You take on the role of a newcomer to the Corleone family with a troubled background. After completing an introduction mission you proceed to create your character and set off into the wild ganglands of New York. Don Vito features and the voice used is actually Marlon Brando's. The whole game is based on rising up through the ranks in the family and eventually becoming the Don. This isn't an easy ride though, as on your way to the top you will battling out vicious mob wars and intimidating rich business owners. The game offers many routes seperate from the storyline that help your rise and these can be completed as you search the city, which is free roaming.
The Wii was made to provide a gaming system that allowed the gamer to take full control of their character. "The Godfather: Blackhand Edition" fits this mould perfectly, unlike numerous other games which have stumbled on to the Wii system since release. Straight away the game brings you information about the controls and you step up to smash the hell out of your enemies. It's great. You can actually grab a person and strangle them by shaking your hands as though they were clasping a poor man's neck. And if you wondered why a boxing game hadn't been released for the Wii yet, here's why. This is a boxing game, but the ring is on the streets of New York. There is nothing better than punching the hell out of air with a series of upper cuts and haymakers and seeing them land upon a video game character. What is great is that 99% of the time the game actually does what you do. You throw a left hook, so does your character. You swing your head forward as if nutting someone, so does your character.
This game isn't awkward either. Everything you do with your hands flows almost flawlessly on to the screen. And on top of all this, you can even throw people off buildings! Not nice, I know, but doing it on the Wii is a good alternative to doing it in real life. Another section of the game controlled by the motion sensing is shooting. You have two options; lock on with the nunchuck and move to find the perfect part of the body to blow off or have ultimate control of the gun. What I will say about the free control of a gun is that it is too sensitive so lock on is the better option.
Driving is controlled by the joystick on the nunchuck but a nice little feature to complement this is moving the nunchuck forward to honk your horn.
What should be pointed out is that everything can become a little too much if you play for too long so. Overall, "The Godfather: Blackhand Edition" makes great use of the Wii's motion sensing feature by following actions that are used in real life - if you're a thug that is!
The city is very large and this is probably the largest game to have graced the Wii so far meaning graphics play a big part. Characters look good with nice rounded edges and animated faces. It's also nice to see objects react to the surroundings, such as coats flowing behind a person. Cars also look good. The fact that there aren't many fits in with the time the game is set. Buildings and landscape, however, look smudged and ugly as though they have been painted on to the background badly. This takes much away from the game as it makes everything look unfinished and rushed which, in turn, leads to an uncomfortable feeling while playing. I suspect that the PS2 graphics have transferred badly to the Wii or the system simply isn't capable of great visuals.
I would say that although not vital and made up for by the motion sensing controls, the graphics are lacking a cutting edge and give the game a damp and weathered look.
The game sounds okay. There isn't a soundtrack of such but "The Godfather" theme music is included and adds some atmosphere at points. Cars sound like cars, explosions sound like explosions and voices sound like people. It is nice to hear Marlon Brando's voice as The Don.
As the city is big and there is much exploring to be done, the game can last a fair while. The story line moves on when you want it to by visiting certain locations and doing certain jobs. You can't spend hours on end playing without stopping so you won't be finished in a hurry.