Videogame reviews: Get our critics' thoughts on ''The Godfather'' and ''Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter''

By EW Staff
Updated January 03, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

Videogame reviews: ”Godfather” and ”Ghost Recon”

(EA; Mature, PS2, XB, PC)
Movies based on great books don?t usually work; The Godfather did. Sequels based on great movies don?t usually work; The Godfather II pulled it off. And videogames based on any of the above almost never work — but amazingly, the long-awaited (and much-maligned) console version of The Godfather makes you an offer you can?t refuse. (You knew we had to say it.)

Players start off as a low-level Corleone family thug who must work his way up through the ranks to achieve the title of Don. Missions involve extortion, enemy assassinations, and even flirting with ladies of the night — all while driving around a near-perfect digital recreation of New York City circa 1946. But what sets The Godfather apart from being just another Grand Theft Auto knockoff is the seamless integration of storylines from the movie. James Caan, Robert Duvall, and the late Marlon Brando did voice work, and you can?t help feel a twinge of emotion hearing these actors — two Oscar winners! — slip back into their iconic roles (and perhaps even a touch of glee at how they escaped the disaster that was The Godfather Part III). Heck, even Abe Vigoda is back as Tessio. (For old time?s sake, perhaps?) Only a goombah wouldn?t get thrill playing a character who plants the gun for Michael before he wacks Capt. McCluskey, or procures a horse?s head to scare a Hollywood mogul. Leave the other movie-based games, but take this one — and the cannolis. B+Paul Katz