The Godfather: Five Families
- Release Date: 2011
- Publisher: Kabam
- Developer: Kabam
- Genre: Strategy
Another new crime-themed MMO is going to hit Facebook. The San Francisco-based social game developer Kabam (edgeworld and global warfare) has just announced its upcoming title known as The Godfather: Five Families, a game licensed by Viacom’s Paramount Picture.
Inspired by the namesake movie trilogy, The Godfather: Five Families can be seen as the prequel of the films, mainly narrating the story of the rise to power of the five families in the New York underworld in 1930s, ten years preceding the timeline in the film series. In terms of its back story, this game stays authentic to the basic keynote, for it retains the dark visual and portrait of vivid map of the NY city territory. Designed for hard-core players, it is also designed with serious playing which involves the possibility of losing bulks of hard-won dominant site overnight to rivals. But the in-game images on the whole are sort-of fresh, if not innovative, different from the figures of the movies.
While the Godfather theme serves as an appetizer, the main gameplay of empire building is still at the core. Players can choose to join one of the five mafia families and start with a family estate as the base to seek for power and money. Of course, resource collection will not be omitted from the empire building gameplay, and in this game there are food, steel, cement and the likewise to gather. To hold down opponents and take over more and more territory, players for sure need the assistance of an army made of different units ranging from machine gunner to veteran hit man which are also tiered from the Thug to the Professional.
As a member of a family, the community concept is well-conceived and intended to create a closely-knit game environment. And inside the family category, a smaller group known as Crew all the more allows players to get closer with one another. Yet the fatal enemy of unity of a family is still lurking around: Betrayal. Besides the PvP combat and factional wars concerning different families, this game also includes the ruthless backstabbing against family member and switching into the embrace of prior enemies, which makes the underworld heartbreakingly complicated as in real life.
Backed by about 125 million US dollars of fund and a new engine, developers of Kabam are surely aiming high for The Godfather: Five Families. Yet it is too early to predict its popularity, since it is not the single crime-oriented game on Facebook that has already witnessed the success of Mafia Wars and Gangster City and meanwhile it is not the first Godfather-based game that have ever occurred either with two video games made by Electronic Arts Inc. already topping the peak and then going downhill. So how far can this new Godfather MMO go on Facebook? Only the game itself counts.
The Godfather: Five Families is the newest browser game based on the successful crime film series “Godfather”. I have witnessed so many medieval civilization-building and modern warfare-themed strategy games, while so far I still haven’t seen a game successfully mixed the strategy genre with the gangster theme. But this time in the Kabam’s new strategy game, you can take the role as a gangster boss, manage your own dirty business and whack your rivals out in order to stay as a stronger family among the five major mafia crime houses.
The game starts with building up your family which is currently going through a bit of slump. As a typical strategy game, the gameplay is quite deep and there are definitely a lot of jobs to do. The game consists of 3 view interfaces: Estate, Neighborhood and City. Neighborhood is the place generating resources and cash flow for your family: Cement Factory produces cements, Still Mill is your source for steels and Restaurant provides you with food; and you are also required to train your thugs for mafia fight in Hideout. In Estate view, Library is the place you can research tactics which can either raise the productivity or improve your success on the battle; plus an Armory in which you can manage your gears and check the list enclosing all the set equipments which you can obtain during the game. You will have to find all the pieces of a specific set gear in order to receive the bonus.
In the City view map, you can find NPC controlled “Gangs” or “Cityscapes” which can be attacked for resources and items. “Gangs” give you loots each time you attack them; while “Cityscapes” can boost resources productivity by a certain percentage based modifier. The amount of troops they have and the rewards you gain from attacking them varies depending on their level ranging from 1 to 9.
Of course, it’s dangerous to go alone in an MMO. The game puts a particular emphasis on joining in a crew. Since crews are just the same things as guilds in other traditional MMOs, enabling players to participate in raids is a nice touch and makes the game outstanding. Players can either defend another crew member with reinforcements or tackle high level Cityscapes which can only be captured by a group of allies. The combat is also similar to other strategy games. You need to send some scouts to find out how many gangsters are deployed before you send enough number of troops to defeat them. Combat is automatic, and a battle report will be sent to you to let you know the outcome of combat.
The graphic of the game are on a par with other Kabam’s products, but with one added feature. You can see the animation of your dirty freight trains passing through the periphery of your estates. Besides, the game graphic features an oily painting theme which suits pretty well to the mafia war based style and is pretty to look at.
Overall, The Godfather: Five Families puts a nice spin on the formalized city-building strategy games and there’s no question that the game is a nice social game with its core. The mafia-based genre makes it more interesting for people like me who have already got bored with others. And the game interface is quite well polished as you would expect from such kind of games. However, the game actually doesn’t revolve around the plot of God Father as any players seem to think. In fact, The Godfather: Five Families even lacks a linear storytelling. Players will have to spend the bulk of time leveling up their buildings in order to tackle these repetitive quests, which makes the game a little bit boring and slow.
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