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01 Jun 2009

PART TWO OF THE GODFATHER TRILOGY is widely regarded as one of the greatest fi lms ever to grace the silver screen, one of the few considered superior to its predecessor. EA’s original Godfatheradaptation enjoyed varying degrees of success but was widely considered mediocre, considering the quality of   its source material. With The Godfather II, EA has an opportunity to redeem its pedestrian fi rst title and   introduce the magic of The Godfather to a whole new generation.

The storyline for The Godfather II is only loosely based on the classic fi lm, beginning in the late 1950s in  Cuba. Players take control of Dominic, an underboss in the Corleone crime syndicate who, through a number of  unfortunate and bloody twists, ends up as the new Don of the New York family. From here, the player is  tasked with renewing Corleone interests initially in New York, but over the course of the game, extending into Miami and Cuba to bring the Corelones back to the forefront of organised crime.

So, with players set upon restoring Corelone greatness, the fi rst step is to assemble a crew of trusted  associates known as ‘made men’. Made men all have special abilities, including medics and demolition experts  to name but a few. Your newfound crew is instrumental in both sections of constructing an empire, as  The Godfather II is a hybrid strategy and third-person shooter game.

The strategic section makes use of the ‘Don’s View’, an overview of the three cities where players can keep  tabs on their rackets, crime rings and businesses. Players can also assign members of the crew tasks, be it  taking over new businesses or guarding businesses that may be in danger from a rival faction. Players can also  assign contract killings, order beat downs and a host of other lovely tasks.

operators and assassinating anyone who gets in your way. It’s certainly enjoyable for a while too, with a wide  assortment of weapons at your disposal and a satisfying combat system for hand-to-hand encounters.

Sadly, while this is probably sounding like a thinking man’s Grand Theft Auto, the novelty wears off quickly.  The shallowness of the story quickly reveals itself and repetition sets in. The narrative drops off and a process  of knocking over buildings full of the same, poorly programmed and downright stupid enemies reveals itself.  The lather-rinse-repeat structure of the game quickly becomes tiresome and tedious, with no breaks in the dull cycle.

Multiplayer is included this time around, with support for up to 16 players in four different modes. As is a  recurring theme throughout this game, the multiplayer isn’t much fun at all. You play as your character from the  single-player mode with your crew in tow; a neat idea, but in practice it seems that nearly everyone has an  identical crew, which doesn’t exactly make for unique gameplay. The maps are far too big for 16 players, and  the inability to lock on and aim at your enemies makes it feel like a game of chance.

The presentation is poor and outdated. Graphically, the cities are ugly and the people and objects that occupy  them are no better. The sound is muddled, with lines uttered at inappropriate times from characters nowhere in  the field of view. The Godfather II also lacks polish, with numerous minor errors making it feel rushed and incomplete.

The Godfather II is a real disappointment because the concepts and basis upon which the game was developed  feel like they could be part of a formula for a solid open-world game. Instead, the game feels rushed, the  concepts incomplete and parts even broken. This game is a crying shame. With EA’s resources and some  excellent ideas in combining strategy and shooting, this should have been a winner.

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