand Theft Auto. It featured some interesting new ideas like the ability to take over fronts and build up your empire, along with of course a very strong storyline taken straight from the films. It wasn't perfect, but EA wasn't finished. With the Xbox 360 release half a year later, the next-gen version of The Godfather saw the addition of new content, online rankings, new abilities and more, making it something of an expanded edition of the original release.
The game is now headed to the PlayStation 3 and Wii by the names of The Godfather: The Don's Edition and The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, respectively. The two games will be identical content-wise aside from the PlayStation 3 version's online leaderboard rankings, the same that we saw on the 360. Other than the differing control mechanisms, the two versions will feature the same new additions over the 360 version, making these the biggest Godfather releases yet.
The Don's Edition for the PS3 will make use of the SIXAXIS' motion sensing functionality for use with interrogations and some melee combat. If someone is on their knees, you just pull the controller in an upwards manner to lift them off the ground. Moving the controller from side to side will yank them around, and pushing it forward and then releasing the grab buttons will shove them away. The rest of the controls are as we've seen in past versions of the game - steering and general movement is done with the analog sticks.
EA looks to have not only added some new features to The Godfather for these releases, but tweaked some old mechanics as well for easier play. For example, while you're still able to cycle through weapons one-by-one, a quick-select wheel has been implemented that works something like what you'd find in Ratchet & Clank.or Trauma Center. As well, the skill tree has been expanded a great deal to encompass Enforcer and Operator branches. Essentially, these give you more control over various upgrades to your character while also providing more specific bonuses, like the ability to heal faster or call in a hit squad faster.
Speaking of the hit squad, that's one of the cooler new elements that we saw on display. While you're still able to hire someone to stick with you on a mission, you're now able to call in the Corleone hit squad, a group of four men that come to your assistance and lay waste to anyone around you. They'll stick with you for a while, allowing you to take a small army into a mission to take down a rival family.
Similarly, the cops can now also fight for you. You can bribe them in the same way that you could before, where they'll look the other way while you take over an establishment, but you can now pay the entire police force to take to the streets and help you take out a rival family. Combined with the hit squad, you're able to take exponentially more help with you on a mission than before.
A series of new environments will also make their way into the game. Rooftop areas will now be rather common, with plenty of shootouts taking place high above the city. A couple new transportation hubs will find their way into the games as well, namely a train station and a shipyard. Taking these over will earn you a lot more loot than a barber shop or something similar, making them prime targets on your way to the top.
Lastly, the variety in The Godfather has been greatly expanded for the Wii and PS3 versions of the game. Each family will now have their own unique compound, unlike before where they were essentially copies of each other. More pedestrians and vehicles will fill the roads and sidewalks in the game, and more unique models for each will help spice things up. Oh, and speaking of cars, you'll now be able to take them and their passengers out with the new car bombs, one of the unlockable skills you can earn. Cool stuff.
The Godfather: The Don's Edition and The Godfather: Blackhand Edition are set to make their debut on March 20th.