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The Godfather

Before sitting down to play EA's The Godfather, early previews of the game had already given us a reasonable idea of what to expect. We already knew story details, that it employed a free-roaming mechanic, and that it would be divided between on-foot and driving sections.

Our first experience with the mob-based adventure was limited to pedestrian activities only, namely melee combat and the violent methods that can be used to persuade hard-working honest types that, yes, they do want to give you a slice of their profits.

Fisticuff street-brawling was our first criminal pursuit. This revealed a control system not a million miles away from EA's Fight Night, with tasty knuckle ciabattas being served up using the right analogue stick, while we could duck and weave using the left stick.

Of course, The Godfather also contains shooters. Our brief dabble with gunplay took place during the scene directly after the attempted assassination of Don Vito Corleone, the mob's big boss man, and required us to pick off several tough guys, one of which was using a hostage as a human shield.

The left trigger is used to target an enemy, although, once fixed, the reticule can be adjusted to accommodate shots in specific parts of the body, such as a head shot for an instant kill or, if you want to keep an enemy alive for interrogation or just want to put the frighteners on them, an incapacitating shot to the knee.

And after briefly sampling the extortion system, it was quite evident that killing people wouldn't be the best way to conduct business: gentle persuasion will often reap greater rewards and present the player with new avenues of opportunity.

Our first taste of life within The Godfather world left us feeling optimistic, if not entirely overwhelmed with wide-eyed enthusiasm.

There's no doubt that the game will be graphically sharp, while the combat we sampled, both melee and weapon-based, seemed finely tuned and certainly bodes well for what will be an integral chunk of the game.