The Godfather - Xbox 360 and PSP Interview
To go along with the launch of The Godfather today on the Xbox 360 and PSP we have an exclusive interview with EA about the game. James Vitales, the Associate Producer, tells us what is different about the Xbox 360 and PSP versions and how they have been improved. He also reveals a few other new details such as plans for downloadable content over Xbox Live and that there are other Godfather games on the way! Now onto the juicy details...
VGcore: Why are the Xbox 360 and PSP versions of The Godfather being released half a year later from when it first came out on Xbox, PS2, and PC?
James Vitales: The X360 and PSP versions of the game are not direct ports of the game that came out in March. Each brings something new to the franchise and builds upon the gameplay established in the Xbox/PS2/PC versions. For the X360, you will see a graphical upgrade as well as a huge amount of new mission content while the PSP offers an exclusive Mob Wars game mode. We were also able to refine dozens of areas of the game based on fan feedback (message boards, reviews, focus tests).
VGcore: Besides the graphics, what are the major additions to the new Xbox 360 Godfather game?
JA: There are a ton of new additions to the X360 version like new racket truck heists, throwing bottles, and enhanced police AI and bribery, but the single biggest new additions are the huge amount of new mission content, and the ability to hire Corelone crew members. On the mission side this means three original story missions, five new hits, an exclusive favor system, new cars, new compounds, a new side-quest to eradicate Sollozzo's drug fronts, and more. The overall feeling you'll get from playing the Xbox 360 version is that it's a “director's cut” of the original game, with more of what an aspiring Don wants: more missions, more rackets, more muscle, and more ways to earn respect.
In addition, hiring Corleone crew has added a huge amount of strategy to the game. For example, they can be used as an intimidation tactic when shaking down businesses – sometimes the mere sight of two Corleone thugs is enough to make a merchant pay. If you're occupied with roughing up a racket boss, your crew can also keep an eye out for cops or rival family members. Having extra muscle helps tremendously when taking over warehouses and hubs, and you'll definitely need the extra firepower when preparing to attack the rival enemy compounds. You can even use them to fire out of cars to perform a classic Tommy-gun mobster drive-by….
VGcore: How have the graphics been upgraded for Xbox 360?
JA: The X360 version of The Godfather definitely takes advantage of the hardware. Ideally, every consumer is playing this version of the game in 720p or 1080i- it looks stunning. Regardless, some of the new visuals you will encounter include: character models that look even more life-like, persistent facial damage, dynamic time of day and shadows (based upon the sun's position), and improved visual effects (like smoke and fire). All of these upgrades help to make the game that much more immersive and show off the capabilities of the X360.
VGcore: Will downloadable content be made available over Xbox Live after the game's release?
JA: We've added over 35 Xbox Live Achievements for you to earn as well as an all new “Top Don” score that will allow you to compare your progress against your buddies and the entire Godfather community. We do have rough plans for some downloadable content in the works, but we need a little more time to nail the exact details.
VGcore: On the PSP, what is the Mob Wars mode and how does it tie in with the Story Mode?
JA: Mob Wars is a turn based, territory control game mode exclusive to the PSP version. It allows the player to take the role of “The Don” and strategically make decisions on how to expand the Corleone empire. To ultimately succeed in the game, Mob Wars needs to be played at the same time as the player is advancing through the Story missions. Progressing in Story Mode builds up the player's rank in the Corleone family. This makes taking territory over in Mob Wars easier as you not only decide on the moves – you also carry them out with your player. Money, respect, and weapon upgrades are earned in both modes so it is in your best interest to play them both (you need to complete both modes to become “The Don of NYC”).
VGcore: How are the camera and aim controlled on the PSP?
JA: For controls, we tried to maintain what was established on the PS2 version while keeping it intuitive for the PSP. The primary function of the analog stick on the PSP is for player movement, but it is also used for free look / free aim when the R-button is held down (giving the player a full 360 degrees of movement). This allows us to preserve the precision aim functionality found in the other versions of the game – since it is crucial to gameplay to sometimes wound (and not kill) an NPC.
VGcore: How are the graphics on the PSP in comparison to the other platform?
JA: Obviously, there will be visual differences between the PSP and X360 versions of the game. On the PSP version, we really emphasized the graphics that we felt meant the most to the player. Detailed character models and interior spaces, visual effects (muzzle flash, explosions), and cinematics all look great on the PSP version. And given that the PSP is also a movie player, the unlockable clips from the film look fantastic.
VGcore: Are there plans to make additional Godfather games, or will this be the last?
JA: We love the Godfather as a franchise, and are definitely in it for the long haul, but don't have any specific details for future products worked out yet. This definitely won't be the last you hear from the Godfather.
Article By: VGcore and EA Games