©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos:- CE (Community Editor)
Ahh another day and another game developed and published by none other than the infamous EA (Electronic Arts). The Godfather II, developed by EA’s Redwood Shores division, is based upon Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather II, a crime family movie which follows the Corleone family directly where they left off from the events of The Godfather.
Perhaps ‘based upon’ isn’t really the expression to use here so I’ll use ‘loosely based on’ instead, as while it may be called The Godfather II, the game really only features the characters, the setting and the rival families and does not follow the same path in storyline as the movie.
This is mainly because you play as Dominic, a used-to-be enforcer for The Corleone Family, who has now been given the right to pretty much own New York City as a spot in the Don’s territory has opened up. At the start of the game you are treated to a party in Cuba in which you get to see all the Dons of each family with one Hyman Roth.
This party is to celebrate a great business deal between the families which Mr. Roth had set up so that each would work towards a greater future. Unfortunately for them the party is cut short by Castro’s soldiers and Michael, Fredo and Dominic must flee Cuba and head back to New York.
It’s not until after this cut-scene the crime starts a happening. Since the party was interrupted and the business deal in Cuba went sour each family takes it up themselves to do what they can to survive.
Two rival families set up shop in New York and start taking over businesses and various crime rings. Don Michael Corleone asks the player (Dominic) to do what he must in order to eliminate the rival competition.
New York is where you start your own family and the rise to earn the respect and title of a Don.
The game plays similar to that of Saints Row 2 in terms of how cars handle and how the player moves. It is not as slow and realistic as that of GTA:IV’s gameplay. In the long run this style of gameplay makes the game more fun and accessible to a larger audience of gamers.
Driving cars may take a while to get used to as turn sensitivity is different for each car and whilst it isn’t a bad thing it does get annoying at times mainly because cars aren’t really a necessity within the game.
New York is such a small piece of terrain in that you could run from one end to the other during a commercial break between The Simpsons and most likely still have time to grab a drink before it starts up again. Only when you have alerted the police do cars come into play as you have to escape from them to get on with the crime.
Crime? Oh sorry I mean daily income visits…
‘Crime’ is a major focus within the game of Godfather II. You can smash any store that is available to enter and the police wouldn’t be alerted. The only time that you get the cops’ attention is by either stealing a car in front of a lifeless New York environment (so who sees you?) or if you actually start shooting at police themselves.
If you were smart enough you could complete this game without alerting the police at all and pretty much control all rackets through the ‘Don View’.
Now this brings me to a pivotal difference in The Godfather II compared with other open-world games of this sort. Blending in Real Time Strategy (RTS) and micromanagement within a 3rd Person Game is pure brilliance. Accessible via the Start Button the Don’s View brings up an overview of all of New York City or other parts of the city you are currently viewing and shows the player the position of every crime ring building as well as stores that can be extorted.
Information about rival families, including kill conditions for each member gained after doing favours for random pedestrians in the street are also displayed. It also shows upgrading skills for members of your own family, which executions you have completed, the crimes you have done and more.
It is an element that requires a little bit more thinking than brawn.
If the player was to play it safe and smart you could send out each member of your family and bomb various buildings never even having to waste his own ammo in getting the job done.
The family AI, if upgraded can get it done in a split second, allowing the player to go about finishing off the main storyline mission that are very vague and very hollow. Of course by doing this play time is drastically decreased and the game less fulfilling.
This detracts from the experience of the game, but the option is there for you to use which is good. This gives the player some degree of choice to perform tasks.
Apart from the Don’s view there isn’t much else that the game does extremely well. BlackHand combat makes a return and it has improved in the sequel. Slamming opponents into the wall, desks, throwing them off ledges all give variety in executions which is nice, and brutal might I add.
Weapons have to be found, yes found, to use them and this is really annoying. You cannot buy weapons at stores so by the end of the game you may have only found 3 weapons which range from level 1 to level 3. Of course the highest level being the best weapon in that category.
It makes the game frustrating as rival families already own crime rings so they have the perks.
These perks include body armour and your weak weapons are pretty useless again it which hurts you as family member can die much quicker regardless of upgrades.
At times graphics can be hit and miss, with character models looking great yet terrain looking dull and bland. It’s a trend that follows throughout the whole game.
With a lifeless New York as well as Cuba and Florida, Godfather II shines in some areas and doesn’t in others. Its redeeming features such as the Don’s View really helps to differentiate it from the pack. Whilst it isn’t as fun nor customizable as Saint’s Row 2 and doesn’t have that story nor graphical quality like GTA4, Godfather II allows you to truly be ‘the Don’.
Regardless of its limitations, the game offers 10+ hours of good old fashion of fun, and really isn’t that what most games should be about- fun?
©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos:- CE (Community Editor)
“OXCGN Buyers Guide
The Godfather 2 Price List in Australia (as of writing):
• EB Games: $99.95 (will also price-match)
• Game: $99.95 (will also price-match with catalogue proof)
• GameTraders: $99.95
• JB HiFi: $79 (trade 3 x 360 games not on the exclusion list and get it for free)
• Wow Sight & Sound: $78
• Harvey Norman: $99.95
• Myer: $99.95
Filed under: 3rd Party Games, Console gaming, Parental Gaming, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Reviews, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | Castro, Corleone Family, Dominic, EA (Electronic Arts), EA's Redwood Shores, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather II, godfather 2 review, Hyman Roth, New York City, the godfather 2 reviews, The Godfather II reviews