I love The Godfather. I have practially memorized the movies, especially the first one and have been known to watch the first two back to back. I enjoyed the first game in this series back on the PS2, so I was looking forward to playing the sequel, especially with the Don’s View I had read so much about.
Godfather II is an open-world game, like Grand Theft Auto. The difference is that in addition to a few story missions, the bulk of the game is spent taking businesses over from rival families and defending your own turf from them. You can do this by either going yourself and killing all the guards and then threatening the store owner until he gives in. There is a little bar that shows how far you have pushed him and if you push him too far, he stops being meek and starts fighting back. Then you have no choice but to kill him and wait a bit for the business to re-open. Then you get to do it all again! (Protip: Don’t overdo it. It’s a pain in the ass.) The other method involves the Don’s View, which allows you to send some of your family to take over or bomb a business. The game is even enough of a stand-up guy to let you know if your attack will likely succeed or fail based on number of wiseguys you send.
Bombing a business is usually easier, just send your guys to do it and it usually works. The reason to bomb a place has to do with Crime Rings. All businesses have a bonus attached to them and if you control all of a certain type, gambling for instance, you get a bonus, such as bullet-proof vests, brass knuckles or cheaper guards. By bombing a family who has a Crime Ring, you take away that bonus, which is a good time to attack and take it from them! This is about as far as the strategy goes in the game, but its a neat little addition and makes you feel like you are really in control of the family. The other aspect that does this is your ability to promote your gang and add new skills, like a medic or a bruiser. If you want to promote someone and your family is full, simply mark someone for death and whack him! Then a spot will free up and he can join the Corleone family. These guys can then tag along and do a decent job of helping you take over the city. Or cities, as this game spans New York, Miami and Havana and follows the plot of the movie, but changes quite a bit to allow for your character, Dominic, to be involved.
Honestly, I enjoyed this game quite a bit. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but the Don’s view is a nice touch and adds a nice layer of complexity to an otherwise simple game. There are safes around the city to find and new weapon upgrades, but I didn’t really mess with them and they are for completists only. The voice acting is pretty decent, with Robert Duvall returning to voice Tom Hagen, the family lawyer and consigliere. If you enjoy open-world games, then give this one a shot for sure. I enjoyed it more than I did Grand Theft Auto IV, to be honest, but not as much as Saints Row 2. There is nothing really bad I can think of to say about the game. It’s a good game, just nothing in it brings it to a higher level of greatness.
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