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Friday | October 19, 2018
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Godfather II (PC)

Godfather II (PC)


The Godfather was a big seller for Electronic Arts and today we have a look at the sequel, a title which not only adds some strategy to the game play mechanic, but which also attempts to mirror some key story elements of the film.

The Godfather II focuses on the tales of Michael Corleone which starts with the meeting of the families in Havana to split up Hyman Roth’s empire. The meeting is never concluded however because the Cuban revolution forces everyone to flee the country. Taking control of Dominic, a soldier of Aldo Trapani, you flee with Michael, Fredo and Aldo to the airport however just as you get to the runway Aldo is shot and killed which means Michael promotes you to Aldo’s position. This promotion is not all good news however as you need to re-establish family control of New York and then expand your boundaries to Miami and Cuba. As you expand there are other families fighting your every move so it is up to you to eliminate them by whatever means possible to maintain dominance in the crime world.

While the game has some elements from the movie incorporated there are a few ‘adaptations’ which purists will not agree with. For instance, Fredo has a much larger role within the game than he ever did in the film and due to him being saved in Cuba he seems to act as a continual plot device throughout the story. In the game, Dominic also plays an integral role in breaking Frank Pentangeli during the Senate testimony on the Corleone family. Much of this however is just dramatic license to create a slightly more interactive game environment in certain ways.

The Godfather II has some game play changes with the introduction of more strategy elements. The Don’s View, is a 3D map that allows you to see your property and that of rival families so you can work out the areas you wish to attack. To make your family stronger, you need to control fronts that help launder money as well as the nine crime rings in the game, which provide bonuses to the family who own it. For example, the drug ring doubles your income and the gun running ring allows you to carry more ammo. However, taking over a business means you will be the subject of a certain amount of revenge from the subsequent family. Rivals will send their own soldiers to shoot, bomb and try to take control from you, forcing you to use the Dons View to decide when you want to send reinforcements or set up extra defenders to stop the attacks.

You are also able to use this map to track down corrupt officials that you can help in order to be able to ask them for favours at a later date. These are normally just temporary measure however as the main goal is to put out hits on individual mobsters. You find out information on their location by helping people on the streets which can mean anything from breaking safes to beating up or killing people. Once you have stolen every business from a specific rival their entire family will retreat to a compound which you need to raid and destroy to wipe them out for good.

There are also plenty of action sequences in the game which means you will be in the heat of the action with up to three crew members, each with their own skills that will help you in battle. For instance, you can bring along a medic who can heal injured members of your crew, demolitions guys who can bomb installations and engineers who can cut the power so rival factions can’t call for help. Generally these crew members act independently and will target and take out enemies as soon as they see them but you are given the ability to give them commands to send them to specific locations when needed or to make them follow you and use their skills on certain objects. The guy you control, Dominic, is a tough mobster and can cause serious damage with his fists as well as choking people to death or shooting out their kneecaps. All in a days work for a mobster leader !

As well as standard melee attacks you can use weapons that you find to kill enemies, such as using a Tommy Gun to wipe out a group of soldiers. If certain locations are proving difficult, you can invest money to increase the statistics of both Dominic and your crewmembers to make them more powerful in combat as well as boosting attributes such as speed and accuracy.

The game mechanic is well handled, the strategy/action balancing appears to be quite good and by using Don’s View, you can get an overall sense of the battle raging across the three cities you are vying for control of. The fact you have the ability to manipulate facets of the world from this view means it becomes a very intuitive experience for the most part. Carefully combined with the strategy elements are a wealth of action and fighting options which means you do get your hands dirty, rather than just sitting in a house controlling all your minions.

Unfortunately there is one aspect of the game which is something that might ruin the experience for many gamers. The difficulty level errs on the side of being too easy, even for a moderately skilled gamer. Rival families don’t often fight back that hard and they don’t perform many challenging actions to take back control of businesses or locations. For every ten actions you instigate they will probably only perform one or two in return which means that making ground is all too easy, especially as you have a ton of time to improve defenses with guard reinforcements.

The Artificial intelligence is actually the main weakness of the game because you don’t feel as if you are battling against real mafia mobsters. They don’t often perform any sneaky attacks while causing distractions and most of their actions are openly transparent. This is particularly evident in that you rarely need to worry about attacks from more than one rival at a time and you can dedicate all your attention to one family, eliminate them, then move on.


Also, while all the weaponry can be upgraded to allow your soldiers to carry a more formidable arsenal, they cope exceptionally well with the default array of guns given to them at the start of the game. There really does seem to be no real need to waste time and money improving them.

Multiplayer is catered for with the usual modes such as Team Deathmatch and there are class specific modes such as Demolition Assault which puts everyone in control of a demolitions expert to destroy key objectives on the maps. Fire Starter is a mode which tasks your arsonists with starting fires to score bonus points and lastly Safecracker which involves breaking into an array of safes around the map to win. Don’s Control is the most interesting mode as it allows two players to gamble cash on the outcome of their teams and then attempt to direct their soldiers to victory. Multiplayer is all in all quite a fun experience and works well, I certainly enjoyed myself anyway.

The graphics are rather impressive however there are some issues that occur from time to time. Characters for example find themselves stuck on objects or inside walls and while you can sometimes interact with these people it can occasionally end up in a mission being failed. There are also glitches and texture pop in, even with the settings maxed which is something I wasn’t expecting to see. The shadows are also reminiscent of GTAIV which is set to annoy many gamers as they are quite ugly. The PC version also seems to suffer from lag even when using a good graphics card such as the 260 GTX, which I find rather unusual.

The audio side of the game is better with some sharp and witty dialogue delivery. The language however is pretty ripe, so for the younger audience it is inappropriate and playing in front of young kids is something you will need to careful with. The different characters in the game all have their own form of scripting so it is easy to tell the characters apart, just from the dialogue which is a nice feature. The sound effects and ambient noises are equally as impressive and the snapping of necks is rather realistic (don’t ask me how they sampled that one!).

The Godfather II is a very entertaining romp and works well as a tie in with the movie and as a follow up to the first title. The addition of strategic elements works well in conjunction with the action side of the game and there is definitely a stronger feeling of running a mafia empire. Multiplayer is fun and adds plenty of long term playability and value to the experience. The only issue really is that the game is much too easy for any skilled gamer and the single player side of the game is easily beaten. It is still recommended however, just with caution.



Good mix of action and strategy, just a little easy
Glitches ruin the overall presentation but it is still graphically impressive
Great scripting and voice acting. Good ambient effects
Multiplayer is great fun and many people will find it enjoyable
A good fun game but it is not particularly challenging.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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