"The Godfather -- The Game" hits stores today, and the manufacturer, Electronic Arts Inc., hopes the video game version of the classic movie will be an offer celebrities -- and gamers -- can't refuse.
"The Godfather -- The Game" casts players in the role of a young man entering the world of the Corleone family. Players can create their own mob character and choose how they're going to work their way to the top. The game goes beyond just re-creating the "Godfather" trilogy and book to recreate the 1940s and 1950s world in which the characters lived.
Players can interact with characters such as Luca Brasi, Sonny, Tom Hagan, and of course, Don Vito Corleone. That excites video game fans, even the more famous ones who turned out for a launch party for the game in Los Angeles on Monday night.
"There's something you have to do to become a [member of] the mob," said rapper and game enthusiast Snoop Dogg. "It's the whole family [that's involved in the game]. I'm anxious to see that in the whole world because we're so intrigued by it, from seeing it in films. You can have it your own way and become that piece that's missing when you're watching the movie."
Some fans say a game devoted to "The Godfather" has been long overdue.
"To see it as a game is dope," Ice Cube said. "You know they've got all these other games, and they finally gave a little respect to one of the classic movies in American history."
Actors from the "Godfather" film such as Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall lent their voices to the game. Brando contributed some of his voice-overs before his death in 2004. A sound-alike artist provided most of the voice-overs for Brando's Don Corleone. Caan said he took a few liberties with his portrayal as Santino "Sonny" Corleone.
"We ad-libbed a lot because I figured I could take license," he said. "None of them [the video game characters] looked like Shakespeare so I thought I could take license. So, we had a lot of fun doing that."
Still, not everyone was so enthusiastic about Electronic Arts' video game version of "The Godfather."
Francis Ford Coppola, the film's director, did not want to have any involvement in the project. In addition, many previews of the game were negative, and Electronic Arts reportedly spent between $10 million and $20 million to re-create the Mafia world for game consoles and personal computers and suffered some financial losses from multiple delays in production.