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The Godfather II


The Godfather II

ESRB: Mature - M
Platform: Xbox 360
Category: Miscellaneous

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Redwood Shores


1-4 Players (2-6 online multiplayer)
15MB to Game Save
HDTV 720p/1080i/1080p
In-Game Dolby Digital
Custom Soundtracks
Game Content Download

Based on the 1974 crime drama file directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather II arrives for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It is a follow up game to EA's 2006 release The Godfather: The Game. I had the opportunity to review the Xbox 360 version. I didn’t get a chance to play the first game so I was very curious to see what this sequel was all about. Being a fan of the movies, as well as open-world games such as Crackdown and GTA4, I was looking forward to giving the game a spin and re-living some of those memorable moments from the movie. Well, after some extended playtime with the game I am somewhat impressed. The Godfather II has many enjoyable moments and the open-world environment really comes to life in a likable uncensored fashion. That being said, the game does suffer from some set backs but at the end of the day this one is much better than I anticipated.


As far as the visuals are concerned, The Godfather II is a good looking game which really comes as no surprise as EA games, for the most part, look good on next generation consoles. The Godfather II takes place in the late 1950s and early 1960s in three different cities: Havana, Cuba, New York City, and Miami, Florida. The environments in the game are huge and have a realistic look and feel to them. Granted the detail is not on par with GTA4 but it is very close. The pedestrians, cars, roads, skylines and city buildings all add to an environment I found myself really wanting to explore. The detail that went into the city is impressive and something that may leave lasting impressions.

The character models are also fairly good and very similar to their on-screen counterparts. Michael Corleone's clothing and facial expressions are bang on. Also, the way the characters run, fight, and move are life like. Some of the facial animations and character detail is certainly not Gears of War quality but it is certainly on par with other open-world games already on the market. I really liked how The Godfather II features character customization. Before you even launch into the game a menu appears where you can make your mobster look like a tough son of a gun. Long sideburns or a porno moustache; the level of customization offered up is surprisingly deep and a nice little touch.

In terms of the negatives, the games textures are not as crisp as I would have liked and the game does suffer from some random clipping issues. Additionally the camera can take on a life of its own from time to time. I was surprised to see that there are a fair amount of graphical glitches in the game. As a result, veteran gamers will likely be unsettled with some of these annoyances; however for those causal gamers who are merely looking to relive some of the great moments from the movie, these glitches likely won’t turn you off even if you notice these deficiencies. Bottomline, the positives clearly outweigh the negatives as The Godfather II is a smooth and good looking game.


Alhtough the sound in The Godfather II game is certainly solid it won’t leave you with the same lasting impression that so many other EA games leave you with. Don’t get me wrong, the sound effects and soundtrack are strong; and they certainly capture the same atmosphere the 1974 movie did, nevertheless we have seen better from EA. For starters the soundtrack has a tendency to become repetitive and forgettable. Those jazzy blues tunes from the original movie are included in the game but they do not have the same impact as say the soundtrack in GTA4 did. It sounds good in 5.1 surround sound but often overshadowed by some of the games other sound effects.

The voice acting is the game is decent, however they noticeably talk over one another. Far too often in the game when you approach a group of mobsters they all seem to start talking at once. Your mere presence triggers the chatter and it makes for an annoying experience. You often question “what the heck did he say?” as all the onscreen character are talking at once. If I wanted to listen to people talk over one another I would watch ‘The View’. As for the dialog itself, when you understand it, it is engaging and worthy of the Mature ESRB rating. Make sure the little ones are not around when playing this game.

Other in-game sound effects such as explosions, sounds of the guns, cars screeching and any other combat sounds we typically hear in games like this are all good. Explosions pack a punch and the weapons sounds are surprisingly distinct and very good. All in all, The Godfather II is a decent sounding game but the forgettable soundtrack and ‘all at once’ chatter holds this game back from being superb in the audio department.


In terms of the storyline, The Godfather II commences on December 31, 1958 in Havana, Cuba, four years after the preceding game. A major mob meeting is taking place on the eve of the Cuban revolution. Unfortunately, the meeting takes a turn for the worse and the Don, Aldo Trapani, of your family is killed. As a result, you are then handed the torch, sort of speak, and now must lead your battered organization. On top of this, Micheal Corleone comes under investigation by the Senate Committee on Organized Crime. The Corleone family calls upon you to re-establish its operation in New York and expand into new territory - Miami. You must build up your crew and arsenal; and make whatever deals you need to as you fight off attacks and strike back at your rivals.

The Godfather II is played from a third person perspective in an open world and at its core it is primarily an action/sandbox game, but it also contains some strategy aspects, as you battle rival families and takes over businesses. It plays very much the same way Grand Theft Auto 4 does; unfortunately not as good. The Godfather II loosely follows film, so do expect to follow the game as if you were watching the movie. The main storyline and the essence of the original film is certainly noticeable. Some characters roles are expanded upon and the open world gives you the freedom to feel as though you are not stuck in a movie based game and in control of your own destiny.

As Domenic, your main goal in the game is to build your criminal empire, but before you build any criminal empire you need a crew. This is done progressively throughout the game and The Godfather II does a great job at slowly introducing you to all the important facets of the game. Your crew can be made to your liking. If you like to punish people and consider yourself an aggressive combatant, then you might want to keep a medic on your crew at all times. If you like to blow up things then you might want to hire an arsonist; or how about a safecracker to break into business safes. Money is king in Godfather II, so having a safecracker is always a wise move as you need the financial resources to control your properties and manage your business so they do not get overrun by your rivals. On the downside, the crew members are not always the sharpest tack in the box. Sometimes they get stuck in areas causing some missions to fail. Also, they do not always do what you tell them to. The responsiveness of the crew members is lacking and lends to a feeling that the game is a tad unfinished.

To manage the businesses and properties under your control, the game introduces the Don’s View. This is an innovative 3D map where you can quickly check out the progress you have made in the game thus far. Here is where the strategy component of the game takes a prominent role. The Don’s View gives gamers the feeling they are in control of an organized crime family. For instance, here you can check how many men are guarding a business. If a business is not heavily guarded, the Don’s View allows you take a glimpse at the situation and plan your next move. Additionally, the Don’s View allows you to see which of you businesses are under attack. It is a cool little feature map which is accessed on a regular basis in the game. Whether it be corrupting officials or doing favours for people, the Don’s View is your control center which becomes your best friend in the game.

Like many games in its genre, The Godfather II involves a lot of hand-to-hand combat, driving and gun battles. The controls for doing such are very straightforward and do not take long to pick-up. The Godfather II features a “Black Hand 2.0” control scheme where the player can grab, knee, kick, and head-butt enemies. Heck, you can even choke-out your enemies from time to time. The shooting mechanics are very straightforward as well and awfully similar to GTA4 as it features a lock-on type system. It works well but does not offer up the same level of satisfaction like GTA4 did. For starters, the enemies are ridiculously easy to beat as there really isn’t much of a challenge especially once you upgrade your crew. Taking out businesses is a breeze and the only challenge I found was trying not to kill the owner. You cannot take over a business if you take out the owner as the business shuts down for a period of time. The driving mechanics in the game are also very simple but the majority of the vehicles feel ‘floaty’ as drive like boats and have the turning radius of stretch limos. Maybe this is to reflect the feel of cars from that era, but I still didn’t like the way they handled. A few more months back in the shop could have done these vehicles some good. Also, the game could have been better served with a more intuitive GPS system. Finding your way around town can be problematic at the best of times despite having the ability to set up a waypoint in the Don’s View.

The Godfather II features a third-person shooter multiplayer mode that supports up to 16 players online. There are currently 6 maps and 4 gameplay modes. Multiplayer matches can be also yield in-game cash and weapon licenses that can be carried over to the single player mode. Overall, the multiplayer is enjoyable but is not nearly as deep and as smooth as other Xbox 360 shooters already available on the market.

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