EA has released another set of videos and images that offer a glimpse into the role of the police in The Godfather game. The information is accompanied by a short Q&A with John Calhoun, one of the title's game designers.
Please tell us how the New York City police force plays a role in The Godfather The Game.
The police are the "third pillar" of power in the Godfather game, alongside the Corleones and the four enemy families. Their role is simple - enforce the law, and keep peace on the streets. If your character starts busting up shops, starting fires, stealing cars, or attacking civilians, expect the cops to react quickly. Violent acts will earn you "heat points," which slowly steps up the police presence. At low levels, you may notice the occasional beat cop, but eventually you'll start seeing regular patrols and increased security in front of banks, all the way up to massive police chases and roadblocks. However, the cops will also crack down on your rivals (if they're acting up), so there's always a chance that they'll lend you a hand instead of throw you in prison.
I understand that there are 'dirty' cops just waiting to get on The Corleone Family payroll. How and where do we find them?
Everyone has a price; the cops are no exception. If you're looking to buy some cooperation from the law, just keep you eyes and ears open around an officer. If he's willing to be bribed, he'll let you know. Of course, a dirty cop won't do business with you if you're waving a gun around in public, so it's a good idea to hit the streets incognito - keep your weapons hidden, and your reputation clean. Once you find a corrupt cop, just talk to him to offer a bribe. If you're having trouble locating some help, head over to the local precinct; the police chief is always on duty, although he's the most expensive officer to negotiate with!
What levels of the police force are involved? And is it true things can escalate all the way to the FBI?
The absolute rookies - the ones you'll be dealing with early in the game - are the beat cops. They put up a good fight, but they shouldn't be too difficult once you become a made man. (They're also the cheapest to bribe.) The sergeants are another matter; once these guys show up on the scene, it's a good idea to lay low and find a safe house. They pack the toughest weapons, and are relentless in pursuits. Finally, each neighborhood is run by a police chief. He never leaves the station, but has influence over all the cops in his jurisdiction. If you find the chief and bribe him, he'll put the word out to his men to give you a wide berth. As for the FBI, they're out there, but their role is a little bit more - clandestine…
What type of research went into recreating the 40s and 50s NYPD? What movies and books did you reference?
Obviously, the most important goal was to follow the look established in the Godfather movies. The characters, uniforms, and vehicles that our artists created were fashioned after the ones seen in the first film. We started with Sergeant McCluskey, a cop from the movie who works for Sollozzo and Bruno Tattaglia. When our artists were satisfied with McCluskey's appearance, we used his look to design other cop models with a similar aesthetic. The cop cars look exactly like the ones from the film, too. As for the "voice" of our NYPD - the things they say were inspired by our team's favorite crime films and TV shows!
Any tips for outrunning the G-Men?
Actually, the G-men (FBI) have an interesting role in the Godfather game. In the movies, the FBI didn't actively chase down gangsters - that's a job for the police. Instead, they were involved with spying on the mob, gathering evidence, and building a case to bring down an entire family at once. The good news is that the FBI is working against all families, not just the Corleones. In the game, you can use this to your advantage by finding and bribing a G-man. This causes the FBI to turn up the pressure on your rivals, effectively forcing them into hiding. This can be a good way to manage your vendetta levels, and to resolve a mob war with an enemy family.