Godfather, a cinematic epic, is brought to your home computer screen by US Gold and the letters "D" and "L". Only being a mere youngster of 17, I haven't actually seen any of the Godfather movies except a few bits of the first one that was on TV a while ago.
All I can remember were the gory bits like the horse's head-in-
However, what with the Gamer office being a certain Aladdin's cave of all things worth knowing, I can tap in to our wondrous spring of knowledge and fill you in, as they say. The Godfather films, (for there are three) are about the rise to power of the Corleone family through the Mafia between 1901 and 1979 - an epic saga of love, honour, justice and death (Gosh how dramatic - Ed).
Godfather I begins in 1945 at the marriage of Vito's daughter. Vito is Don Corleone, the head of one of New York's ruling Mafia families, and his three sons are also involved in the family "business".
When Don Vito is critically wounded in a brutal assassination attempt following the death of his eldest son, Don Vito's third son Michael Corleone becomes more prominent in preparation for his future role as Don Vito's successor, and the film ends in 1955 with Michael as the new Godfather.
Godfather 2 starts with Michael, the new Done Corleone moving the family business to Nevada. They have expanded into hotels and casinos, and the family live in a huge mansion by Lake Tahoe. But all is not well. Michael's marriage is failing and his disloyal brother Fredo is persuaded to become involved in a plot to assassinate him. Mama Corleone dies at the family home bringing the remaining family members closer together.
The naughty traitor Fredo returns to the home, but he's a bit late. Michael cannot forgive his terrible brother, goes a bit wibble and kills him.
In the third and final part of the saga, which begins in New York in 1979, Michael is striving to legitimise all his business operations, becoming involved in real estate, banking and Wall Street.
He is then honoured by the Catholic church with the order of St Sebastian. Hold on a second. I thought the Godfather was about the Mafia who wander the streets killing pilfering and generally being a bit hard! What went wrong? Oh well, I suppose I'd better carry on.
To complicate the plot slightly, you meet Vincent Mancini, the illegitimate son of Michael's brother Sonny, and urged y his sister Connie. Michael invites Vincent to observe the way the family business is conducted. Michael must determine whether the hot-header Vincent is able to adapt to the legitimate world of business. The dilemma they both share is whether they can succeed in leaving behind the violence of their past.
The big question now is - how do US Gold make a brill computer game out of an epic saga of films that span 80 years? Oh come on, it's easy - you make a five level scrolly shoot-'em-up. A terrific interactive adventure/
The first thing that hits you in the face like a big slimy, seaweed-
The intro is very good indeed and contains spinning newspapers with headlines about the Mafia. You are then treated to a wonderful parallax scrolling view of New York - quite mega.
What about the game? Well the best way I can describe it is, as a Robocop (the first one) clone with utterly brilliant graphics.
You play whichever character happens to be Don Corleone in each time period, and your mission is fairly simple. All you have to do is blow the crap out of anyone who seems dangerous, which is just about everyone. The only people you can't hit are the passers by like the woman pushing a pram and the policemen. If you do, you'll be disowned by the Corleone family and then it's game over.
The game has a sort of 3D view with lamp-
For instance you have four people shooting at you, their bullets are merely white speckles, and then suddenly you are hidden from view by a lamp-
You can get energy back from first-aid kits which lie dotted around the screen but they only give you a tiny, tiny, tiny (and I mean tiny) bit. There are other icons too. But I haven't a clue what they are. This is all thanks to the low quality manual. To be honest, the actual instructions it contains could have been written on the back of a stamp.
You wander the streets until you meet up with a rogue with a machine gun. By the time you reach this point you've hardly any energy left and he just tends to blow you away. He soaks up bullets like there's no tomorrow, but when you have shot him enough times he buggers off. To say The Godfather is hard is the biggest understatement of the century. Blimey, when Gamer finally managed to get off level one and reached the supposedly ace Operation Wolf-
On the sound front there is a suitable tune at the beginning with adequate sound effects in the game. A nice touch is bodies that stay where they are in a pool of blood instead of disappearing in a puff of smoke, meaning that if you are quite good you can gather a nice collection.
The scrolling is dodgy to say the least, and suffers from jerky syndrome, and as the game comes on six disks, you have to keep swapping them almost constantly - even in the middle of playing!
I suppose that if you're a die hard shoot-'em-up freak then Godfather might interest you, but for me it's below average, apart from the graphics which are some of the best I've seen for a long time. It's one of those games which you see at a friend's house and then laugh at them for buying it.
I was really disappointed because US Gold make some truly cracking games (take Another World for instance). Unfortunately, Godfather is about to take a dive into the swap of crap TV and film licences. I think I'll end this review with a Star Test-
Smarmy Computer: "Choose some words to describe the Godfather." Me: "Errr, repetitious, jerky, crap and the graphics are really quite smart."