This is a sequel to The Godfather: The Game, which was also developed and published by EA in 2006. The Godfather II takes place in the late 1950s and early 1960s over three cities: Havana, Cuba, New York City, and Miami, Florida. The game starts out at a party in Havana, Cuba where all the families are gathered for a business meeting with Hyman Roth. Roth is there to turn over his business interest to the other families as he is “retiring”. After some short conversations, chaos breaks out as the rebels have come to overthrow the government. You are Dominic, a member of the Trapani family and your now tasked with getting the don’s, Michael Corleone included, out of the melee and to the airport. After battling through the crazed streets of Havana you and the Don’s finally make it to the airport and then tragedy strikes. Coming through the gates of the airport, New York Don Aldo Trapani who players will remember as the protagonist of the original is gunned down by a Cuban sniper. And that my friends is how it starts. With Trapani’s death, Michael Corleone knows that all out war will now break out for control of New York and he is not about to let that happen and thus he appoints you as the new Don of New York and tells you to go out and start your own family and show the rest of the families who the real king of New York is and when all is said and done YOU will.
Do you have what it takes to be the boss of all bosses?
Six weeks after this incident, due to the volatile instability created by the recent events, two of the Corleone’s caporegimes, Tony and Carmine Rosato, turned on you to begin building their own organized crime family. As you can understand, betrayals like this can not be tolerated and they along with four other families will eventually have to be dealt with.
The gameplay is good, with a structure and control setup similar to GTA and Saint’s Row. Throughout the game, you will grow your family and promote them from soldiers to capos, and eventually one of them to underboss. Don’t forget to upgrade their skills via the Don’s View to make them even better assets in shootouts. During the game, pay attention to when you are told that you can expand your family, the more people you have in your family the more powerful and versatile you will become. Each member of your family will have at least one skill, one of six to be precise although some start with two and as you promote them they can learn more. The six skills are safecracker, engineer, demolition, arsonist, medic, and bruiser. The skills are pretty self-explanatory but safecrackers can crack safes and open locked doors, engineers can cut fences and cut power to places, demolition guys blow stuff up, arsonist burn things down, medics can revive you in battle and bruiser can break down doors and are good with their hands so to speak. You can only keep three people in your crew at any one time, so make sure you always keep a good mix of skills with you. Some soldiers are better than others and if their ever comes a time where your family is full but there is a better player available of the same skill you already have, you can mark one of your family for death and he will become susceptible to friendly fire, but how he dies is up to you.
Never disrespect the Don
As you would expect to progress through the game you will have to take over different rackets and front businesses. This won’t be easy as there usually is already another family that is running the joint and they will fight back. So the basic premise of the game is to take over all of another families businesses at which point their compound will become available. To completely destroy the family, you must blow up the compound. It’s not as easy as you might think to take over all a family’s businesses as they will attack the one’s you have already taken over and try and get them back. As events in the game occur it becomes easier to fight off these attacks, but in the beginning it is no trivial thing. (Gametip: To weaken a family, take out there top members first by doing favors to gain their kill details and then go to the Don’s View and select that family and that family member and press square to mark him for death, this will make sure your people don’t accidentally kill him so you can execute his kill condition.)
The game has a lot of different components and while many are done brilliantly, some are lacking. The voice acting of the main character is terrible, but the rest of the voices are okay. The multiplayer experience is pretty seamless to get in and out of but to be honest it just doesn’t stand up to the competition. If you play it, it could just as well be an old computer game as a game you are playing on the PS3, not a major selling point. The controls take a little time to get used to but once you get it they are great. It uses a weapon wheel to switch weapons as well as to use items like molotovs, dynamite, and bombs. The Godfather II has so many moving components that I can’t even talk about them all. There is strategy required in how you play and that makes the game more enjoyable but after a while it becomes repetitive, although the story will compel you to want to finish it.
Take care of your family and they will take care of you
In the end the Godfather II has more highs than lows and that’s a good thing. The biggest disappoint is that the game is linear, meaning no matter what you do there is only one way it can end. This is a major downfall of the game as there are several points in the game when you have conversations and you have a choice of what to say but since it doesn’t matter what you say the developers lost a great opportunity to add a lot more depth and realism as far as consequences of your actions. The game does apparently have some great DLC coming to the PS3 store on April 23rd that should expand the game even more and who knows it might even make the online play more engaging. To be the head of a crime family is a complicated balancing act and I think that this game really conveys that, there are a lot of things to manage. With a familiar gameplay model and an engaging story, Godfather II hits the mark but it misses with a less than stellar online experience and a linear storyline which lowers its replay value. The only question that matters is would I buy it again and the answer is yes and for that I give The Godfather II 4 out of 5 stars.
Game Tip: So in the Godfather 2, you can’t get something for nothing. You will see people walking around with keys floating over their heads. Simply go up to them and talk to them. They will ask you to do them a favor, which could be messing up a store (sometime your own), stealing something, roughing people up, or sometimes whacking them. In return, they will give you the kill condition for a made man, and their hideout and from the Don’s View you can target them and eliminate them.
However, it’s very important that you pay attention to the “kill condition”, which tells you exactly how you must kill that made man. Why is it important that you follow the kill condition, because if you don’t you will just put them in the hospital and they will get better and come back, so if it says shoot them in the head, do it, if it says throw them off the roof, do that, if you don’t meet the kill condition they come back. Another trick I learned is that once you get a kill condition on a made man, go to the Don’s View, go to that family, find that member you want to take out and press square, this will “mark him for death”.
This is extremely important because if you don’t do this, then when you get their one of your guys may accidentally just kill him, but if you mark him for death before your guys won’t attack him, leaving him for you to dispose of, you will want to do this with every made man you go after, the worst thing that happens is that you get their, get through all the other people in a building and then one of your guys accidentally kills him and you have to come back and do it over, so remember mark them for death first.