The Godfather (screenshots)

The Godfather (screenshots)

Written by Charles Husemann on 2/14/2006 for PC   PS2   Xbox  

EA sent over some interesting promotional materials on their upcoming movie game, The Godfather.  We're hoping to score an exclusive interview with someone on the team at a later date but until then check out some screens and get some information about the game from the source.

Q&A –  Brooklyn.  Steven Smith, World Designer

What makes Brooklyn a unique neighborhood in The Godfather?
Brooklyn is a neighborhood located along the riverfront between two of New York City’s main bridges, the Brooklyn and the Manhattan. Both bridges serve as two key life lines connecting Brooklyn to the rest of New York City.  Most of the Brooklyn businesses are located in this core area, which reflects a rather grungy working class neighborhood with warehouses, industrial buildings, dock sides, town house walk ups and Federal housing estates.  Near the end of the Brooklyn Bridge is the Brooklyn City/Borough Hall, the civic area and an upscale pocket neighborhood reflecting Brooklyn Heights.

How is Brooklyn 'planned' differently than the others?
Brooklyn in the Godfather game world context is a very stylized version of the actual neighborhood.  The main area we wanted to focus upon is the industrial waterfront area.  Thus the character of the river front area is emphasized for Brooklyn with attention to the Vinegar Hill and the Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (or DUMBO as it is known) regions.  The outer areas of Brooklyn are Brooklyn Heights, the Borough Hall, and a Federal Housing Estate near the old navy yard.   

What key movie and game locales are found in Brooklyn?
One of the key movie moments takes place in Brooklyn.  You’ll have to dispose of a certain traitor to the family. In terms of general game play, Brooklyn is the neighborhood belonging to the Tattaglias, and with this family as an early adversary the player will get quite familiar with Brooklyn in the course of the game.

The Tattaglia Family was known a bunch of sleazy pimps and drug pushers.  Do certain parts of Brooklyn reflect that?

We had this idea very much in mind when developing the Brooklyn neighborhood. We wanted this neighborhood to project a grungy and industrial décor, and so we opted to emphasize the water front region as the setting for the neighborhood core.  In the context of fifty years ago, areas such as the Brooklyn water front were not desirable places to visit due to the heavy commercial activity of loading and unloading of goods and produce.  Such areas are off the main the path and not inviting to the general public. Thus it’s an ideal setting for illegal activities.

What is your favorite location in Brooklyn and why?
In Brooklyn there are two areas I like.  One area is around the Brooklyn Borough Hall.  This building projects a grand civic appearance and has attached to it a modest city park.  It’s inside that park that the player can meet up with black market sellers.  The challenge however is that there are enemy gun men who like to wait in ambush in the park.  The player can get a pretty good if not vicious shoot out going in this area, and it’s not guaranteed that you will make it out in one piece.  The other area I like is centered around the enemy warehouse in the waterfront region.   I feel that this area really reflects the Brooklyn waterfront region of the late 1940’s, with the Manhattan Bridge visible behind it to one side and a huge power plant building looming in the background.  And as is the case with all enemy warehouses, it’s a location for a guaranteed and ruthless fire fight.

Q&A –  Brooklyn.  Steven Smith, World Designer

What makes New Jersey unique in the world of The Godfather?
New Jersey is the only neighborhood in the Godfather world which has a different environmental feel to it.  It’s patterned after a traditional small American town, particularly of the type found in the outer regions of Manhattan.  Though most of the buildings are made of brick they are lower in height, typically two or three floors.  Many of the city blocks are not populated with tenement buildings but instead they are occupied with detached houses usually with corner businesses at the end of such blocks.  The most noted feature of New Jersey is the town square park located in the middle of the neighborhood, complete with a band shell structure and community type venues located around it such as a bank and a church.

New Jersey is considered by many to be the ‘armpit of the Northeast’.  Does that show at all in The Godfather version of Jersey?
In the Godfather world New Jersey is a neighborhood that conveys an industrial ambiance.  Through no fault of its own that’s the nature of such communities circa 1945 that were located along water way transit points.  It’s an outlying residential community located along the waterfront of the Hudson River, and so it’s going to have warehouses, power plants and rail yards.

What type of research went into re-creating 1945-1955 New Jersey?
The starting point for research was to look at aerial photographs of New Jersey along the Hudson River region.  Much of the area appears grid like and uniform, so little things such as city parks, angled streets relative to the grid layout, and rail yards in urban areas tend to stand out and identify an area that can represent a symbolic New Jersey town for the Godfather world. These elements along with the locations of the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel toll plazas to the north and south respectively really identified the general location for the New Jersey neighborhood.  Other research pertains to looking at the types of buildings which are representative of many of the outlying neighborhoods of Manhattan such as the two story brick storefront and detached housing typologies.

The Stracci's are considered the Butchers of Jersey because of their ruthless ‘business’ methods.  What type of trouble might you find in Jersey if you snoop around in the wrong areas?
Well for one thing most nearly all the business venues in New Jersey begin as Stracci owned locations.  Thus when the player begins to take over a couple of these venues and gets the attention of the Stracci’s, the player – if injured - will need to take care when trying to get to a safe house or clinic. The Stracci’s will be highly visible on many of the jersey streets.  Also, snooping around the main rail yard can yield some interesting if not altogether dangerous results.

What’s your favorite area in Jersey and why?
I like the area around the Stracci compound and the rail yard.  I find the Stracci compound to be an interesting challenge because the entry to the compound can be approached from three directions and so the player has some choices on an attack approach.  The rail yard is a big open area where it might be possible to lose or neutralize a pursuing vehicle, and its one of the approaches to the Stracci compound

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

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About Author

Hi, my name is Charles Husemann and I've been gaming for longer than I care to admit. For me it's always been about competing and a burning off stress. It started off simply enough with Choplifter and Lode Runner on the Apple //e, then it was the curse of Tank and Yars Revenge on the 2600. The addiction subsided somewhat until I went to college where dramatic decreases in my GPA could be traced to the release of X:Com and Doom.   I have been a Microsoft Xbox MVP since 2009.
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