Gangsters Gambit A Deep Dive Into The Sopranos Game

It’s my first day working for Tony Soprano and guess what an exciting task the Mafia boss has given me. Mispronouncing a loan shark’s penny, robbing a jeweler, beating a rival bandit? No, I get sandwich orders from everyone. I don’t think I’m unfair to say that this game has the uninspired opening level since you arrived at the post office in Enter the Matrix. Sometimes game designers have done everything wrong.

In fairness, the Sopranos were a difficult license to convert into interactive fun. While those who have never seen the series may think that it is an epic of extremely charged bandits, the reality is very different. It is an overall drama series that focuses on a strong characterization framed rather than defined by the brutal reality of mafia life. Although roughness is a necessary tool for such an existence, bloodshed is indeed rare in the series. A frown is often more powerful than a real punch and execute is always the last resort for Tony and his team. Simply put, like Eido’s recent misguided stunt against Reservoir Dogs, The Sopranos is not the perfect video game stream, it appears first. Unfortunately, this stumbling block failed to dissuade the publisher THQ, which turned out to be a terribly inept Spin-off that does not do a favor to a truly classic show.


The first flaw is a Vintage money faux pas; you don’t play as one of the main characters. Instead, they are Joey Bompensiero, the son of an old friend of Tony’s who was beaten for spilling his guts to the Confederates (I know his name, but he’s too rude to print here). When Tony Soprano sees her doing a little burglary, he takes her under his wing, and from there it’s up to you to earn his respect and gradually climb the crime ladder – with the arrival of sandwiches, of course. The strange thing is that once the fray comes to the fore, you will crave those glory days so that you can order Christopher Moltisanti burgers. This game has one of the worst action machines I’ve ever experienced, and it gets worse the more you play with it.

Essentially, you have three strike modes (light strike, heavy strike and hold), but usually you just have to beat the bad guys until one of them falls. Makeshift weapons such as pipes, bottles and cans can be picked up in Dead Rising style to give you an advantage, but they are quite useless because it is quite easy to win over and over again by simply pressing the X button. Special movements such as the Sicilian pedicure (or the foot breaker) with a charming name can be suppressed by grabbing a stunned enemy or throwing him to the ground, selecting a movement on the D-pad, then sliding the left analog stick in the direction indicated on the screen. Such contextual actions under Fahrenheit – and God of War-also come into play when you drag an enemy into a highlighted piece of furniture, then stick his head in a filing cabinet or throw his head in the toilet (nice).


If all this seems like a pleasant racket, I have other explanations to do. The plot in the Sopranos is always clumsy and repetitive, and never really satisfying. The Action with a man is quite serious, but the “Action” becomes an embarrassing snack when you are forced to confront a gang. It is not possible to lock down a target or repel more than one striker, which means that you are often forced to circle around your enemies until they separate enough to be able to get a few meager shots. Believe me, it’s please that it’s half bad. There’s a chance to get your gun out, but aside from a few nailed-on strike missions (including the unusual Weapon-weight finale), wielding a gun in public loses Tony’s respect and can even get you hit.


This Action machine debacle wouldn’t be so big if there was more than Action in The Sopranos, but the levels are basically about finding someone, following them into another room, arguing, acting, winning the poorly animated scrap, then talking to someone else (repeat until bored). It’s depressing, painfully linear and the only thing that separates one Mission from the next is the location. Sure, you can visit some of the places in the series, like Tony Bada Bing’s shady nightclub, but if a virtual lap dance rendering with the ps2’s squeaky graphics chip is your idea of a good time, I can’t recommend in the series sterile and languid settings included here.

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