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The Godfather

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So you're aiming for a promotion. Normally that would mean working hard and meeting the objectives as agreed in your annual performance review.

Unsurprisingly, in The Godfather your objectives are more about smashing people's heads against gravestones and taking a baseball bat to a butcher than developing your interpersonal skills.

We've been climbing the Cosa Nostra career ladder in a playable version of The Godfather, and reassuring ourselves that 'it's only business'. Because this free-roaming mob marathon is, if anything, even more violent than GTA.

Pedestrians spray blood like slapped mosquitoes when they're run over, cars go up like petrol stations, and fist-to-fist combat usually ends with your Mafia foot-soldier snapping a neck, or shooting a forehead from point-blank range. It's an 18, alright.

Otherwise, it's business as usual. Mob life is complex, with skills to level up, turfs to protect, and a city full of business owners to 'coerce'.

But your aspirational gangster is basically a non-sweary CJ in a suit, stealing rides (or 'cars', as they were called back in the '40s) and packing heat ('carrying guns') through missions with GTA scrawled all over them.

EA's talk of 'consequences' for your actions now looks a bit empty; the only real decision to be made is whether you'll punch someone in the back until they die, or just until their internal organs squeal for mercy.

Even if The Godfather apes GTA right down to the way drivers slam on the gas if you machine-gun their chassis, at least it means it ticks all the right boxes. Bribe a nearby police officer, nab yourself a decent car and you'll enjoy terrorising the New York City of 60-odd years ago.

But the pleasure in taking in the vintage ambience is short-lived. Yes, it makes a refreshing change, but without the excitement of motorbikes, Uzis, proper cop chases and all-out gang wars, can the old-fashioned mafia really take on blinged-up SMG-toters with shaven chests? You do the maf.

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