The Godfather Five Families: Become the Don for Free
By Jerrico Tan (JetSet), OnRPG Journalist
Nothing gets close to a thrilling story of power, supremacy and crime as the world famous trilogy novel by Mario Puzo: The Godfather. Its enthralling story-line of families against families in 70’s New York has earned a name for itself around the world and has not just been made into a blockbuster film but also adapted and developed into a strategy point-and-click-browser-based game by Kabam Studios. In this time and place, you become part of one of the Five Families and are put in charge of bringing your empire to power, fighting gangs and gaining respect and reputation that will ultimately bring your crew to the top and pave your way to becoming the Godfather of an undefeatable empire.
OF THE GAMEPLAY
The map of the game is categorized into 3: The City, the Neighborhood and the Estate. The City is where you can get a view of your own neighborhood, together with the Gangs and Cityscapes that surround you. It is here that you get to see the levels of the Gangs and the rewards that they offer should your attacks thrive against them. If you are new, do not be worried about any early attacks as you are given a seven-day immunity against any attacks so take this early opportunity to power up your empire.
The Neighborhood is basically where you build and power up your empire. Construction of buildings for your city is one of the first tasks/jobs in the game. Restaurants, Factories, Steel Mills, Apartments and Hideouts are built to generate Resources, Influence Points or Attack Units that are needed for future tasks. Upgrading these constructions will generate more items within a lesser span of time.
Lastly, the Estate is the fortress that you must defend at all costs. Here you will find facilities that generate defense units together with an Armory, a Warehouse, a Guard Post, the Walls, a Garage, a Library, a Guest House and most importantly, the Mansion. All these facilities work hand in hand together with the buildings in your neighborhood and every upgrade of any of the facility increases the overall power of the empire.
Leveling-up does not however happen overnight. Like typical empire-building games today, every task is given an amount of time to complete and the higher the rewards of the task, the longer it takes to reach completion. You can speed up the waiting time of any quest but only in exchange for Diamonds, the real cash equivalent of the game so if you’re not willing to spend, you have no choice but to wait. A new player might also have difficulty understanding the numerous controls and options but worry not because the game clearly lays out the tasks needed to be done with a Job List.
OF VICTORIES AND DEFEATS
Attacks on Gangs and Cityscapes are what make the game go around. As your level increases, you will be given jobs of attacking Gangs and Cityscapes of specific levels. It is here that you must put the attack units that you have trained to good use. After a victory against a Gang, you will be rewarded with the said Bonus/Respect points together with a few weapons and goods, but you will permanently lose the units that you have deployed and you must train new units in the Hideout once again. A letter from your mail will inform you of every fight outcome and, if you’re lucky, high quality items will be rewarded to you such as a 70s type Cadillac or an Italian Suit that significantly increase your next chances of winning. Attacking Cityscapes on the other hand lets you deploy your units to help you gain Respect in the Neighborhood and increase the percentage of your Resources, depending on the level of the Cityscape.
Likewise, a good defense is as important as a good offense. Joining a Crew lets you station defense troops in your Estate to protect you from outsiders. Of course, upgrading your facilities is essential (ex: a high-level Guest House in your Estate lets you station more troops for defenses).
OF THE CREW
Joining or creating a Crew adds a particular spice to the game. Together, you can overrun a particular enemy and receive Bonuses and Reputation points and, if you’re having trouble, you can ask fellow crew members for help in the provided chat box (a good number of players are always online). Individual efforts of members help increase the overall reputation of the entire crew, and if your crew earns the “Crew of the Month” title, a bag of special rewards are in store for you and all the members.
OF THE EMPIRE
Empire-building games are quite a hit nowadays with a handful of titles to get you busy enough. Honestly though, Godfather: Five Families doesn’t really separate itself much from other similar tactical empire-building games in terms of gameplay. Waiting for upgrades to finish, building crews, completing tasks, attacking enemies and leveling-up step-by-step; it’s very common gameplay mechanics that take a lot of patience to endure and can somewhat prove to be tedious in the long run.
What is unique about this game however, is its entire backdrop. The gang-on-gang disputes are very reminiscent of the events that take place in the film and the books, which is a great feat for old fans of the story. Likewise, Kabam Studios was able to realize and capture the real feel of the 70s mafia world with the help of its attractive, up-to-date graphics. Events and contests are also regularly held and updated to keep things fresh every now and then. And even if it takes a long while before you realize your efforts of building an indestructible empire, the game still has a certain fun-factor that would keep you coming back everyday because, simple as it may seem, it still takes a considerable amount of planning to be able to produce a worthy empire.
For what it’s worth, The Godfather: Five Families certainly doesn’t put its film and novel counterparts to shame. Kids and adults will find themselves getting hooked from the very start because who in his right mind wouldn’t want to become the Don of a family? The process may seem long but the stronger you become, the more fun and satisfaction you get. Time to get choosing your family. Play now and be a Godfather for free.